Dr Amir Niazi, National Clinical Adviser and Group Lead for Mental Health; Minister Mary Butler; Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Kieran McCarthy; Breda Richardson, Operational Manager Solace Café and; James Creasey, Occupational Therapist Manager at the officially opening of Solace Café. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

Mental health café opens on Leeside

A café funded by the HSE has been officially opened in Cork city centre, serving as an out-of-hours support service for those experiencing mental health difficulties.

Minister Mary Butler TD officially opened the Solace Café at 22 Sullivan’s Quay on Monday.

At the opening, the Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People said the “important” service would not just provide support for those experiencing mental health difficulties, but it would also provide support to the families of those in

crisis. “I am delighted to officially open Solace Café here in the heart of Cork city.

This is the first of five planned crisis resolution service cafes in Ireland to open,” said Minister Butler. According to the HSE, when individuals experience a mental health crisis, it often happens outside of the regular working hours of 9-5. Solace Café aims to provide a safe and welcoming service for adults who need help and support when facing mental health difficulties, or distress.

The service operates during evenings and weekends in a non-clinical environment.

It is designed to provide social, peer, crisis, and recovery-based support services to those in need.

The cafe is the result of a collaboration between the HSE and Cork Mental Health Foundation.

Tess O’Donovan, Chief Officer for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, said the café will serve as a secure haven for individuals seeking support, with the goal of avoiding crisis and reducing the need for hospitalisation.

“This service is critically vital and addresses a pressing need within our community,” she said.

The team at the café consists of a manager, service co-ordinators, peer connectors, volunteers, and admin staff.

Together, they provide personalised support plans that are tailored to each individual's unique needs and circumstances.

The service co-ordinators work closely with individuals to create a plan that meets their needs and helps them to manage their mental health and wellbeing.