Mental health support café for young people in South Oxhey opens

NewsUpdated: 20 September 2023Community and living

Young people struggling with mental health can get vital support at a safe space created in Three Rivers.

A Herts Haven Café has been set up at the South Oxhey Young People’s Centre, in Gosforth Lane, and is available to any child aged between 10 and 18 in need of emotional wellbeing support, free of charge and without the need for a referral.

The drop-in service was set up by Three Rivers District Council’s key partner Hertfordshire Mind Network, which delivers essential mental health support in the county, and is designed to offer compassionate support and practical help – such as coping strategies or stress management techniques - to young individuals who may be struggling with their mental health.

Workers at the South Oxhey café, which opened in June, are specially trained to provide empathy and a safe place for young people to freely share their thoughts and emotions, learn more about emotional wellbeing, how to keep themselves emotionally well, and various ways to understand and express what they feel.

Three Rivers District Council Leader, Cllr Sarah Nelmes, said: “This is a fantastic facility and provides a valuable lifeline that can be easily accessed by our young people in order to have their voices heard and to be appropriately cared for.

“The new café in South Oxhey shows that there is always someone to talk to and to get the support needed to help any young person who may be going through a mental health crisis.”

Carys Norman of Mind Hertfordshire Network, Director of Children & Young People and Crisis Services, said: “We are delighted to be working in the local community of South Oxhey to provide mental health and emotional wellbeing support to local children and young people. This will ensure that no 10-18 year old manages their emotional wellbeing alone. We strongly believe in the power of mental health support and the need for alternative places for families and young people to get support.”

The café in South Oxhey is open every Thursday from 3:30pm to 8pm. Under 13s are encouraged to be accompanied by a trusted adult and young people aged over 13 can either go on their own or with a friend and/or a family member.

Drop-ins will be accepted until 30 minutes prior to closing time to allow time for the team to best support them.