Former Rethink home should become a lifeline drop-in centre, says mental health champion
PUBLISHED: 10:48 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 19 August 2019
A lifeline drop-in service in the town centre should be revived according to Exmouth's mental health champion.
Speaking at the town council's August meeting, Dot Taylor called for the former home of Rethink Mental Illness to be re-opened.
The charity vacated the building, in Meeting Street, last year.
Rethink is in negotiations with Devon County Council (DCC) over a potential sale of the building to the authority.
The county council said once the purchase is complete, options for its use will be explored.
Mrs Taylor, who successfully spearheaded a campaign to save the St John's Court mental health facility, said: "Before Rethink vacated, the inside of the building was redecorated, with a new kitchen.
"This is a very valuable amenity to the community of Exmouth.
"The building lends itself to all types of community activities and groups."
Mrs Taylor is responsible for setting up a mental health carers group, which meets at St John's Court, after the NHS Devon Partnership Trust changed their minds on plans to sell the building.
Mrs Taylor told town councillors she has applied for grants for the mental health carers group to hire a mini bus and a driver for a year to take members on trips.
After Rethink announced it was moving out of it's Meeting Street home, she set up the positive anxiety group, which meets once a month at the Open Door Centre, as a safe space for people to share.
Mrs Taylor believes there is a need for a mental health drop-in centre in Exmouth.
She said: "As the Meeting Street building is central to the town, and Rethink's demise was a catastrophic blow as a drop-in centre, apart from its other attributes, we should seriously consider saving this building for the community."
A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "The building is in the process of being transferred back to Devon County Council.
"We are exploring options for the building, including ways it can to be used provide benefit to the community."
Mrs Taylor said this would free up volunteers who currently take on this responsibility.
The positive anxiety group's next meeting is on Wednesday, August 28 between 2pm and 3pm.