POLICE, charities, local churches and other services are pulling together to create a safe place in Northallerton where it will be “okay not to be okay”.

The Living Rooms project will see the creation of a venue near the town's High Street that will be designed to provide people of all ages with a place they can go if dealing with issues from loneliness to peer pressure, depression, addiction or just in need somewhere to feel safe.

The Living Rooms will be staffed by a paid mental health champion and trained volunteer workers, who can signpost people to other services or provide a space to talk.

An information event about the project will be taking place at the Forum in Northallerton on October 2, from 2pm to 8pm, when people can drop in to find out about the project.

The event will show plans for the proposed space and there will be presentations at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm for those wanting to find out more. Refreshments and craft activities will also be available. Local services linked to mental health and wellbeing will also be attending the event.

Communications coordinator for the project, Brian Campbell, said: “Government statistics say one in four people in the UK at some time in their life will be diagnosed with mental health illness at one point or another. It has huge repercussions for society.

“People often end up in a crisis through no fault of their own.

“This will be somewhere people can be listened to, not judged and where appropriate mental health services can be accessed.”

Pam Bayston, from the group One Northallerton, which is made up of local churches, said it will be a space for wellbeing that will provide a quiet space to reflect and be calm and where services can also be accessed.

She said Scarborough Survivors, a group devoted to starting mental health conversations, has received a grant of £500 towards a mental health champion in the venue.

Pam said: “The Living Room will provide a space for that huge spectrum of people; from those feeling fed-up or lonely to psychosis-type symptoms.

“It will be about being there for people and listening. It won’t be about trying to mend people, we’ll be signposting to services.

“There will be a paid worker in mental health and the rest will be volunteers.

“What’s lovely and quite unique is all the different churches and services which are pulling together for this; we have mental health services, police and many others onboard.”

It is hoped the project will be up and running in Spring 2019.

For more details about the information event on October 2, email; chloeswain@nlbc.org.uk

For more information on the project email; stevecowie@nlbc.org.uk