People experiencing mental health crisis in south London now have a new kind of support available thanks to an innovative collaboration between Certitude and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM). The Harbour Café is now open for business at University Hospital Lewisham serving up peer-led support in a relaxed, non-clinical environment.
Oyeyemi Arogunjo who manages the café says: “People are referred to us – usually by A&E – if they are experiencing mental health problems but are not considered to be a risk to themselves. We offer them some refreshments, listen and use our own life experiences to provide support as well as signposting other community-based support.”
“Often people are surprised to find themselves in such a comfortable, stress-free environment away from A&E and they soon appreciate our therapeutic techniques and non-judgmental atmosphere.”
The café was opened in January 2019 by ex-Love Island contestant, Dr Alex George, who works in the hospital’s A&E department. He has made it a personal mission to use his celebrity to highlight mental health issues.