Crisis Café

Crisis Café is a youth led organisation with an active young people’s advisory group who meet weekly to co-design programmes, ensure the voices of young people are heard and that services and programmes offered meet the needs of young people. They have over 400 young mental health ambassadors representing each of the schools within the area who take up various volunteering roles according to individual interest. Their mission statement is to provide a contact point in the form of a Crisis Café where children, young people, parents and carers can access crisis mental health support and a range of early intervention services. The aim of the organisation is to help reduce the suicide rate in Northern Ireland.

Mentor: Bolster Community

Crisis Café was attracted to the mentoring support for the chance to network, share and collaborate with other local C&V organisations. The Elevate Programme supported the organisation to deliver a six-week youth-led initiative which enabled young people to discuss, plan and implement a range of community-based strategies/interventions to address health inequalities. Crisis Café Mental Health Practitioners utilised a variety of creative/therapeutic interventions to explore topics discussed along with support given to promote positive mental health, suicide awareness and develop protective factors in their lives.

In partnership with the Elevate Mentor, Crisis Café hosted a variety of local community-based organisations, drawing on collective resources available within the community, developing stronger local networks, gaining knowledge of community engagement including barriers to engagement. Crisis Café also hosted a celebration event open to all members of the public and community organisations to share learning.


As a result of the Elevate programme, young people were empowered to identify and address inequalities without limitation. A new café was launched which addressed multiple inequalities without any threshold criteria.

The project identified a solution to local need in terms of food poverty, digital poverty and mental health. This project has increased the Café’s reach in terms of young people accessing the service who come from the most disadvantaged areas. They have also received an uptake in young people seeking mental health support who have never been able to seek support before attending this project.

The mentoring enabled Crisis Café to build their connections conversations with Jacinta. As a result of the mentoring support, Bolster Community was able to share literature from Crisis Café with people and share with their Family Support Hub partners.

“The Elevate programme offered Crisis Café the opportunity to explore and address health inequalities in a way that encouraged freedom of expression and creative thought. The mentoring element of the programme enabled us to reflect on our work and create opportunities for greater community reach.”

Louise Quinn, Crisis Café