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Mental Health in the East - the Haven Project

The Haven Project Photo: ITV News Anglia

When government cuts almost led to the permanent closure of a personality disorder support service in Colchester, there was uproar in the town. Now 12 months on and those who continue to use the Haven project say they’d be lost without it.

It’s a service in demand, but one that came very close to closing for good last year due to cuts.

Sheree Thompson, Attends Haven Project

Sheree Thompson Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I actually cried because I’d heard so much great things about the haven and I thought great they can help because the community mental health team aren’t exactly tip top.”

– Sheree Thompson
Maisy Credit: ITV News Anglia

The project was set up with money from the department of health but that funding came to an end in 2014. Thanks to the big lottery fund and Essex County Council it remains open, all be it a reduced service.

Maisy attends the Haven Project she said:

“The services they offer, while they’re really good are nothing compared to what they were before and I’ve seen a lot of people who haven’t returned and it’s a big worry because there aren’t the services out there. I trained as a doctor so I’m well aware of what the work is. Now outpatients for psychiatrics is pretty appalling. The doctors you hardly ever see them so you don’t have that reassurance and the nurses again they’re not there enough for people who need this help.”

– Maisy

Here they provide therapy support, group sessions, crisis prevention calls and one to one appointments.

Pernille Petersen

Pernille Petersen, Project manager Haven project said

“In the long term it doesn’t make sense to marginalise projects like ours who are dealing very effectively with a client group that has been regarded as and in many respects also has been difficult for the statutory services to deal with and to provide for.”

– Pernille Petersen

Many who attend the Haven receive care under the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which was recently rated overall as requiring improvement - in a statement it said:

Trust statement

Watch Victoria Lampard's report below.

Part one of our series on Mental Health Part two of our series

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