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Ealing’s the Circle cafe celebrates first year anniversary of offering mental health support to young people

British actor and activist Will Poulter has joined with others to mark the one year anniversary of Ealing’s the Circle cafe, the UK’s first specialist hub cafe offering support to young people experiencing mental health issues.

31-year-old Will, star of The Maze Runner and Guardians of the Galaxy, is also an ambassador for Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind (HFEH Mind) which delivers the Circle cafe in partnership with the North West London CAMHS Provider Collaborative led by West London NHS Trust.

Since launching in February 2023 at 46 South Ealing Road, W5 4QA, the Circle has supported 500 young people. The service runs 365 days a year and is open between 3pm-11pm on weekdays and 12-8pm on weekends via both drop-in and appointments.

A round table event hosted by Will, as HFEH Mind youth services ambassador alongside Nana Owusu, clinical lead & director of children and young peoples services took place regarding how young people are supported and what is needed to help them.

Will said: “I’m so happy this space exists and really excited about the many ways the Circle can expand its services and locations. I want to see more of these because of the lives we are saving, and the work being carried out here is lifesaving.”

Ms Owusu added: “I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time here at the Circle. We are a vital part of wrap around care and together we will continue to destigmatise mental health and help children and young people access the help they so desperately need”

Among the guests attending was Ealing Central & Acton MP Dr Rupa Huq. Dr Huq said: “”I’m delighted to have been part of the Circle’s first-year anniversary bash in South Ealing. Many thanks to Nana Owusu, Will Poulter and the HFEH team for hosting such a thought-provoking and inspiring event.”

Johan Redelinghuys, clinical director for children and adolescent mental health services, West London NHS Trust said: “Over the last year we have observed the impact The Circle has had, which shows that making earlier mental health support available to children and young people at risk of going into crisis, increases the chances of a positive outcome for them and their families.”

Julie Pal, chair of the board of trustees at Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind said: “We are trying to build resilience in young people, we want them to be able to live with their mental health and use it to empower and strengthen them to go forward and make positive life decisions, and to be able to rise to challenges and be brave.”

When the Circle launched last year, HFEH Mind said one of the aims of the Circle initiative is to relieve pressure on local A&E departments as well as providing a better environment for young people to get support. In London during 2021, 50% of young people who attended A&E experiencing a mental health crisis were deemed not to require hospital treatment at that time and were then discharged home.

To access the Circle, young people can self refer  or be referred to the Circle by school, social care, A&E, or CAMHS crisis services.

For more information on the Circle, click here.



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