A life-saving service is facing closure over a lack of funding, but thousands of Brightonians have backed the petition calling on East Sussex commissioners to save it.
Sussex Place of Calm is the first service of its kind in the county – a peer-supported 27/7 crisis service for those who need it most. Since opening in 2015, the service has provided sanctuary to 70 people struggling with suicidal thoughts and mental health issues.
However, funding for the service’s pilot phase will end this month, and a further 4,000 petition signatures are needed.
The Place of Calm space offers the opportunity for people to rest, shower, eat, drink and relax alongside providing practical and emotional support, including making an ASIST Safety Plan.
Follow-up surveys have shown that 100% of respondents felt less suicidal after visiting, with 94% saying the service “saved their life” that day.
One person who stayed at Place of Calm said: “I cannot speak highly enough of my stay at the Place of Calm. I felt that I was given the space when I needed it and completely supported when I needed it too. I really appreciated not being judged by anyone and all my needs were met during my stay.”
“If it were not for the place of calm that day I would have taken my own life,” said another, “I would like to thank all those that looked after me and supported me during my stay which has led to me feeling so much better.”
The Place of Calm team say that for every £1 spent on the project, nearly £6 is saved from Health and Social Care spending. At a cost of just over £100,000 per year to run, the Place of Calm therefore potentially saves public services £600,000 each year.
To sign the petition to save Sussex Place of Calm, click here.
If you, or anyone you know, is directly affected by suicide please see the following helpful suicide prevention resources: