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YMCA Together new stepped up care service in partnership with Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust

YMCA Together open new stepped-up care service that will further help the lives of those struggling with their mental health across Merseyside.
Located on Balliol Road in Bootle, Stepping Stones offers eight rooms, providing people with modern en-suite bedrooms, communal cooking spaces and dining facilities, laundry room and lounge, alongside around-the-clock support and respite for seven days.
Previously housed on Long Lane in Garston, the service was first launched in 2016 in partnership with Mersey Care, who provide community and mental health services across Merseyside and parts of Cheshire
It allows residents to be referred to the project through Mersey Care’s Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team or the Spring House Psychotherapy and Personality Disorder Hub, as an alternative to hospital care, providing psychologically informed support at a time where it is most needed.
Therapeutic Coordinator at Stepping Stones Ian Greenwood said:

“Our main role is to provide emotional support. A lot of people we see coming through our doors are often quite isolated, so we aim to be that support network that they can rely on. Some people live on their own or haven’t got anyone who understands their needs, and that is where we come in.
“The work we do here is important because anyone could be suffering with their mental health; it doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what your job is – it can have an impact on so many people’s lives.”

The onsite team works with those experiencing a mental health crisis, including anxiety and depression, Stepping Stones also support those who may be triggered by an anniversary or date that caused distress, or even carers who are experiencing burnout.
Ellie McNeil, Chief Executive of YMCA Together, said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to open the doors to our new and inclusive service, especially during these difficult times that we are now facing. Stepping Stones really does make a difference to those who are experiencing challenging times in their lives and struggling with their mental health, and this move has allowed us to constantly improve our offering to the people of Merseyside through modern and comfortable facilities.”

Stepping Stones will now be located next door to the charity’s Nightingale House, which specialises in supporting people from Sefton, Liverpool and Knowsley on a long-term basis who are coming out of hospital following mental health admission as part of the stepped-down care model.
Ellie added:

“Although our charity is 176 years old, it’s never been so important for us to keep developing our services and ensuring that we have the systems in place to support the people that need us. We are working every day to make sure that everyone has a home of their own, support from people who understand them and the skills they need for a better future.”

In August, YMCA Together was named the Best Charity to work for in the UK for the third consecutive time by Best Companies, highlighting the strength, humility, respect, empathy and kindness that its staff show their service users.

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