Access Mental Health – supporting you in a crisis

Access Mental Health during the pandemic 

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is particularly difficult for people who are experiencing mental ill health and emotional distress. The situation is unprecedented and will impact the way that we run our Access Mental Health services.

Our face-to-face drop-ins are back open for The Retreats in Bournemouth and Dorchester and Community Front Rooms, and we are continuing to offer virtual support.

The Retreat, Bournemouth is open for face-to-face and virtual drop-ins from 4.30-11.30pm every day. 

The Retreat, Dorchester is open for face-to-face drop-ins from 4.30-11.30pm Sunday-Wednesday and virtual drop-ins from 4.30-11.30pm every day.

Community Front Rooms are open Thursday-Sunday from 3.15-10.45pm in Bridport, Wareham, Weymouth and Shaftsbury for face-to-face and virtual drop-ins.

The 24/7 Connection phone line is open. If you require urgent mental health support call 0800 652 0190 or NHS 111 and you will be signposted to the right service for the support you need. Healthcare professionals can also contact Connection for help and signposting.  The team will direct them as needed.

Virtual drop-ins

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering virtual meetings using Attend Anywhere.

This means you can have a virtual face-to-face meeting with one of our team members online. This can be accessed through the links below or, if you prefer a phone call, contact the free 24/7 Connection phone line on 0800 652 0190  where staff will refer you to your local community front room.





The Retreat


If you are struggling to cope or feel yourself nearing a breakdown, Access Mental Health is here to provide help.

Designed in partnership with local people, it offers a range of services which provide support at times and places when people need it the most.

The Retreat is run in partnership with Dorset Mental Health Forum.

The Community Front Rooms are run by local charities:

  • Wareham - Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA)
  • Bridport - BCHA and Burrough Harmony
  • Shaftesbury - BCHA and HOPE
  • Weymouth - BCHA. 

You don’t need to be referred by your GP or other health professional, you can just reach out for help when you need it. Mental health professionals and peer support workers will be on hand to help you avoid a crisis and help you find the path to recovery.

People of any age and their families can access our services.

  • Connection – a 24/7 helpline open to all ages. Dorset residents or people visiting Dorset can call 0800 652 0190 or NHS 111 for free
  • The Retreat – open to anyone aged 18 or above, providing a safe space to seek face-to-face help and support. 
  • Community Front Rooms – open to anyone aged 18 or above, providing a welcoming, safe space where you can discuss problems and work towards possible solutions. It is open from 3.15-10.45pm, Thursday-Sunday, at locations in Bridport, Shaftesbury, Weymouth and Wareham. 


If you are feeling like you can't cope, or if you know someone who is struggling with their mental health, there are a range of other local services and charities that can also provide support. Find out more. Please also find mental health tips in other languages

To visit our community mental health pages, please click on one of the links below:

Community Mental Health - adults of working age (CMHT - A)

Community Mental Health - Older peoples (CMHT - OP)


Mental Health and learning disabilities