A new mental health service, The Sanctuary, was launched Tuesday 10 September, with the help of Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle, local councillors Mary Murphy and Alistair Cox, CCG and public health commissioners were amongst the guests who gathered to watch Jennie cut the ribbon and launch this unique service.
Jim said: “We very much welcome this new, and much-needed, service. It’s projects such as this, that I and the Police and Crime Commissioner encourage other agencies to get behind and work together to develop, to make sure we are providing the right services at the right time and in the right place across Greater Manchester.”
Corrie star Jennie McAlpine said; “There are some excellent mental health services in Manchester, but they don’t open during the night. If you are experiencing difficulties, and you need some support, you can’t plan when you’re going to need it. So this service is filling a gap and will make a real difference. I believe it really will save lives.”
Chief Officer of Self Help Services, Nicky Lidbetter said; “We are very happy to have opened The Sanctuary and would like to thank everyone who attended the launch and helped us to make it such a success. We are now looking forward to welcoming people into The Sanctuary, tonight and every night.”
Developed by Self Help Services, a Mental Health charity which operates across the North West, The Sanctuary is an important alternative for people who, in the past, have had to resort to using Accident and Emergency services when experiencing a mental health crisis.
Operating all night, every night, The Sanctuary is a place of safety and support, welcoming people experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression and / or suicidal thoughts outside of usual office hours.
The Sanctuary will be working with the local police who often encounter people with mental health issues in need of a safe place to turn. Whilst they would normally take them to Accident and Emergency, they will now they will now have the option of referring them to The Sanctuary if they are not at high risk of harm.
In its first night, The Sanctuary had two clients, one referred by the police and another who had read about the service at www.selfhelpservices.org.uk.
Manchester residents, or those registered with a GP in Manchester, can access the service by first calling The Sanctuary on 0161 637 0808. Following a conversation with trained Sanctuary staff, people will then either be offered telephone support or they will be invited to come to The Sanctuary.