A sanctuary by the sea
Nate had been struggling with issues relating to his mental health for many years. After attending our Crisis Café, Sanctuary by the Sea, Nate has started looking forward to his future.
Nate is passionate about music and uses song writing to express the way he feels. In his song ‘Lifeline’, Nate sings about his experience of mental health and substance issues, which he has struggled with for many years. After living on the streets and in hostels, Nate began experiencing suicidal thoughts. He was regularly admitted to A&E, as often as five times a week. The Home Treatment Team at the hospital referred Nate to our Crisis Café, Sanctuary by the Sea, in Southend.
Peer worker Nicola decided to take a hands-on approach with Nate, and they took the first step together of cleaning and organising his room. This fresh start led Nate to begin writing music again. Nicola arranged for him to have a day’s recording in a local studio, as well as a socially distanced gig. Nate regularly visited the team at our Crisis Café for support and a chat.
Our Crisis Café, Sanctuary by the Sea, provides out-of-hours support for people experiencing mental health crisis situations. The service offers an alternative to accessing support via the A&E department. Open all year round from 10.30 a.m. to 1.00 a.m., the team provides vital immediate support to people who are distressed and struggling with their mental health.
Nate has received support to live more independently in his home. Liz, our café manager says: “I meet Nate once a week to go shopping for nice things – we like TK Maxx for candles but have also been to Pound Stretcher. When lockdown was very strict, Nate said, ‘he hadn’t eaten and was too weak to get to the shops,’ so, I took him around a roast dinner to eat.”
“We all realised that Nate needed care, company, and purpose, at the Sanctuary he has all of those things.” When Liz asked what Nate wanted to do in the future he said: “I want your job.” So, together with the team, Nate is working towards becoming a support staff member. Liz says: “He wants to volunteer with us, work towards mental health qualifications, and I honestly could not be prouder of him.”
All our Crisis Cafés aim to give people the tools to better self-care and to reduce social isolation. They are safe places for those who need it. Liz says: “What underpins this is our person-centred values and our genuine compassion for every individual. Often a simple phone call makes all the difference.”