Safe Haven is a non-clinical service for people experiencing suicidal crisis. It’s a walk-in service that never requires a referral and is open every day of the year.
A Towards Zero Suicides initiative, Safe Haven offers people in crisis a genuine alternative to attending an emergency department or the Nepean Mental Health Centre’s Triage and Assessment Centre.
Importantly, Safe Haven is staffed by lived experience Suicide Prevention Peer Workers who are uniquely placed to offer emotional support and referral to services without fear or judgement. They are highly skilled in intentionally and professionally supporting people through the process of acute suicidal crisis.
Senior Peer Worker, Sarah Priest says, “Safe Haven is a warm and welcoming environment. The physical space was designed by Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District’s Lived Experience Advisory Group and looks like a cosy and comfortable lounge room, not like a clinical treatment room at all.”
The Safe Haven model is incredibly unique compared to other services implemented at NBMLHD. As a non-clinical space, it enables its staff with lived experience expertise to focus on interpersonal connection, ongoing collaboration and shared decision making.
This year’s Mental Health Month theme, ‘We All Have a Role to Play’, calls for people to reflect on the things they do that can have a positive impact on our own daily lives as well as the lives of others.
Drawing on their own personal lived experience to provide authentic engagement and support for people in crisis, the peer workers at Safe Haven have played a vital role by inspiring hope and role modelling recovery.
“Since January 2023, Safe Haven has supported 173 guests who’ve been experiencing suicidal crisis. It’s amazing to think that we’ve had this many opportunities to support people and that we are building our capacity to keep providing this support moving forward,” says Sarah.
Safe Haven is located within the Penrith Head to Health Centre, 111 Henry St, Penrith. The centre is open seven days a week, 1pm to 9:30pm Monday, Wednesday – Sunday (including public holidays), and 1pm – 5pm Tuesday.
If you are concerned about your own mental health or that of someone else, the Mental Health Line is available seven days a week on 1800 011 511.
https://www.nsw.gov.au/health/nbmlhd/news/stories/safe-haven-support-for-people-crisis Safe Haven support for people in crisis