The Retreat

The Retreat – a safe place to discuss your problems and access peer support

If you are struggling to cope with life and feel yourself approaching a crisis point, you can attend The Retreat in Hahnemann Road, Bournemouth. The Retreat located at Maiden Castle Road in Dorchester is temporarily closed until the new year.

The Retreat aims to provide you with a safe and welcoming environment where you can discuss your problems and work towards solutions. Staffed by both mental health professionals and peer specialists (people who have their own lived experience of mental health issues), The Retreat offers out-of-hours support and advice on self-management.

You can attend if you want to try to avoid a crisis, or if you feel you have already reached a crisis point. It is up to you how you define this - you don’t need to be referred by a doctor or other health professional. You don’t need to phone ahead, just turn up and ring the front doorbell. However, where possible we would encourage you to attend before 11pm in order to make best use of this service.

The Retreat is an open access service for adults aged 18 and over. The Retreat is not able to work with people who:

  • require medical attention beyond basic first aid/wound care
  • are intoxicated by alcohol or substances
  • display threatening or physically aggressive behaviour
  • are under the age of 18.

The Retreat in Dorchester is temporarily closed for face-to-face drop-ins until the new year due to staffing issues.

Services offered at The Retreat in Bournemouth remain unchanged. If you are unable to get to Bournemouth, virtual support is available as usual or our Community Front Rooms in Bridport, Wareham, Weymouth and Shaftesbury provide face-to-face support Thursday-Sunday from 3.15-10.45pm.

In addition, you can call our 24/7 Connection phone line for urgent mental health support on 0800 652 0190, or NHS 111, and you will be signposted to the right service for the support you need.

Current service update:

The Retreat is open for face-to-face drop-ins (4.30pm-midnight) and is continuing to offer 'virtual' drop-in sessions on Attend Anywhere for people aged 18 and over from 4.30-11.30pm every day.

Access our webinars and online face-to-face sessions via a 'virtual' drop in.

If you require urgent mental health support, please call our 24/7 Connections phone line (0800 652 0190) in the first instance and you will be signposted to the right service for the support you need.

What will happen during my time at the Retreat?

When attending the Retreat, you will be welcomed by a staff member and shown around the building. We will offer you a hot drink and give you some time to settle in. We ask that visitors sign up to an agreement. This is to find out a little bit about you, clarifying what the Retreat can offer and discussing the best way to work together during the evening.

There will be the options to engage in peer support in a café style area, to take some time out in a relaxing environment, and/or access 1-to-1 recovery-focused support with either a peer specialist or clinician. The Retreat will not offer medication or structured therapy. In some circumstances, our staff may feel the Retreat is not the most appropriate level of support for you at the time. In these cases we may offer you an assessment which may lead for further support from other clinical services. Our priority at all times is for your safety and the safety of the people who use and work in the Retreat.

The Retreat is run in partnership by Dorset Mental Health Forum and Dorset HealthCare.

Watch a video about the Retreat here.

Dorset Mental Health Forum

The Dorset Mental Health Forum is a local peer led charity.

It exists to improve the lives of everyone affected by mental illness by promoting wellbeing and recovery. Its main office is in Durngate Street, Dorchester. Click here for more information about the charity.

Other Access Mental Health services

Access Mental Health Community front rooms Connection


The Retreat - Dorchester

30 Maiden Castle Road,

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Temporarily closed.

The Retreat - Hahnemann House

Hahnemann House,
Hahnemann Road,

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Opening Times
Monday - Sunday: 4.30pm-11:30pm

Mental Health and learning disabilities