Safe Haven opens its doors to people in suicidal distress in Broken Hill
People in Broken Hill experiencing suicidal distress after hours can now seek support and refuge at a newly built Safe Haven instead of struggling alone or heading to their local emergency department.
The Safe Haven Cafe was officially opened today by Far West LHD Chief Executive, Mr Umit Agis. The Safe Haven Cafe is located on the Old War Vets Road (off Thomas Street) on the Broken Hill Health Service Campus.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the Broken Hill based Safe Haven was the second to be opened in NSW and part of a bigger, system-wide push to trial innovative suicide prevention strategies.
'This Safe Haven is one of 20 being trialled in NSW and will provide rapid access to peer workers in a calm, non-clinical environment,' Mrs Taylor said.
'This Safe Haven is a non-clinical, homelike space with kitchen, lounge and dining areas. It offers tea, coffee, light refreshments and most importantly compassionate care to help people better manage suicidal thoughts.'
'It is also our hope that people who might be reluctant to seek support from more traditional mental health services will be persuaded to come to a Safe Haven. However, it doesn't replace the critical care provided by our emergency departments and you should always call Triple Zero if life is in danger.'
The Safe Haven was designed with input from consumers with lived experience of suicide, their carers and local stakeholders.
The delivery of the Broken Hill Safe Haven will be provided in partnership with Mission Australia.
Mission Australia Manager Jenna Bottrell said: 'People facing mental health concerns, or who are experiencing a suicidal crisis need tailored and easily accessible assistance and alternatives to the emergency department.
'We know demand for these kinds of services is on the increase since the pandemic, Mission Australia is pleased to be able to offer this much needed support and assistance in partnership with the Far West LHD to members of the Broken Hill community.'
The Safe Haven is open Tuesday to Friday 4:30pm - 10pm, and Saturdays 11am - 4pm to anyone experiencing suicidal distress. The Café operated at an interim location prior to delivery of its permanent residence.
Towards Zero Suicides Coordinator Christy McManus at Far West LHD said feedback from people who have accessed the service and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.
The NSW Government has invested $25.1 million for the Safe Haven initiative, which contributes to the Towards Zero Suicides Premier's Priority.
For more information on the Broken Hill based Safe Haven, please call +61 418 442 767
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately by calling 000 or one of these services: Lifeline +61 131114. Suicide Call Back Service +61 1300 659 467. NSW Mental Health Line +61 1800 011 511.