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Burton mental health unit plan for county court

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 08, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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THE former home of Burton County Court has been suggested as a potential site for a mental health 'Safe Space' unit in the town.

A detailed plan has been drawn up that would see the former court, in Station Street, become known as 'The Harbour' and be a place where people who suffer a mental health crisis could head to for immediate help.

The proposals would likely meet with widespread approval after the Mail revealed £3,683 was being paid out by the taxpayer to pay for the site until a buyer is found for it.

The proposals have now been presented to police and council officers in a bid to win support for the project.

The plan states: "This safe place would be based on a 'hub' model, where 24-hour support can be given, a cafe venue and a non-hospital style service.

"A safe place where a client and family can come and hopefully prevent the crisis becoming either fatal or criminal.

"They also need to be substance-free when assessed, so this can be a full proper assessment – one which they themselves can be a full participant in and can be done in a safe environment for them and professionals.

"Time is also needed to find the right ongoing treatment plan, a bed in a unit nearer to the family, a bed in the right ward, community involvement for their health needs, a place to take stock and be safe and most of all identifying any service, support or agency to prevent further interventions and aid recovery.

"It should be noted that if there is a possibility of a criminal sanction for their actions it must also be addressed, however with support – not forgetting starting to see the family fully supported in both their needs and that of their family member, and one in which they have the chance to get support too."

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  • mattlong  |  August 08 2014, 9:17AM

    Whether this particular location is viable or not its good to see the political culture shifting from looking over our shoulders and bemoaning the loss of the Margaret Stanhope Centre towards looking forward at the future. Whilst Fiona Rose Mills and myself worked to push the concept of safe space we are delighted that others are now becoming to come forward with the tangibles about how it might work in practice. Whilst there is no quick fix and any project will take years not month, this has to be good news for Burton.

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