The team were concerned that the traditional approach to managing a crisis focuses on managing risk. They wanted to develop an approach based on listening to people who have experienced a mental health problem. Their aim was to help people find creative solutions to their own crisis situation.
The service is open from 6pm-2am over weekends, telephone helpline and online support is offered between 6pm and 10.30pm. Working with Touchstone, the centre provides a drop-in support two evenings a week for black and ethnic minority groups. Group work and peer support is available. A person centred approach is taken, where the visitor is encouraged to talk about their situation in detail and explore alternative coping strategies and solutions.
The service used the New Economics Foundation quality improvement toolkit Prove and Improving Quality and Impact Toolkit for Social Enterprises, to assure and improve the quality of care. The project evaluation includes a visitor questionnaire, a self-harm evaluation study and a Social Return on Investment Analysis.
The service now has a local, regional and national profile and is recognised as a centre of excellence and innovation. The service has used it success to disseminate practice and share learning. The Social Return on Investment Analysis showed a benefit of between £4.00 and £7.00 for every £1.00 invested in 2010.