A NEW support service providing a late-night safe space for people experiencing mental health crisis has opened in East Oxford.

Oxford Safe Haven (OSH) will offer additional out-of-hours support for adults living with mental illness in Oxfordshire four nights a week.

The service, based in Manzil Way, just off Cowley Road, is run through the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OHMP), made up for the county's NHS mental health trust and a number of charities.

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Oxfordshire and West Service Director at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Vanessa Odlin, said: “In partnership we have been able to open the Oxford Safe Haven on four evenings a week, which we believe will be able to support people with mental health problems when they are experiencing a crisis.

"We know evenings and weekends can be a difficult time for some people living with mental health problems.

"Whilst there are a number of services that offer access to NHS care outside 9-5, people living with mental illness tell us they feel best supported in a more informal and less clinical environment."

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Since December OSH has been open Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 6pm to 10pm.

It is not a drop-in service and so people must self-refer on the night by calling in advance or they can also be referred by health professionals and emergency services. Space may not be available if people arrive without calling ahead.

Chief executive officer of mental health charity Oxfordshire Mind, Dan Knowles, said: "The Oxford Safe Haven offers a safe and familiar place to get help from people who specialise in mental health care.

"Service-users can self-refer on the night by calling in advance and can also be referred by health professionals or the emergency services."

The referral line will be open from 5pm on the day of service. The last entry will be at 9pm.

To self-refer to Oxford Safe Haven ring 01865 903037 or 07710 092849.