Friendly chats and simple acts of kindness are the medicine being administered at Redcliffe’s newly opened Safe Space Program aimed to give people experiencing emotional distress an alternative to hospital emergency departments.
Demand for mental health services has grown by 88 per cent nationwide in the past 12 months, with cost of living, personal debt, housing access and affordability and social isolation taking their toll.
For many people, the only option is presenting to their local emergency department in times of crisis and often the bright lights, noise and long waiting times can be distressing.
More than $10 million in funding committed by the former Federal Government in 2019 has been used to create four safe space hubs in the catchment areas of Caboolture Hospital, Redcliffe Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth officially opened Safe Space Redcliffe late last month.
The hub will operate outside usual business hours and be staffed by allied health workers, support workers and on-call clinical support personnel. They will provide clinical and non-clinical one-on-one support in a friendly, safe environment.
The hubs aim to reduce attendance at emergency departments and admission to hospital and offer an improved ability to manage distress and be better connected to appropriate services and support.
“Everyone should be able to access support when facing mental health challenges. We need the right services to be available and ready in times of distress or mental health challenge so we can help people in need, when they need it,” Mr Howarth says.
“The Safe Spaces will aim for guests to leave with a sense of hope and positivity and feeling like they have been heard and supported.”
The Safe Space is located at Redcliffe Area Youth Space, corner Anzac and Oxley avenues, and will be open weekdays from 5-9pm and on weekends from 3-7pm.
Brisbane North PHN is supporting the funding of the Safe Spaces program through the Australian Government’s Community Health and Hospitals Program (CHHP).
About Safe Space Hubs
The Moreton Bay Region now has several Safe Space Hubs. They are free (fully-funded by Brisbane North PHN) to all community members experiencing emotional distress.
Brisbane North Safe Spaces provide people experiencing varying forms of distress with warm and welcoming environment to access support during difficult times.
They are led by people who have had their own experiences of distress and are skilled in supporting people to navigate through difficult emotional experiences.
After hours support is available at all Safe Spaces between 5pm and 9pm weekdays.
Safe Spaces operate in the following locations in the Moreton Bay region:
Caboolture – 07 5232 1590 [email protected]
Redcliffe- 0435 827 817 [email protected]
Strathpine – 07 3493 6710 [email protected]
What you can expect at the Safe Space:
* a friendly welcome Peer-led service
* skilled staff who understand and listen
* support to regulate
* a range of support options available to suit individual needs
* warm connections with other services and supports
* follow-up contact on request
For more information, click here: https://mymentalhealth.org.au/services/get-support-now/safe-spaces
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