RF News

Below you'll find all the latest news from Richmond Fellowship.

For comment, interviews, case studies or information on our latest news, journalists can contact Richmond Fellowship’s communications team on communications@richmondfellowship.org.uk or phone 020 7697 3300.

Statement – Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International

A spokesperson from Richmond Fellowship said:

“There is no connection between Richmond Fellowship and Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International (RPFI).

The founder of Richmond Fellowship is associated with Richmond Psychosocial Foundation but has had no involvement in the operations or direction of Richmond Fellowship since 1991.”

Aimee’s story – blog for Time to Talk Day

On Time to Talk Day, Aimee Wilson, who uses Richmond Fellowship’s services in Northumberland shares her own experiences of talking about mental health and reiterates why it’s so important.

“Talking about mental health is becoming less and less taboo and it’s partly thanks to days like Time to Talk Day! Ten years ago, when I began experiencing auditory hallucinations, mental health was a subject greeted with hushed voices and spiteful gossip. From my personal experience, being diagnosed with a mental health disorder in 2009 came with a million negative connotations and assumptions that left the person feeling isolated and hopeless; believing that because no one else was talking about mental health, they were alone in their experiences.

I spent almost two weeks hearing voices before I finally told a professional and when I did; it was a result of an act of desperation and panic following my first suicide attempt and admission to a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act.

No one could comprehend why I felt suicidal, so it was with great struggle that I fought my doubts and fears and confided in a nurse one night in the ward communal sitting room. This was a relief, but I was still so afraid of judgement and being misunderstood that even after speaking out I struggled to continue the momentum into the following day when the psychiatrist came rushing into my hospital room talking about psychosis and medications. However, once the medication started to take effect, I was able to see how talking about my mental health enabled the staff to be better placed to help and support me.

This thought was encouraging; it filled me with a sense of hope that if I opened up more, then maybe I could get better. It was this reason that motivated me to continue to be honest about my mental health; I told professionals when I’d self-harmed, I spoke about my trauma and my hallucinations, and I talked about any overwhelming emotions that influenced my behaviours.

In fact it was this openness and honesty that inspired me to begin my blog: ‘I’m NOT Disordered’ four years after I was first hospitalised. Over the past six years, my blog has been praised and commended for its honesty, having instilled hope and confidence in its readers. The feedback from my readers has been that by sharing my own experiences of hallucinations and explaining how overwhelming my emotions were, others have gained a better understanding of how they can support those they love and care for, who are having similar experiences.

Similarly, speaking out about my trauma and the impact it has had on me via my blog, has inspired my readers who’ve also experienced trauma to seek help and support. For example, one of the greatest messages I’ve received was from a reader who had experienced a trauma over 30 years ago. After reading my blog post about finding the strength to report my trauma, this person made the decision to report their own trauma. The realisation that my words and experiences had had such a significant impact on someone’s life was overwhelming, but it only spurred me on to write more. I continued to write about my self-harm and suicide attempts aiming to reassure others that they weren’t going through similar experiences alone.

Ultimately, it is these things that make mental health such a worthwhile and potentially life-saving topic of conversation. One that should be on everyone’s lips.”

Isle Of Wight Safe Haven opening hours – 11-17 February

Richmond Fellowship’s Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight will be available on the following days from Monday 11 February to Sunday 17 February.

Monday 11 February: Fully Open
Tuesday 12 February: Fully Open
Wednesday 13 February: Fully Open
Thursday 14 February: Fully Open
Friday 15 February: Fully Open
Saturday 16 February: Fully Open
Sunday 17 February: Fully Open

Please contact the Safe Haven for more details on 03300 083888.

Address: Quay House, Newport, PO30 2QR.

Isle Of Wight Safe Haven opening hours – 31 January-8 February

Richmond Fellowship’s Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight will be available on the following days from Thursday 31 January to Friday 8 February.

Thursday 31 January: Fully Open
Friday 1 February: Fully Open
Saturday 2 February: Fully Open
Sunday 3 February: Fully Open
Monday 4 February: Fully Open
Tuesday 5 February: Fully Open
Wednesday 6 February: Fully Open
Thursday 7 February: Fully Open
Friday 8 February: Fully Open

Please contact the Safe Haven for more details on 03300 083888.

Address: Quay House, Newport, PO30 2QR.

Lancashire Care partnership shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Awards

An innovative partnership between a local health and wellbeing provider and mental health recovery charity, which involves working together to support people in mental health crisis, has been shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards 2019.

The number of people requiring mental health treatment in the UK is rising and at the same time, the number of mental health hospital beds has dramatically decreased. With this in mind, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Richmond Fellowship have been working together, to develop alternative ways of providing support for those in mental health crisis and have been successfully shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards 2019.

The partnership has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Not for Profit Working in Partnership with the NHS’ category for their efforts in collectively working together to improve mental health crisis care.

