New Crisis Cafe opens its doors to provide mental health support to those in distress

Scarborough's Crisis Cafe
Scarborough's Crisis Cafe

A special cafe designed to welcome residents struggling with their mental health has opened its doors in Scarborough.

The Crisis Cafe is the first one of its kind on the Yorkshire Coast and aims to provide a safe, non-judgmental, homely environment that those experiencing distress can access at the most critical times.

Located within Scarborough Survivors’ Resource Centre on Alma Square, the cafe is open from 7.30pm to 1am on Friday and Saturday and from 8pm to 1am on Sunday.

Andrea Woolcott, Scarborough Survivors’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “It took us over a year to get this project off the ground. We’ve used data collected by the local NHS Trust and North Yorkshire Police to see how many people contact these services at a time of distress and what are the hours in which there’s more demand.

“The cafe is designed to help people in the Scarborough borough that experience distress but don’t require NHS or police intervention. People that perhaps to go A&E and are kept waiting because it’s not an emergency. If they come here they’ll be able to be seen or heard straight away.”

Run by three members of staff and two volunteers, the service was officially launched on Friday, 31 August.

Andrea added: “We opened our doors at 7.30pm and our first call was at 7.35. We’ve had people accessing the cafe every night during the weekend so I’m very pleased with how it’s going.

“We had a lady who is new to Scarborough, she saw one of the flyers and decided to come. She was having anxiety attacks so we put some things in place to help.”

The cafe is part of a one-year pilot scheme funded by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Community Fund and it’s the result of a multi-agency partnership between Scarborugh Survivors, Tees Esk Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, North Yorkshire Police and the Scarborough Borough Council Community Impact Team.