Prime Minister visits Hampshire mental health wellbeing centre

Prime Minister Theresa May has this week visited one of the county’s mental health wellbeing centres to find out more about the service following the Government’s announcement to improve mental health nationally.

Jan 11 2017

PM Visit Aldershot
The Wellbeing Centre in Aldershot, funded by Hampshire County Council, and NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group, houses the Aldershot Safe Haven (adults) which opened on March 31, 2014, and provides out-of-hours support to people who are experiencing, or are on the verge of, mental health crisis, allowing individuals to drop in without an appointment.

The Aldershot centre is one of 11 wellbeing centres across the county which specialise in tackling the emotional, physical and practical impact of poor mental health and are jointly commissioned by the County Council and Hampshire’s five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) as part of an £8million contract with the voluntary sector.

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister chose to visit one of the county’s mental health wellbeing centres to see, first hand, the pioneering work being undertaken in Hampshire to tackle the emotional, physical and practical consequences of poor mental health.

“The Prime Minister’s visit illustrates the confidence placed in the way Hampshire is working with its partners to tackle this important issue. The success of this centre, and others across the county, is down to the innovative way we have worked together, and the ongoing involvement of those who use the service, who have directly influenced the way it is designed and operates.”

Mental Health Wellbeing Centres act as a ‘one stop shop’ with a menu of services covering employment and housing, as well as a range of support to help people with both their physical health such as smoking cessation and improved levels of physical exercise, as well as their mental health. People can self refer or are referred by their local GP. The centres also support people with more serious mental health conditions, working in conjunction with the local County Council/NHS mental health team.

The centres currently operate in Winchester, Eastleigh, Romsey, Andover, Hythe, New Milton, Basingstoke, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Aldershot. Many are located in shop fronted buildings based in town centre locations making them convenient for people to visit and travel to.

The Wellbeing Centres are currently provided by voluntary sector organisations with mental health expertise. Future plans include extending opening hours during evenings and weekends, basing social care and NHS mental health specialist staff within the centres, and further developing the ‘one stop shop’ approach to cover other areas such as providing crisis support, and support for children, young people and families.