Scottish Government Minister for Mental Health visits Edinburgh Crisis Centre

Scottish Government Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt MSP today (16 November 2017) visited the Edinburgh Crisis Centre – a service unique in Scotland in offering quick-access 1-1 and short-stay residential mental health crisis support alongside freephone, text and email support.

Created following a 10 year campaign by service users, the Crisis Centre provides support for people aged 16 years+ in Edinburgh who are experiencing overwhelming mental health difficulties, such as extreme anxiety or depression, and who may be considering suicide.

People contact the service by email, text or telephone. Centre staff then work with them in a person-centred, non-judgemental way to support them through their distress. Depending on the outcome of this support, they may be offered 1-1 support at the Centre. Appointments are made as quickly as possible – sometimes immediately and usually within the same day. Following a this meeting, a person may be offered an overnight stay at the Centre.

The Minister was given a tour of the service by Service Manager Barrie Hunter, Assistant Manager Nick Bell and Nicole Carter, who has used the service in the past and credits it with saving her life.

Following the tour Graeme Mollon, North East Sector Manager for Mental Health and Colin Beck, Strategic Planning Manager for Mental Health, from Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, and Penumbra Chief Executive Nigel Henderson held a roundtable discussion with the Minister on the importance of community based services.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can contact the Edinburgh Crisis Centre on 0808 801 0414 (freephone), 0797 442 9075 (text) or email A free translation service is available for people who do not speak English as their first language.

More information

For more information please contact Robin Murphy on 0131 475 2569 or email

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