New town centre mental health support café opens in Bury St Edmunds

Responding to the growing need within the local community, a new independent mental health café named STEAM was officially opened this week by Bury St Edmunds Deputy Mayor Councillor Patrick Chung. Situated at the Malthouse, Elsey Yard on Risbygate Street in the town centre, the premises provides a range of holistic assistance to those in need over the age of 18. Open daytimes seven days a week, and evenings by appointment, the service is working in partnership with the region’s NHS, GP’s and first responders to deliver an additional wellbeing offering within its safe haven, which is softly styled as a typical coffee shop.

Bury St Edmunds Deputy Mayor Councillor Patrick Chung officially opens STEAM

Alongside professional referrals, members of the general public are able to access the service and seek guidance without the need for an appointment between 10am and 4pm daily. The service is provided by Access Community Trust and the charity’s Head of Health and Wellbeing Amanda Stephens confirmed more of these unique hubs will follow suit,

“STEAM Bury St Edmunds will be our 4th café to open within the last two years. Ipswich also opens this week and another in Lowestoft very soon. Everybody has mental health and nobody should be afraid to seek advice and support when they need to. Our chain of STEAM cafes are all situated in town centres as these places are easily accessible. These cafés are really helping to build an extra layer of resilience within the communities they surround”.

Staffed by a team of fully trained recovery navigators, the service also provides a number of volunteer opportunities. Customers are able to attend a host of free groups, peer support and one to one sessions. Other local organisations will also hold awareness events from the premises.

Marking the launch by officially cutting the ribbon, Deputy Mayor Councillor Patrick Chung remarked,

“This welcoming building is the perfect home for STEAM. It is clear just from my visit today that customers of the service really value the assistance and guidance provided to positively support their mental health and I will watch closely as the service expands its offering in the coming months.”

The Suffolk STEAM team have spent the last two month’s embedding the service locally and has already supported over 150 people throughout November and the festive period including Christmas Day.

STEAM cafes have been commissioned by Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich and form an essential part of our community model to support our communities mental health and emotional wellbeing. Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy and Transformation Richard Watson for the ICB commented,

“It is great to see STEAM already making a positive impact. The voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector is an extremely important partner for statutory health and social care. These trusted community organisations assist by providing an additional and sometimes alternative line of support for the NHS, first responders and the local authority”.

If you would like to find out more about STEAM Bury St Edmunds and its offering visit or call 01284 630923.