Changes to accessing the Bristol Sanctuary

February 25, 2021 at 3:26 pm

The Bristol Sanctuary is a place for people to go when they are in serious emotional distress.

The Sanctuary has recently moved from the centre of Bristol to a new site at Gloucester House, near Southmead Hospital. The team are able to support people in-person – please call them on 07709 295 661 (please note that the team will need you to consent to access the NHS patient record system).

After concerns raised by members of IMHN about accessing the service following the move to the new site, the Sanctuary are now able to provide a taxi to an appointment, for people who live outside a one mile radius from Southmead Hospital.

In addition to taxis, the Sanctuary are able to reimburse bus tickets up to the value of a single journey to the service, or a day ticket if people are also returning home via bus. The service continues to offer a taxi home as normal. Taxis to the Sanctuary will be available until the end of March.

For more information about the Bristol Sanctuary, click here.

February 25, 2021 at 3:26 pm | News | No comment

BIMHN members gathering views on mental health apps to help improve local crisis care

February 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Members of the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network are currently working on a project to improve support and care pathways for those experiencing a mental health crisis in Bristol.

In order to investigate how the support that is being offered can be improved, we have launched a survey asking about peoples’ experiences and views about mobile apps that aim to support and improve mental health and wellbeing. Mobile phone apps can be used by people experiencing a mental health crisis. Sometimes, apps can be shared or suggested by mental health professionals to people experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis.

The survey can be found by clicking the following link:

We are encouraging people with all kinds of lived experience of mental health, including people that support those with mental health difficulties, to take part in the survey.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this project, or would like to hear more about how you can get further involved, please email bimhn[at] (removing the square brackets from the email address). 

February 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm | News | No comment

Help and Support – updated!

March 22, 2019 at 7:50 pm

We have recently updated our help & support pages. The support page provides a condensed list of services relating to mental health, in order to help signpost someone to the help they need. The information listed includes crisis services, helplines, and student-specific support information.

The former useful links section has been separated into its own page, and is intended to be a non-exhaustive yet comprehensive list of groups, bodies and agencies relevant to the local mental health landscape.

Have we missed anything? Do you have any suggestions on how the information could be presented differently? Get in touch!

March 22, 2019 at 7:50 pm | News | No comment

Bristol mental health services Christmas opening times 2017

December 18, 2017 at 1:25 am

Please note: this item was published ahead of the Christmas 2017 period. The information contained in the guide is therefore out of date.



Following the success of last year’s Christmas opening hours guide to mental health services in Bristol, we are pleased to announce we have produced an updated version for this year.

The guide, produced in partnership with Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group and Bristol Mental Health, lists relevant mental health and wellbeing support available over the holiday period. It brings together information about mental health services from both NHS and voluntary & community sector partners on support that can be accessed.



BIMHN Representation & Accountability Officer, Tom Renhard said:

“The Christmas period can be especially difficult for some, particularly for people who may feel increasingly isolated during this time or who may be struggling with their mental health and well being.

“The aim of this guide is to assist in helping people access the right support at the right time, should they need to. I would encourage people to make use of this guide as appropriate and share with work colleagues, family and friends.”

You can find a copy of the guide here.

December 18, 2017 at 1:25 am | News | No comment

Bristol’s crisis line set to close

August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

crisis line closure

Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line is set to close at the end of November, it has been announced.

Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) are deeply concerned over the proposals, and are in close contact with both BMH and the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) regarding the news.

BMH’s reason for the proposed closure, which is to take effect from 30th November 2016, is that the majority of calls being made to the service were by those “requiring advice and support rather than specialist intervention – the intended purpose of the line”.

This calls into question whether enough is being done by service providers to ensure people know how to reach the right mental health support and treatment, including access to preventative services.

We feel that there needs to be more improved signposting, with clear and easily accessible information available for people wanting to use mental health services and seek support.

We want to ensure that any changes to the crisis line are in the best interests of those currently accessing services, and those that may access Bristol’s mental health services in the the future.

We have received mixed feedback from users of the crisis line about how helpful it has been. However, it is absolutely vital that there is an easily accessible and supportive service in place for those in times of crisis.

BMH wrote in their statement: 

“Bristol Mental Health (BMH) is making some changes to its crisis line to ensure that people in crisis receive the support they need. An extensive review of the service was carried out in the early part of 2016, with participation from service users, staff and commissioners.

“The review found that the majority of calls made to the line were better answered elsewhere, or made by those requiring advice and support rather than specialist intervention – the intended purpose of the crisis line.

“Therefore a decision was made by BMH (the provider of the crisis line), Bristol CCG and service users to close the crisis line, effective 30th November 2016, and to identify other resources.

“This decision was made as part of a wider review that will improve the balance between planned and unplanned interventions within local mental health services.

“Both BMH and Bristol CCG are working closely with service users and carers to ensure they identify other resources to best meet the needs of those who access the line.

“Further information will be provided about this over the coming months. As ever, BMH will work to achieve the best mental health and wellbeing for the people of Bristol.

“For more information about the closure of the line please contact or 0117 919 5782/5606.”

Have you accessed or attempted to access the crisis line? We would like to hear about your experiences. Get in touch by emailing BIMHN Secretary, Tom Renhard at . Any comments will be anonymised.

BIMHN members will also be holding a meeting to further discuss the proposed closure of the crisis line, and our next steps.

August 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm | News | No comment