A CRISIS centre offering overnight support to people experiencing a mental illness has opened in Leigh.

Mental health charity Self Help Services has launched the specialised overnight crisis centre which will welcome people experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression or suicidal thoughts outside of usual office hours.

Operating all night, every night, The Sanctuary Wigan and Leigh will provide an alternative to people who, in the past, have gone to accident and emergency services when experiencing a mental health crisis during the night.

Self Help Services was commissioned by the 5 Boroughs Partnership to run The Sanctuary from Compassion in Action’s building at Patrick House on Leigh Road and it will complement the work of the charity which works with people in crisis.

Chief officer of Self Help Services Nicky Lidbetter said: “There’s a range of great mental health services in Wigan and Leigh for people with common mental health conditions like anxiety and depression and The Sanctuary will complement these throughout the night.

“We’re proud to be working with our healthcare partners in Wigan and Leigh to ensure that people receive appropriate support in the community when they need it most, preserving A and E services for those experiencing medical crisis."

“As a charity we pride ourselves on being user-led, with many of our staff and volunteers having personal experience of common mental health problems, ensuring we’re in touch with the needs of people experiencing these types of problems.”

Residents, or those registered with a GP in the borough, can access the service by calling The Sanctuary on 01942 410522.

Callers will then either be offered telephone support or they will be invited to come to The Sanctuary for one to one support in a calm room by staff who ensure people are signposted to other services after their Sanctuary visit.