The opening of a Dundee mental health crisis centre could be moving a step closer.
Following a review of crisis and urgent care services over the last year, a progress report on the issue will be considered by the Integration joint Board of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership on April 21.
The partnership is proposing that a Community Wellbeing Hub (CWH), often referred to as a crisis centre, will be established in Dundee, which will be "always open," operating 24/7 and led by voluntary sector partners.
The hub will be a single point of entry – including a single phone number – both for people experiencing a mental health crisis and people experiencing emotional distress.
People will not be required to go to an acute hospital, such as Ninewells, to be assessed. This will ensure that everyone requiring specialist mental health support has easy and immediate access to it in the community.
NHS24, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service and a range of agencies will be able to refer into the CWH in addition to service users and carers self-referring.
The CWHs will host immediately available support and facilitate access to a wide range of city-wide resources.
Chair of the Integration Joint Board Councillor Ken Lynn said: “I’m delighted to see real progress being made to support some of the most vulnerable people in the city.
“We anticipate that some aspects of the Community Wellbeing Hub will be up and running soon. For example, we hope that it will be the base for our Distress Brief Interventions (DBI) project which will offer support to people experiencing emotional distress.
“This means that we will be providing an immediate, compassionate response to people at the point of greatest need and ensuring that time limited support remains in place to assist people.”
The development of DBI will meet Recommendation 20 of Trust and Respect, Listen Learn Change Action Plan, Tayside’s response to the Independent Inquiry into Tayside’s Mental Health Services (published February, 2020).
Furthermore, the “always open” hubs will also have access to short-term accommodation with support. Provision is made for people experiencing longer term needs arising from mental health challenges within Dundee’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP).
Councillor Lynn continued: “Work is ongoing to determine the location of this hub; using information available from the Tayside Multi-agency Suicide Review group in order to ensure it will be close to the people with the greatest need and avoiding locations of greatest risk for suicide.
“This new hub will open as soon as possible and I will continue to provide updates on progress that has been made.
“In the meantime, I would urge anyone struggling with their mental health to reach out and get support.
“It’s ok not to be ok.
“Dundee has a number of existing places offering mental health support and they remain open to help.”
The outlined proposal is in keeping with the priorities already set out within the commissioning plan that accompanies the Dundee Mental Health and Well-being Strategy.
The costs associated with the developments outlined will be funded through a combination of a reconfiguration of existing budgets held by the IJB and other partners, and through accessing additional funding where appropriate.
Further details of these will be provided to the IJB as service developments are brought forward for approval.