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Mental health drop in sessions rolled out seven-days a week

Marji Ridgeley

Mental health support drop-in sessions now rolled out seven-days a week in Skelmersdale.

Originally launched in August 2018 and based at the Skelmersdale PULSE (Unit 73, Concourse Shopping Centre, Skelmersdale, WN8 6LN), under the name Three Little Birds. A specialist mental health drop-in support session for any residents living in West Lancashire were held weekly, for just three hours a week, but following funding from NHS England and NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), this vital support service has now been further rolled out to take place daily.

The purpose of the drop-in sessions is for anyone who needs support with their mental health, whether that is for low mood, depression, anxiety or other reasons. They will have a protected safe space where they can talk through how they are feeling with trained facilitators, who will sit down and listen to what they are saying and offer support and advice.

Marji Ridgley, manager at PULSE, said: “People just want someone to believe them, to believe that what they’re going through is real and that they’re not alone.

“It’s really important to people living with a mental health condition that when they reach out for support, that it’s not met with a ‘just get over it’ or ‘pull yourself together’, our drop-in sessions at PULSE are there for anyone, we won’t judge and we want to listen to what you have to say.

“By simply taking the time to sit with people, have a cup of tea and a chat about how they’re feeling, we’ve seen people come back to simply say thank you for listening to me.”

Dr Rosalind Bonsor, a GP in West Lancashire and clinical lead for mental health at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “This service at PULSE is absolutely vital and we’re delighted to see it move from a weekly session to a seven-days a week support session.

“For many people facing a mental health challenge, having somewhere to go where they can talk through their feelings can be vital.

“By providing this easy to access vital support service, we can help people get the support they need earlier.

“This early intervention can prove to be essential in ensuring that the challenges that people are facing do not escalate further.”

The service is open to all residents in West Lancashire.  Appointments are not required so those wanting support can just turn up at PULSE at the following times 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Wednesday; 9.30am to 6.30pm Thursday and Friday; 9.30am to 3.30pm on Saturday and 11.00am to 3.00pm on Sunday.

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