The WELL-Bean (Crisis) Café in River Street, Newry, relaunched

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne


Saturday 2 July 2022 0:00

PIPS Hope and Support, has relaunched the WELL-bean (Crisis) Café in its new premises in River Street, Newry.

The project, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland is funded by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the NI Mental Health Support Fund. The design of the project has been supported by employing a co-design and a co-production lived experience model alongside a stakeholder analysis approach.

The WELL-Bean Café, which is an adult service, operates over evenings and weekends, for people who are experiencing mental or emotional distress. Service hours of operation are: Friday evening from 6:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday afternoon from 12:00pm – 7:00pm, Sunday afternoon from 12:00pm – 7:00pm and Monday evening from 6:00pm – 11:00pm. Initially, due to the covid 19 restrictions, the project was delivered remotely, but now due to restrictions being more relaxed, the cafe is open during these times for drop in and face to face support.

This significant initiative provides a clinical alternative to the Emergency Departments to reduce mental & emotional distress and works with people to resolve or better manage their situational problems with 1:1 counselling and peer support in a unique social space, where light refreshments are available. Access to the service can be with self-referrals, and a direct referral pathway from the statutory services.

Speaking at the event, Director of Mental Health and Disability Services for the Southern Trust, Jan McGall said:

“Sadly, 73% of those who have lost their lives to suicide in Northern Ireland are not known to mental health services yet research shows that most people who die by suicide have a mental disorder at the time of death. People in need of help are not presenting to services, which shows that there needs to be more opportunities to access support.

“The Towards Zero Suicide strategy recognises that deaths from suicide are preventable, the feelings that drive suicide are often temporary and with the right help and support people can get through a crisis.

“The Newry and Mourne area is piloting the Suicide Prevention Care Pathway for our Trust area, which aims to identify and respond to those at risk as quickly as possible.”

PIPS Hope and Support’s Chief Executive Officer, Seamus McCabe told guests how this new initiative allows individuals to access vital support on evenings and weekends if they are in mental or emotional distress “ We are incredibly excited to be relaunching the WELL Bean ( Crisis) Cafe,  delivering a much needed service supporting the community of Newry. We have been working closely with our Southern Health and Social Care partners in recent months to deliver community-based options for people experiencing a mental health crisis, in particular the service works closely with the Daisyhill Hospital out of hours Crisis Home Treatment Team, this makes the WELL Bean café a central part of our local offer to the Newry people and the residents of the surrounding areas. I am also delighted to launch the new WELL Bean Cafe video, that offers information on the WELL Bean café and how to contact or avail of the service, the video is currently rolled out in the Daisyhill wards and the ED Department of Daisyhill Hospital and provides an alternative to patients queuing and sitting for many hours in the Emergency Department, anyone referred to the café from Daisyhill ED will have their taxi fare paid for from the Hospital to the café and following their completed counselling session in the café, the taxi will take them home if the distance is within a 6 mile radius, the taxi service is kindly funded by the (PCSP) Policing and Community Safety Partnership). In general the WELL Bean Café provides a safe, welcoming and comfortable space away from a clinical environment for people in crisis, and those seeking to prevent the onset of a crisis. The onsite counselling and support team will provide emotional support and resilience building as well as support for carers, and finally the café also provides hot beverages plus snacks, so if you or someone you know needs some emotional support over the weekend don’t wait until Monday to get it, drop in and be supported now. Contact our WELL Bean Café team: 028 3044 2326 We are always happy to talk to you”

We are delighted to be relaunching this exciting initiative in these newly refurbished and redesigned crisis café premises, THE which is the first in its kind in Northern Ireland. A special word of thanks to Oliver Dinsmore, Director of the ODM Group the café was designed using a co produced and co designed lived experience approach. This exciting new project allows individuals to access support in a café type approach outside the normal service hours which may not be accessible to them. The project is staffed by qualified counsellors and highly trained volunteers who will support any one presenting to the café.”

Patricia Trainor, chair of PIPS board of directors stated,

"The board of directors wish to also express their thanks to those involved in getting the Cafe of the ground. PIPS Hope & Support is delighted to offer this new service; building on the excellent services already in place. If you are anxious, emotionally distressed or feeling hopeless we want you to know the WELLbean cafe is there for you. It is a safe space available to you at times when you might be feeling at your lowest."

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