As part of urgent work to improve the mental health crisis care offered in Lincolnshire, and in our local communities, Gainsborough and Grantham have today joined the Night Light Café family and will be closely followed by Spalding, set to open next week.   These three new locations will join the other 10 cafes across Lincoln in supporting anyone struggling with their mental health or at risk of experiencing a crisis.

Night Life Cafés are safe spaces that offer an out-of-hours, non-clinical support service and are staffed by teams of trained volunteers who are available to listen.   They can also provide signposting advice and information on other organisations that may be able to help with specific needs, such as debt advice.

Night Light Cafés allow people to have improved access to face-to-face and telephone support when they are struggling in an evening, when practices and community mental health team are less available. Hopefully, preventing their concerns escalating and pressure on local emergency departments. The service is open to your patients from 4pm Monday to Friday, and from 8pm Saturday and Sunday.  On average, almost 29 people a week visited a Night Light Café in 2021 and over 1,000 phone calls were made to people who needed support or a friendly ear to listen to them.  339 referrals were made from other agencies into the service. 

Night Light Cafés are funded by NHS England and Improvements as an integral part of the Lincolnshire Mental Health Transformation Programme, which is committed to improving mental health and wellbeing by creating opportunities for people to thrive in connected communities.   ACTS Trust, who co-ordinate the service, is now working in partnership with existing charities in Stamford, Bourne, and Long Sutton with venues also being sought in Skegness and Boston.

It doesn’t cost a thing to go to a Night Light Café, the only ask is that a person calls or sends a quick message to book in advance to make sure someone is available to listen and help.   People can self-refer by calling 0300 011 1200 or via Instagram DM or Facebook Messenger @NightLightCafeLincoln.  GPs or other agencies can refer individuals with their consent by completing an online referral form here https://forms.gle/Ab92khJJeR4mUEp57 .­­­

We are trying to raise awareness across the county of this invaluable service and would be grateful if you could display the attached poster and screen presentation in your patient waiting areas – to let patients know help is available to them when your surgeries are closed.  As a handy reference tool, we have also included a list of all Night Light Café addresses and their opening hours.  If you’d like any further information, please visit our website LPFT/NightLightCafes or email Stacey@ActsTrust.org.uk.

The Night Light Cafes form part of an expanding range of mental health crisis support in the county, which also includes 24hour helplines for adults, children, young people, and their families, and soon to be opened Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre.

The Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre, managed by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will enable patients with a mental health crisis, to be taken directly to, or walk-in at a dedicated centre in Lincoln, where they can receive an assessment of their needs and additional packages of care where required, rather than going to an emergency department.  

Whilst LPFT is developing the service model and increasing staffing support, the assessment centre will initially be accepting direct transfers from East Midlands Ambulance Service and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust emergency departments, where patients are fit to be transferred and have no physical healthcare needs.

However, in the very near future it is hoped it will extend to direct transfers from Lincolnshire Police and eventually accepting direct walk-ins from the local community. 

More information on the assessment centre will be available soon and you can find details of all of the helplines available in the county on the LPFT website www.lpft.nhs.uk/accessing-support.

Three more Night Light Cafés set to open in Lincolnshire!