With May’s Mental Health Awareness Week focusing on loneliness and its consequences, we take a look back on the impact of the facility since its launch.

The Safespace crisis café – a joint initiative between NAViGO and North East Lincolnshire Mind – provides help to vulnerable individuals who find themselves in crisis or need support with their mental health in the evening.

Based at NAViGO House in the centre of Grimsby, Safespace is open every evening providing refreshment facilities alongside practical mental health assistance from dedicated professionals.

Since opening its doors, it has supported nearly 250 individuals, with 65% of attendees stating they visited because they were lonely.

NAViGO Safespace project manager Ali Cook said: “Safespace offers an open door, drop-in service providing instant, practical support for vulnerable people with a range of destabilising social problems impacting upon their mental health.

It’s a judgement-free zone and we welcome those who are in need – whether that be due to loneliness, isolation or emotional vulnerability.”

Reducing pressure on A&E

The café is also significantly helping to reduce pressure on stretched A&E departments and local police services.

On nearly 1,200 occasions, individuals stated they would have visited A&E, called an ambulance or visited crisis instead.

Ali continued: “People aren’t always sure where to go at a time of distress. They don’t necessarily require emergency NHS or police intervention but they present themselves at A&E because they don’t know where else to go and are often sat waiting to speak to someone.

“Safespace offers a welcome alternative where an individual can walk through the door and talk to someone straight away, while relieving the strain on other, already in demand, services.”

Safespace is open to anyone in need, regardless of whether they have accessed mental health services before.

Individuals are asked to provide their details before they enter the cafe and a record of their attendance is kept. This information allows NAViGO and Mind to evidence use of the service.

Accessing Safespace

You can access Safespace by walking in and speaking to the team face-to-face between 5.30pm and 11.30pm, Monday to Sunday at NAViGO Coffee House on Brighowgate in Grimsby.

You can also access the virtual service between 5.30pm and 11.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Although the space is run by trained professionals, it is not a crisis facility or a drugs and alcohol centre.

Anyone struggling with their mental health can telephone 01472 256256 option 3, Freephone 08081 968442 or text ORANGE to 85258, 24 hours a day, seven days a week