A CRISIS cafe for people needing mental health support is to open in Wirral after hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of funding was announced.

Set to open within the community it will provide a drop-in service, as well as giving people experiencing a mental health crisis an alternative to A&E for assessment and help.

The £700,000 funding is part of a wider 51 projects across the country awarded grants totalling £15m from the department of health, and for Wirral, it means a suite at Clatterbridge will now be refurbished as a mental health assessment area alongside the cafe.

Dr Sue Wells, chair of NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The crisis cafe will be a very welcome addition to our current services in Wirral. The community setting and the fact it will be a drop in service plays an important part in opening up mental health crisis support to those who need it.

“We hope it will make people feel less isolated, and more able to access help that can prevent a crisis escalating further. This is an innovative approach, and an example of what can be achieved when we work in partnership.”

It’s hoped the cafe will offer a place of safety, calm and support, and people over 18 will be able to access specialist support, advice and guidance, as well as participate in various activities and courses.

Suzanne Edwards, associate director of operations at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this grant, along with our local partners. This is a great opportunity to improve our already excellent services that we provide to local people. It is vitally important that people experiencing a mental health crisis have the support they need readily available.

“We also recognise the need to ensure that people are seen in the most appropriate setting possible, relevant to their needs. I look forward to working with our local partners to ensure that this project is carried out successfully to the benefit of those accessing the service.”

Sponsored by CWP, the project involves multiple stakeholders and is supported by partners including NHS Wirral CCG, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust and Merseyside Police.

It aims to expand upon the existing Spider Project service, which has been around in Wirral since 2007 – providing a creative arts and well-being recovery community service.