Pilot scheme extended to help more Brighton and Hove people who are thinking about suicide

Funding has been secured which means a pilot scheme offering support for people thinking about suicide has been extended.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 7:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 7:22 pm
The garden at Shore House, where the [email protected] service is based

The pilot scheme from BHT Sussex was started to trial an alternative respite service for people in Brighton and Hove who are thinking about suicide.

Called [email protected], BHT Sussex said it provides a short-term, comfortable, non-clinical and caring space to support those thinking about suicide to regain stability and control over their lives.

[email protected] is based within an existing BHT Sussex service in Brighton, Shore House, which provides supported accommodation and intensive support to 20 people with a range of mental health diagnoses.

The first phase of the pilot, funded by the Sussex Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund, was aimed at clients already known to BHT Sussex services, and began in March 2021 and ended last month. NHSE/I urgent care transformation funding has been secured to expand this pilot into a 14-month second phase beginning in July.

This second phase will build on the successes and learning from the first, working closely with local NHS services, and will be open to external NHS referrals.

Rachael Kenny, director of mental health and support services at BHT Sussex, said: "While existing local services are doing a great job, they are overstretched, and we want to increase people’s choices beyond clinical options. [email protected] provides a calm supportive environment and an opportunity for people to prevent their suicidal feelings escalating to the point where they might need help from NHS urgent care services or a stay in hospital.

“We have had positive feedback to the first phase of the pilot, and consistent success in de-escalating clients' suicidal feelings. We are very pleased to have secured additional funding to continue and expand this much needed service, which responds to a significant local issue.”

• If you have been affected by anything in this article, or if you need to talk, Samaritans can be contacted day or night by calling 116 123, free. West Sussex Mind is a charity helping young people, adults, carers and families affected by mental health issues – for more details, visit www.westsussexmind.orgThe Brighton Indy newspaper is back and is available in shops from Friday, June 4, for £1. Please buy a copy for your weekly round-up of the latest news, views, what's on and your free Brighton and Hove Albion and puzzles pull-outs.