Mental health ‘A&E’ house opening in Coppull

Derek Caren and Sue Moore
Derek Caren and Sue Moore

A crisis house to serve people suffering from a breakdown in their mental health has opened in Coppull.

Willow House in Chapel Lane is billed as an alternative A&E for mental health sufferers and was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday.

Speaking at the ceremony Derek Caren, chief executive of Richmond Fellowship which is running the home said: “I’m very pleased to be here today and in awe of the hard work that has happened to make Willow House a reality.

“Richmond Fellowship has vast experience of running services like this across the country and we’re proud to be providing this much needed service for people in Chorley, Preston and South Ribble.

“We’re delighted to be working in close partnership with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and we’re excited to see the difference this service will make to people living in the local area.”

The crisis home, which is funded by the Lancashire Care NHS Trust, is being established in part to alleviate pressure on hospital A&Es and to support suffers of mental health issues in a more effective way.

Research shows that up to 43 per cent of people can be better supported through a short stay in a crisis house as opposed to A&E admission.

Sue Moore, chief operating officer Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) said: “There’s not enough collaboration between the voluntary sector and health, we need to do more and this is just the start.

“We’ve worked really closely together, our relationship with Chorley Council is really positive and they’ve been true advocates of the service and it’s a really strong partnership.

“This service is truly and inspiration and I feel very proud to be here today.”

Service manager of Willow House Jessica Fish told the Guardian that the crisis house will offer a discrete place of sanctuary for people to come and stay.

She said: “It’s a preventative service for people at the beginning of a crisis, people with depression or anxiety for example. They will receive one to one help through behavioural therapies or talking therapies.

“It’s about looking at why the crisis is triggered – what can we put in place to manage that better so sleeping and eating property, mindfulness and socialising.

“Life does get so busy for people. Different things affect different people in different ways and its how you cope with that. So it’s about working holistically with people.

“It’s about crisis planning so looking at what makes them feel better, being out with family or having time on their own.”

Joe Redmond, managing director for Richmond Fellowship (north), said: “Elsewhere in the country our crisis houses have been a huge success in providing key support to people experiencing a mental health crisis where A&E a
dmission is not the right thing.”

Initially Willow House will take on two or three referrals at a time during May, with staff building up to looking after six patients at any one time for up to seven days each.

The service will be supported by a senior practitioner, eight recovery workers and an administrator.