January 31, 2022 4.30 pm This story is over 29 months old

Three new mental health Night Light Cafes launch in Lincolnshire

A new mental health urgent assessment centre is also being developed

Three new Night Light Cafes have been launched in Lincolnshire as part of urgent work to improve mental health crisis care, while there are also plans for a new urgent assessment centre.

Night Light Cafes are safe spaces that offer an out-of-hours, non-clinical free support service and are staffed by teams of volunteers who are available to listen. They can also provide signposting advice and information on other organisations that may be able to help with specific needs.

A new Night Light Cafe opened in Gainsborough on January 24, and another in Grantham the following day. Yet another new cafe will open in Spalding during the evening of Monday, January 31, while others will be launched in Bourne, Long Sutton and Stamford in February 2022.

These new locations will join the other 10 cafes across Lincoln in supporting anyone who is struggling with their mental health or at risk of experiencing a crisis. The cafes, which are co-ordinated by Acts Trust in Lincoln, are funded by the NHS and are an integral part of the Lincolnshire Mental Health Transformation Programme.

Bridge Central on Portland Street is one of 10 locations in Lincoln hosting a Night Light Cafe service. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) said that also in development is a new urgent assessment centre. It will enable patients with a mental health related crisis to be taken directly to, or walk-in at, a dedicated centre in Lincoln, rather than going to A&E.

This soon to be piloted service model is to support the wider Lincolnshire health and care system in reducing demand at local emergency departments.

LPFT said data shows that around 70% of people attending A&E with a mental health concern, don’t have any physical care needs.

Victoria Sleight, head of community mental health transformation at Lincolnshire NHS, said: “We know that sometimes A&E departments can’t always provide the calming, therapeutic environment for people in crisis, and Lincolnshire will be leading the way as one of just a handful of trusts nationally trialling this service.

“Our aim is to enable people to access support and get the care they need at the point they need it.”

Stacey (left) opened up about how she has turned her traumatic experience into a passion for helping others. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Stacey Marriott from Acts Trust is a project co-ordinator for the Night Light Cafe service in Lincoln, who spoke to The Lincolnite last year about how she turned her traumatic experience of seeing the second plane hit the twin towers in 2001, into a passion for helping the mental health of others.

She recently said: “On average, almost 29 guests a week visited a Night Light Cafe last year and during the pandemic we made over 1,000 phone calls to people who needed support or a friendly ear to listen to them.

“Night Light Cafes allow people to have better access to face-to-face help when they are struggling in an evening, when practices and community mental health teams are less readily available.”

A guest to a Night Light Cafe recently said: “If I hadn’t come to the cafe, I likely would have self-harmed. It gave me some kind of connection when I felt really alone and it was nice to have the option to talk to someone when I was feeling down.”

People needing to use the cafes are asked to call 0300 011 1200 or send a quick message on social media to confirm they will be attending.