Suicide Prevention and The Place of Calm

We now offer ASIST training and SuicideTALK, both suicide prevention workshops.

The Place of Calm is a project which was initially commissioned by East Sussex County Council from June 2015-March 2017 on a pilot basis, as part of a program of suicide prevention projects. This unique project was delivered jointly in partnership by Recovery Partners and Sussex Oakleaf, two established Sussex-based, not for profit, organisations.

The model:  The Place of Calm is referral only: a 7-days-a-week, 24hrs- a- day, responsive service, providing a calm space with access to 1:1 support from trained peer support staff.

Peer support is offered for up to 24-hours, for individuals referred by crisis management professionals. The space offers the opportunity to rest, shower, have something to eat and drink alongside receiving practical and emotional support, including making an ASIST Safety Plan. They have had an assessment of mental health, current well-being and risk. The service is a non-medical intervention and, although not a replacement for any other statutory service i.e. Section136 suites, it is an alternative for people who are not presenting as a serious risk to themselves but are in crisis.

The Place of Calm is staffed by a full time Project Manager,Tammy Milne,  and a team of trained and experienced Peer Recovery Workers.

The pilot was evaluated by the University of East London with excellent results which have continued after the completion of the report.

Life saving:

Over 70 people stayed at the Place of Calm since it was set up, and follow-up surveys showed that 100% of respondents said they were made to feel less suicidal, with 94% saying that The Place of Calm saved their life that day.

Evidence suggests that not only does it save lives, the Place of Calm is cost-effective, with calculations showing for every £1 spent on the project, nearly £6 is saved from Health and Social Care spending. At a cost of just over £100,000 per year to run, the Place of Calm potentially saves public services £600,000 each year.

A 2016 evaluation by the University of East London demonstrated extremely positive results, showing that The Place of Calm:

  • Has made a successful start as a new resource offering a different kind of support for suicidal people in East Sussex.
  • Should become established on a permanent basis.
  • Offers a helpful and distinctive model for people in suicidal crises, which is de-stigmatising and non-medical, and highly valued by people who stay there.
  • Has robust qualities for working with suicidal people, and has the potential to be replicated elsewhere.
  • Is recognised by referrers from Health Services, Street Triage and Approved Mental Health Professionals Service, and by the wider network of organisations involved in working locally with suicidal people, as a welcome, new resource that has an important role in the overall provision of resources to prevent suicide.

And people who stayed there said:

“I cannot speak highly enough of my stay at the Place of Calm. I felt that I was given the space when I needed it and completely supported when I needed it too.  I really appreciated not being judged by anyone and all my needs were met during my stay.”

“The staff went above and beyond, if it wasn’t for the support of The Place Of Calm I don’t know where I would be, it was a life line for me. To have that as an alternative saved my life.”

“The staff were so kind and listened, it was a life saver.”

“If it were not for the place of calm that day I would have taken my own life. I would like to thank all that looked after and supported me during my stay which has led to me feeling so much better.”

Article in ‘Mad in America’. 

For some statistics about who used the service see here.

For more info contact:

Anna Stratford: 07976 628737