New service to provide community mental health support in Colchester and Tendring

Posted on in North East Essex News

The NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (SNEE ICB) has awarded a contract to mental health charity Mid and North East Essex Mind to provide a new service in the community to support adults in Colchester and Tendring who are struggling with their mental health.

The service will mean people will not have to go to a hospital unless they are assessed as requiring clinical treatment.

Under the £2.5 million contract, Mid and North East Essex Mind will provide a sanctuary model of care, initially opening two safe and welcoming spaces in Colchester and Tendring.

They will offer wellbeing support to help people maintain good mental health, personalised support for individuals with wellbeing and mental health concerns, and immediate mental health support for people in crisis as an alternative to going to a hospital’s Urgent Treatment Centre.

Staff will assess an individual’s risk and whether they need clinical intervention, addressing their needs on a holistic basis whenever possible.

The service will operate every day of the year between 10am and 11pm, starting in October 2024. The locations of the safe spaces are yet to be confirmed.  

Richard Watson, SNEE ICB’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy and Transformation, said: “The new service will provide an urgent care alternative in the community so mental health concerns can be addressed more quickly, closer to home and before clinical intervention is required.

“For those struggling with stress or experiencing poor mental health, it will provide a community support hub where everyone can go to maintain their mental wellbeing.”

The contract for the new service is for five years with an optional two-year extension. Mid and North East Essex Mind has provided crisis café services in Colchester and Tendring since 2020 as an alternative for people who would otherwise have sought help at a hospital. The charity is looking forward to building on its current provision in the area.

Ginny Idehen, Chief Executive Officer of Mid and North East Essex Mind, said: “We are really pleased to have received this contract supporting the NHS in reducing attendance of people in mental health distress to urgent care, and helping people in our local community maintain their wellbeing.

“Our dedicated team has a lot of experience of being there for residents when we’re needed most. We’re looking forward to building on our strong foundations to deliver an excellent service for the people of North East Essex.”