The organisations have been working together since 2016 and have opened two crisis houses in Lancashire, which provide a small number of beds and a safe, home-like environment. The partners have also developed an innovative model of supporting people who attend A&E in crisis, Mental Health Decision Units, and runs Sparky’s Café at The Harbour Hospital in Blackpool, providing apprenticeship opportunities for people recovering from mental ill health to help them get back into employment.

Sue Moore, Director of Strategic Developments at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are delighted that our partnership with Richmond Fellowship has been shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards 2019. We have been experiencing high demand for mental health services in Lancashire for some time and we are absolutely committed to ensuring that people are able to access the right care when they most need it. This has involved some innovative thinking with our partners about how we redesign or provide different support to the people that we serve.

“Working together with Richmond Fellowship has allowed us to really enhance the services that we provide and be able to deliver high quality care to the people that matter. It is a privilege to be part of so many fantastic projects and we are really proud that our work has been recognised nationally!”

Joe Redmond, Managing Director – Richmond Fellowship (North) said:

“Richmond Fellowship has a strong track record of providing a wide range of mental health services, including support for people experiencing a crisis. We work with a large number of NHS Trusts and we have a particularly strong partnership with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Together we have developed a range of innovative approaches which are helping to tackle the rising demand for mental health services.

“For example, not everyone with mental ill health needs or wants to go into hospital or to be there any longer than necessary. This is where our crisis houses come in – they provide a safe, supportive environment in the local community where local people can develop coping skills to help with their recovery.  After quite short stays, people are telling us they feel more able to return back home and take control of their lives.”

The winners will be announced at the prestigious ceremony on 20 March 2019 at Park Plaza in Westminster.

For more information or to view the full shortlist please visit https://partnership.hsj.co.uk/

Isle of Wight Safe Haven opening hours – 21-27 January

Richmond Fellowship’s Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight will be available on the following days from Monday 21 January to Sunday 27 January.

Monday 21 January: Fully Open
Tuesday 22 January: Fully Open
Wednesday 23 January: Fully Open
Thursday 24 January: Fully Open
Friday 25 January: Fully Open
Saturday 26 January: Fully Open
Sunday 27 January: Fully Open

Please contact the Safe Haven for more details on 03300 083888.

Address: Quay House, Newport, PO30 2QR.

Isle of Wight Safe Haven opening hours – 7-20 January

Richmond Fellowship’s Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight will be available on the following days from Monday 7 January to Sunday 20 January.

Monday 7 January: Fully Open
Tuesday 8 January: Closed
Wednesday 9 January: Closed
Thursday 10 January: Fully Open
Friday 11 January: Fully Open
Saturday 12 January: Closed
Sunday 13 January: Partially Open

Monday 14 January: Partially Open
Tuesday 15 January: Closed
Wednesday 16 January: Closed
Thursday 17 January: Partially Open
Friday 18 January: Fully Open
Saturday 19 January: Fully Open
Sunday 20 January: Fully Open

Please contact the Safe Haven for more details on 03300 083888.

Address: Quay House, Newport, PO30 2QR.

NHS Long Term Plan Comment

In response to the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship said:

We welcome the focus on mental ill health in the long term funding plan. Currently, there is massive pressure on facilities with the result that many people are not getting the help they need quickly enough or near enough to their families and friends.

For example, only last week, a woman in one of our crisis services who needed to be accommodated under the Mental Health Act had to go over 300 miles away from home to get a bed.

We hope that this plan will result in a real step change in the way mental health services are viewed and resourced.

Isle of Wight Safe Haven opening hours – 4-7 January

Richmond Fellowship’s Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight will be available at the following times from Friday 4 January to Monday 7 January.

Friday 4 January: 5pm-10pm – you will be able to talk to staff for support via phone

Saturday 5 January: 10am-10pm – building is open as usual

Sunday 6 January: 10am-10pm – building is open as usual

Monday 7 January: 5pm-10pm – building is open as usual

We will publicise further details of next week’s opening hours shortly.

Please contact the Safe Haven on 03300 083888.

Address: Quay House, Newport, PO30 2QR.

Isle of Wight mental health drop-in service media statement

Our Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight, a drop in service for people experiencing a mental health crisis, is currently open for limited hours due to staff shortages.

Sue Lightfoot, Head of Commissioning Mental Health, Learning Disability and Dementia at NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

This situation is very worrying for anyone using this service, and also difficult for the staff at Richmond Fellowship, who are committed to offering people the best possible support.

We are actively working with Richmond Fellowship now to make sure a service, albeit with reduced hours, continues to operate – safely – over the coming weeks, to ensure that support is still available to those in need. Existing staff from other Richmond Fellowship services have volunteered to work extra hours to offer this support.

There are of course other sources of support available, including the Community Mental Health Team crisis line 01983 522214, or the Samaritans on Freephone 116 123, but the drop-in service plays an important role and we hope it can continue.

Looking further ahead, we are also working with Richmond Fellowship to recruit new members of staff so that the service can quickly be returned to a sustainable footing. This recruitment is under way already and we expect the Safe Haven to be operating a full service in the New Year.