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Developing Mental Health Crisis Alternatives across the city and county

Mental Health Forum and Erewash Voluntary Action logos

Derbyshire Mental Health Forum, hosted by Erewash Voluntary Action, has two new workers in post. Naomi Martin and Claire Thornber are working with Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (DDCCG) to ensure that the voluntary sector can play a role in the development, delivery and evaluation of Derby and Derbyshire’s new Crisis Cafés.

Crisis Cafés are one of three ‘Mental Health Crisis Alternatives’ which aim to ensure that people in Derby city and across Derbyshire can access a range of services to receive support and prevent crisis out of hours. A 24 Hour Helpline, run by P3 in partnership with NHS Clinicians and a Safe Haven, run by The Richmond Fellowship, are already up and running. A Crisis Café provides a warm and welcoming space in the evenings and at weekends for anyone who feels they are approaching a mental health crisis. It will be staffed by trained mental health workers and have access to NHS Clinicians. 

DDCCG hope that increasing access to mental health support within the community will reduce impact on current mental health support pathways particularly A&E, Emergency Services and Hospital Liaison Services.

The CCG have held engagement events with Mental Health Together (a Healthwatch Derbyshire project set up to give mental health service receivers and carers a greater say in the services they access) and collected views via a survey which received over 300 responses. The CCG has also hosted a series of ‘Market Engagement Events’ to discuss the initiative with organisations who support people that might access the Cafés, with organisations that may want to provide the service and with organisations that may want to collaborate with the service in some way. These events have helped to shape the tender specification which is currently still in draft form. It is hoped that the tender will be published in July, with the contract awarded by the end of August and the service opening doors before the end of the year.

Naomi and Claire have been gathering learning from other areas that already have Crisis Cafés and are talking to organisations that may want to offer a Crisis Café in Derbyshire. They are keen to have conversations with anyone that has a view on what a good Crisis Café would look like and to talk with organisations that might want to provide the service, as a single provider or as part of an alliance.

A short survey has been created to gather the sector’s views on what support would be needed from statutory services to ensure that Crisis Cafes are safe and accessible for all. You can complete the survey in 5 minutes by following this link: Crisis cafe survey

The CCG have also just published a Request for Quotes for the Safe Haven in Derby City and are looking to develop this into an ‘open access service’ over the next two years. Interested organisations will need to register on the portal before being able to view the Specification. The portal will close on 6th June so time is of the essence!

Safe Haven request for quotes link

If you would like to discuss anything about Crisis Cafés, or need support to access the Safe Haven specification, please contact  or


User Guide – Registering your interest and accessing ‘Soft Market Testing’ for Crisis Café Provision

You will need to register as a supplier if you want to express an interest in being a Crisis Café provider and / or inform the process by answering questions about the kind of provision you think is needed.

You can download the User Guide below:

User Guide (2,313.60 KB)