Lewisham Café providing mental health support for people in crisis in the community

30 Nov 2022

People experiencing a mental health crisis will now be able to get mental health support and therapeutic treatment faster and closer to home.

The Bridge Café in Deptford, Lewisham will be delivered by the 999 Club in partnership with our partners South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Lewisham residents who are 18 and over, who are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, can call 111 or the Lewisham Crisis Line to be referred to the Café.

The Bridge Café is open from:

  • Monday – Friday from 6pm – 11pm
  • Weekends and Bank Holidays from 12pm to 11pm

The Bridge Café provides immediate access to therapeutic treatment in a calm and safe environment and helps people to avoid busy hospital emergency departments. People will be expertly cared for in a calming, comfortable environment with access to food and drink.

South London and Maudsley has trained the Café’s staff to provide crisis care, with some using their own lived experience of mental ill health to help others. More than 20 volunteers will facilitate wellbeing activities in the space.

David Bradley, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are pleased to launch our new partnership with the renowned 999 Club who are helping us deliver a new mental health crisis service at the Bridge Café in Deptford.

“This is a hugely valuable space which will support people who are experiencing mental health problems or a period of personal crisis. Early intervention and prevention is a priority and working together to provide the right support will help us to provide more effective care, designed to meet the needs of our communities.”

A partnerships and outreach partner has been appointed to work within the community to raise awareness for the service and challenge the barriers that can prevent people from asking for help when they are struggling with their mental health.

James Lowell, Chief Operating Officer, said:

“It is so important that people who are experiencing a mental health crisis have access to care and support which will suit their needs, within their communities.

“The Bridge Café in Deptford is a much-needed local resource run for the community by a local community charity. The service will help to tackle mental health stigma, encourage people to ask for help when they are struggling and ensure more people are aware of the local support which is available to them. We are striving to provide and promote alternative services in order to better help people in need of mental health support in south London.”.

Thomas Neumark, Chief Executive Officer of the 999 Club Charity, said:

“The Bridge Café will provide a friendly, warm welcome and an empowering approach to supporting people to be safe and take the next steps on their recovery journey. 999 Club has been playing our part in Lewisham for 30 years and we think the Bridge Café is the right solution to the challenges of 2022.”

Notes to Editors

The 999 Club

The 999 Club has been operating in Lewisham for 30 years and is able to support those who are homeless or facing homelessness with support on matters including debt, addiction, housing needs, employment and training. There is also a very real connection between poor mental health and homelessness. The opening of the Bridge Café represents a key landmark moment in the history of 999 Club and enables the charity to operate a dedicated service to those struggling with their mental health. The Bridge Café has been so named because, not only is it next to the Deptford Bridge, but the name is also significant because the café means to act as a bridge to recovery. People will come to the service when everything feels too much and staff at the café will work together with other community organisations to help them get to a place where they feel able to cope.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is a large and complex multi-site provider of mental health services – providing the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK. We aim to make a difference to people’s lives by seeking excellence in all areas of mental health and wellbeing.

Our 6,000 staff serve a local population of 1.3 million people and we offer more than 260 services including inpatient wards, outpatient and community services across Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Croydon. We also provide substance misuse services for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

As well as serving the communities of south London, we provide more than 20 specialist services for children and adults across the UK including perinatal services, eating disorders, psychosis and autism.