A message from Richard, Acting CEO; and all the team at Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service
At LSLCS, we’re proud to offer compassionate, non-medical support to people in crisis, including many people who’ve been traumatized by abuse and neglect. We recognize the links between adverse childhood experience and ‘mental health problems’ in adulthood. Many people are also re-traumatized in the mental health system, labelled and stigmatized as having a ‘personality disorder’ or ‘psychotic’, when in fact their ‘symptoms’ are understandable human responses to terrible things that’ve happened to them.
Recent events – the murders of George Floyd and many others; the huge upsurge in protests against police brutality; the effects of COVID-19 – have reminded us (and those of us who are white should ask ourselves: why do we need reminding?) that people from BAME groups are disproportionately affected by systemic discrimination and health inequalities. And poverty and racism can traumatize individuals as surely as sexual abuse and emotional neglect can. At LSLCS, we fully support the Black Lives Matter movement; and recognize that people from BAME groups are at risk from systemic racism in many ways – complex psychological trauma; increased risk of dying from physical health issues; over-representation in the mental health system; and even outright murder.
We’re proud to offer a BAME-specific service (Dial House@Touchstone), staffed by BAME-workers, offering culturally specific crisis support. But we know that it’s not enough to offer a service – as an organization, we need to work hard at rooting out our blind spots and prejudices. This is not a time to be complacent – it’s a time for humility, listening and for actively interrogating ourselves and our actions. We’re committed to doing this work; and call on others in the mental health world to do likewise. BLACK LIVES MATTER – let’s all make sure that that phrase actually means something in mental health services.
05/04 Coronavirus update: Dial House
Dial House, the Leeds voluntary sector Crisis Service is open 6pm – 2am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, our non-medical, holistic place of sanctuary is not seeing people in person, like many other services.
So, to accommodate the needs of people in crisis, we are making two significant changes during this period.
- We are picking up the telephone all night (this is a change from our recent practice of only taking referral calls up to 9:30pm). That means, you can call us much later at night on 0113 260 9328 and a trained crisis support worker will be able to speak to you for up to 1 hour. (Alternatively text us on 07922 249 452).
- We are offering video support via Zoom (like Facetime and Skype), also for up to an hour. It’s very easy to use. Once you have downloaded it, we do all the technical stuff.
For more information please contact Barry Cooper, Dial House Manager on 0113 260 9328 (office hours Monday, Tuesday and Thursday), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
18/03 Coronavirus update: Dial House @Touchstone
17/03 Coronavirus update: impact on LSLCS services
The coronavirus pandemic is getting everyone worried, both for their physical and mental health. We want to ensure that we are still providing a service to the people of Leeds during this incredibly trying time and have been examining how we can best provide services without compromising people’s physical health. We’ve outlined the following changes to our services.
Following recent guidance on limiting non-essential travel and contact, LSLCS will be prioritising our Core Business which is Crisis Support Work.
- Dial House and Dial House @ Touchstone will be doing their best to operate as normal however there will be NO SOCIAL TIME offered and visitors will be asked to have support and leave the building shortly after. Visitors will need to wash their hands on arrival and maintain their hygiene throughout their visit (please see the previous update about visitors to Dial House)
- Connect Helpline – We are particularly short-staffed this week due to precautionary staff self isolating – we apologise in advance as we will be running a very limited service, but it will remain open
- Groups – All Groups are cancelled for the foreseeable future. We will let you know in good time when the groups are able to be reopened.
LSLCS will continue to do our very best but appreciate your understanding in this unprecedented time. We will keep everyone posted with further updates.
with the movement today of the UK into the “delay” phase against Covid-19 Coronavirus, we’re asking that you please don’t try to attend Dial House or Dial House @ Touchstone if you have any of the following symptoms: a cough, a temperature, or difficulty breathing. We will offer phone support to those in crisis who cannot attend.
We also require anyone visiting our services to wash their hands upon arrival with soap and hot water or to use antibac gel.
These measures are to protect everyone and to help restrict spread of the virus.
Thank you for your understanding.
Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service (LSLCS) was set up in 1999 by a group of service users, who had campaigned for five years to develop the service (which became “Dial House”). Initially, LSLCS was run in partnership with Social Services, becoming a registered charity in 2001. Dial House was set up to be a place of sanctuary, as an alternative to hospital admission and statutory services for people in acute mental health crisis. LSLCS was established, and continues to be governed and managed, by people with direct experience of mental health problems. We have our own unique perspectives on what it feels like to be in crisis and what helps and does not help. We have developed our LSLCS based on this knowledge and experience, while responding to the needs articulated by our visitors and callers.
We are part of a network of mental health services in Leeds. We liaise with and undertake joint work with other services, while maintaining our identity as an innovative, service user led voluntary sector organisation providing face-to-face crisis services (Dial House, and Dial House @ Touchstone), telephone and video chat support (Connect Helpline, Teen Connect, Deaf Connect) and Groupwork; along with partner working with other mental health services, we are part of the Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service (in partnership with Leeds Mind) and The Wellbean Cafes (in partnership with Touchstone).