May 12, 2023

Extern has welcomed the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council to its Community Crisis Intervention Service (CCIS) in Derry-Londonderry to learn about the project’s life-saving work in the North West region.

Councillor Sandra Duffy met with staff at Extern’s offices on Spencer Road in the city, from where the CCIS project provides support to people who may be facing acute mental health crisis, as well as ongoing assistance for people through additional wellbeing supports.

The Mayor also met with frontline workers from Extern’s range of young people and family services which provide support to hundreds of people across the area every year.

Located within Spencer House, close to Craigavon bridge, CCIS offers a non-clinical, community response to individuals experiencing social, emotional or situational crisis, and who may be at risk of suicidal behaviour. The service operates every weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, and over the past year alone, has recorded over 1,550 interventions with people who are at risk.

Critical need for this service

Cllr Duffy paid tribute to the work of the project, saying: “I was delighted to accept an invitation from Extern to visit the CCIS team and learn more about the life-saving role they play in supporting those in distress and need.

“The high number of interventions at the centre demonstrates the acute need for frontline mental health services in the North West region and how critically important it is that this service is retained.

“If anyone is feeling low or in distress please reach out to someone to talk about it and seek specialist help.”

Playing a crucial role in saving lives

Colin Hayburn, CEO of Extern, said: “I would like to warmly thank Mayor Duffy for taking the time to visit our life-saving Community Crisis Intervention Service. I know that she found listening to the first-hand accounts from our colleagues about the personal crises faced by the people they support very moving and how through their work people have found hope in the darkest of times and the knowledge that there are positive steps towards recovery.

“The real-life stories I heard about today show that the need is great for frontline mental health services in our communities. Extern’s CCIS project plays a crucial role in ensuring that people who are facing crisis in their lives have professional support for when they need it.”