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Crisis Cafe saves Sefton woman's life after suicide attempt

SEFTON resident Brittney, who suffers with severe depressive episodes, is reaching out to thank the team at a mental health support service in Southport, crediting them for saving her life after she had experienced suicidal thoughts. Brittney lives in Southport and says that she had hit a really low point while struggling with poor mental health. On 1 evening in particular she was suffering from very strong suicidal thoughts and had taken steps to harm herself. Fearing the worst, she decided to visit the Sefton Crisis Cafe in Southport; a local mental health support service; to find help.

A support worker at the Crisis Cafe sought immediate help for Brittney, giving her emergency assistance to de-escalate the crisis situation she was in, preventing her from taking her own life and supporting her to get back to a safer mental state. Brittney said:- "I was in such a low place and I didn't see a way out, I didn't want to be here anymore. As dramatic as it might sound, I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for the support of the Crisis Cafe. The support that they offer seems so real and genuine… the consistent support here helped me get through that really difficult time."

With locations in both Southport and Crosby, the Sefton Crisis Cafe service continued to offered Brittney out of hours support for her mental health conditions and has been there to help her on numerous occasions when she has found herself in crisis. She says that the service has also helped her build her resilience and develop coping strategies for when she feels low, as well as helping her get through more difficult times when she feels she cannot cope on her own.

She said:- "I think now, as soon as I know I'm having a bad day, I reach out for their support and I wouldn't leave things until they get as low as they did. It is a much needed service. From my own experiences, A&E is not always the most appropriate support or environment for people in crisis like me. Whereas here they've got staff on hand to step in and offer that emotional support immediately."

Brittney continues to visit the Crisis Cafe in Southport during their opening hours on Friday to Sunday evenings, to get 1 to 1 support, chat with staff and volunteers over a cup of tea, as well as taking part in social activities such as board games. She has found that the combination of talking therapy and group activities has really helped to improve her mental health.

Brittney has thanked the staff at the Crisis Cafe for saving her life and giving her ongoing care, saying:- "I think, genuinely, it's probably been the best service I've ever been to for support, and I couldn't mean that more… they've made such a difference. For me personally, the Crisis Cafe means somewhere I can go if I'm struggling, and I know I'll get help."

Sherran Robb, manager of the Sefton Crisis Cafes, said:- "Thank you to Brittney for bravely sharing her story so that others know they are not alone in suffering from depression and poor mental health. Brittney and all of our staff would like to encourage anyone who is suffering with their mental health to come along to the Sefton Crisis Cafes or reach out to our team. Many local organisations have worked together in partnership to provide the Crisis Cafe service for Sefton, and to know that we have saved the life of 1 of our residents is testament to how essential this service is for those in a mental health crisis."

The Sefton Crisis Cafes are based in Crosby and Southport, and offer out of hours support to anyone aged 18 years or over in Sefton experiencing a mental health crisis. They offer drop-in sessions from 5pm to 11pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings to give local residents a place of safety as an alternative to A&E.

The service also offers a social space with refreshments and 1 to 1 support to reduce stress and help manage crisis situations, as well as support via phone, email or online Zoom calls. The Sefton Crisis Cafe service was set up thanks to the local NHS in Sefton, Sefton Council, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and local community groups; Sefton CVS and Parenting 2000. Find out more about the Sefton Crisis Cafes at:- or get in touch with the team by emailing:- Crisiscafe@SeftonCVS.Org.UK or calling:- 03003230197. Further information on mental health and wellbeing support and services in Sefton can be found by following:- #SeftonInMind on social media.


Volunteers in Lancashire urgently required to support the Great Daffodil Appeal

THE Great Daffodil Appeal is back and end of life charity Marie Curie is urgently calling for volunteers in Lancashire to give just 2 hours of their time to hand out the charity's iconic daffodil pins in return for donations. All across the country supporters will be donning the infamous giant yellow top hats in supermarkets, train stations and on high streets for the Great Daffodil Appeal - Marie Curie's flagship fundraiser, which has now been running for 37 years. Public collections returned in 2022 following a 2 year suspension during the Pandemic so it is more important than ever that people support the charity's work.

Marie Curie is dependent on public donations and last year the money raised helped the charity provide direct care to more than 46,000 people across the UK via its 9 hospices and through overnight nursing care in people's own homes. Donations also support its Information and Support line, which provides a listening ear to anyone dealing with any aspect of death, dying and bereavement.

Gina Hopwood, Community Fundraiser said:- "The Great Daffodil Appeal is my favourite time of the year and is a brilliant and fun way to support Marie Curie. Volunteers are so important to us and we're calling on the people of Lancashire to once again give a couple of hours of their time, don a big yellow hat and help us raise as much money as we can. Collecting couldn't be simpler and our amazing team will support you from the moment you sign-up to volunteer, making sure you have everything you need to encourage the public to donate and wear 1 of our iconic daffodil pins. All the money raised will help Marie Curie continue to provide vital end of life care for terminally ill people and their families during their final days, weeks and months."

During the Great Daffodil Appeal, on 23 March 2023, the annual National Day of Reflection will take place. This is a unique day to remember loved ones who've died and to support people who are grieving. Marie Curie will be leading a minute's silence at noon on the day. To sign up to volunteer to collect for Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal in Lancashire, visit:- Mariecurie.Org.UK.

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