A safe place for children and young people to talk about any mental health and wellbeing challenges they may be facing has been set up in Havant.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, which includes NHS South Eastern Hampshire CCG, has commissioned Havant and East Hants Mind to provide the service.
Called the Safe Haven, it runs from the Pallant House Play Cafe, in Havant, and is for young people aged 11 to 17 within Havant Borough.
Dr Sally Robins, GP and clinical lead for children’s services for the CCG, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Havant & East Hants Mind (HEH Mind) - many children just need a safe place to go where they can talk to someone who they can trust.
“We are working really hard to provide services for young people which are accessible, local and that can support them before they reach crisis point. Demand for child adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is high across the country, so we want to support young people as soon as they need it.
“We have trialled Safe Havens successfully in other parts of the county and we hope this will prove to be a useful service for young people in Havant.”
The Safe Haven provides a safe and confidential space for young people experiencing difficulty with their mental health or wellbeing.
Maria Morrell, director of services from HEH Mind, said: “We are really excited to be launching the Havant Safe Haven and would like to thank Hampshire and Isle of Wight CCG Partnership for funding and supporting this service.
“We are passionate about working with young people to promote better mental health, reduce stigma and discrimination and prevent mental health difficulties developing into severe and enduring health issues.
“We will be working in close partnership with schools, colleges, GPs, CAMHs and other key services to promote the service and together bring about better mental health for young people in Havant.”
The service is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 5pm to 8pm and Saturdays 10.30am to 1.30pm.