Recovery Partners is a mental health recovery project working across Sussex. We are a non-profit organisation that is 100% user-led and run. We all have lived experience of mental health challenges and have been trained as Peer Support Specialists to empower others in wellbeing, respect, recovery, hope and inspiration. We offer services to individuals and groups.
We ran a successful peer support community project for 5 years and a 24/7 peer supported suicidal crisis centre – The Place of Calm for a 20 month pilot.
We deliver Applied Suicide Intervention and Skills Training [ASIST] and other training related to peer support and mental health and well-being.
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How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
The Place of Calm is a project which was initially commissioned by East Sussex County Council from June 2015-March 2017 on a pilot basis. This unique project was delivered jointly in partnership by Recovery Partners and Sussex Oakleaf, two established Sussex-based, not for profit, organisations.
The model: The Place of Calm is referral only: a 7-days-a-week, 24hrs- a- day, responsive service, providing a calm space with access to 1:1 support from trained peer support staff.
Peer support is offered for up to 24-hours, for individuals referred by crisis management professionals. The space offers the opportunity to rest, shower, have something to eat and drink alongside receiving practical and emotional support, including making an ASIST Safety Plan. They have had an assessment of mental health, current well-being and risk.The service is a non-medical intervention and an alternative for people who are not presenting as a serious risk to themselves but are in crisis.
The pilot was evaluated by the University of East London with excellent results which have continued after the completion of the report.
Over 70 people stayed at the Place of Calm since it was set up, and follow-up surveys showed that 100% of respondents said they were made to feel less suicidal, with 94% saying that The Place of Calm saved their life that day.
Evidence suggests that not only does it save lives, the Place of Calm is cost-effective, with calculations showing for every £1 spent on the project, nearly £6 is saved from Health and Social Care spending.
What are your current priorities?
We will provide 24/7 crisis support for those feeling suicidal to secure funding to re-commence The Place of Calm in Sussex. To develop the model in other areas.
In addition we will be providing Suicide First Aid – Applied Suicide Intervention and Skills Training and similar training, developing our delivery programme of this training so this, and similar trainings are readily available.
We will also continue to develop peer support models in suicide prevention. As a 100% peer organisation this is our strength we are committed to developing this across the sector.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Funding for The Place of Calm was for the pilot stage only and we have not been able to secure sufficient income to keep the project going and develop it further. We are trying to do this as the model was so successful but this will take time and whilst we are doing it, many more people may suffer unnecessarily.