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 Retreats in Bournemouth and Dorchester.
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.
If you are unable to get to Bournemouth or Dorchester, virtual support is available at our Community Front Rooms in Bridport, Wareham and Shaftesbury, Thursday-Sunday, 2.15-9.45pm and in Weymouth, Monday - Sunday 2.15-9.45pm. All offer face-to-face and virtual drop-ins.
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.
The Bournemouth Retreat is open from 4.30-11.30pm every day and Dorchester’s Retreat is open from 4.30-11.30pm Saturday-Wednesday for face-to-face drop-ins.
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.