Pioneering new sanctuary for young people in Havant will help them cope

YOUNG people in need of help for their mental health can now turn to a pioneering new sanctuary in Havant.

Sunday, 30th June 2019, 12:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 4:04 pm
Safe Space Launch at Pallant House Play Cafe in Havant . From left, Maria Morrell, Danielle Barnes, chief executive Julie Parker, Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick, Zoe Mayward and Ellie Roberts. Picture: Vernon Nash (290619-004)

Havant and East Hants (HEH) officially launched its Safe Haven for young people aged 11 to 17 at the Pallant House Play Cafe in the town.

The safe and confidential space offers a variety of tools to help people from its team of specialists ranging from one-to-one sessions, group work, mindfulness, as well as a number of activities to boost youngsters such as craft and cooking.

The centre, which has been inundated with attendees in its first eight weeks, is already making an impact on those with nowhere else to turn for support.

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Safe Space Launch at Pallant House Play Cafe in Havant - Pictured Chief Executive Julie Parker and Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick. Picture: Vernon Nash (290619-003)

Maria Morrell, director of services at HEH Mind, said ‘The Safe Haven is for anyone who needs help and doesn’t have anywhere else to go. We’ve already had 77 people attend in the first eight weeks so it’s good to that so many young people are coming forward to get the help they need. Anyone can just turn up.

‘We are passionate about working with young people to promote better mental health, reduce stigma and discrimination and prevent mental health difficulties developing into severe and enduring health issues.

‘We will be working in close partnership with schools, colleges, GPs, CAMHs and other key services to promote the service and together bring about better mental health for young people in Havant. We would like to thank Hampshire and Isle of Wight CCG Partnership for funding and supporting this service.’

Julie Parker, chief executive of MIND in Havant, said: ‘This is a pilot project but we hope it will take off. We help young people but also the parents who often need support. We help them to cope with the situation.’

Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick cuts the ribbon held by Danielle Barnes and Maria Morrell. Picture: Vernon Nash (290619-002)

Dr Sally Robins, clinical lead for children’s services for Fareham and Gosport added: ‘Many children just need a safe place to go where they can talk to someone who they can trust. We want to support young people as soon as they need it.’

The service is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 5pm - 8pm and Saturdays 10.30am to 1.30pm.