Chatty Bus joins Mid and North Essex MIND to help tackle loneliness through conversation

1 month ago Tue 20th Feb 2024

Team Chatty Bus

On Saturday 3rd February, Hedingham and Chambers's Chatty Bus teamed up with Mid and North East Essex Mind at Colchester United Football Stadium to mark Time to Talk Day ahead of the match against Forest Green.

The purpose of this event was to reinforce the importance of talking about mental health as part of the Chatty Bus initiative to tackle loneliness and isolation across the region.

The Chatty Bus was transformed into a mobile Crisis Café, providing a safe space for anyone who wanted to come in and have a conversation before the match. Volunteers from MIND and members of the Hedingham and Chambers team were on hand to greet visitors, provide information about the Crisis Café and how to travel there by bus, and have a chat with any football fans who wanted to reach out.

Mid and North East Essex Mind offers a wide range of mental wellbeing services to people in the area, including a ‘Crisis Café’ in Colchester and Clacton. The Crisis Café’s services are available out of office hours from 5-10pm and are open seven days a week.

The service is available to anyone in emotional distress or experiencing a mental health crisis and visitors can self-refer by calling 0300 330 9492.

The Clacton Café is accessible on any Hedingham and Chambers bus routes serving Pier Avenue or, if you’re coming from further afield, you can travel into Colchester on the Hedingham and Chambers 76/76X/74/ 97/97 or 105.

If you are struggling with mental health but do not have access to your own transport, the bus can facilitate your getting the help you need at the Crisis Café, whether that be well-being support, a network of allies, identifying emotional triggers or simply talking through issues. Equally, using the bus is a great way to support mental health through human interaction - you never know what great relationships may blossom from simply striking up a conversation onboard whilst out and about.

The event was a lovely way to interact with the community we serve and we look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with Mind to continue the conversation about mental health in future.