Bury St Edmunds has welcomed a new café to its high street, but it is also much more. STEAM House Café is also a safe space for people who need to seek mental health and wellbeing support.
Along with Ipswich, the wider Access Community Trust group wanted to add Bury St Edmunds to their locations for the cafes with their Kings Lynn and Goulston cafes already established. Services Manager Richard Gibbens commented “It’s a tried and tested model that has proved hugely beneficial in our other areas so we wanted to branch out into Suffolk. We saw a gap in the market and we knew it would work here too.”
The café, located on Risbygate Street, aims to offer support to adults experiencing a mental health crisis and operates day and night. Walk-ins are welcome in the day and more urgent assistance and appointments are conducted at night.
The services provided by the café have already seen increasing people using them with Gibbens saying “Last month there were 400 separate uses of the services in Bury St Edmunds alone, our numbers are doubling each month.” He also commented “Most people experience mental health and we’re here to say it’s okay to talk about that and to take the stigma out of it by being a café on the highstreet.”
The Bury St Edmunds branch is hoping to be fully operational by March where they will be open 10am to 10pm and offer lots of different group activities for people wanting to join in. Gibbens also stated “The idea is that long term this will be a community hub with mental health at the core.”