MENTAL health campaigners have praised a ‘fantastic’ new crisis centre but urged more still needs to be done.

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell visited the newly-opened Richmond Fellowship’s mental health crisis service in Burnley.

The service at Oak House in Padiham Road offers people living with mental health issues across East Lancashire a place of sanctuary.

Mr Campbell, who is an ambassador for Time to Change and other mental health charities, said it will provide a crucial service.

He said: “With the campaigning we are going in the right direction in terms of removing that stigma.

“But policy makers can’t use that as an excuse, they need to put in what’s needed. Everyone has mental health, and everyone will know someone affected by it. The world is a tricky place, it’s scary and people need to know they have somewhere they can go.

“If you’re from Burnley, if you’re from Blackburn or Accrington, it’s fantastic to have this local service for local people, they need that middle ground for help.”

The house has 10 members of staff and five rooms available for guests to stay in for up to seven days at a time. The new services comes after the success of their other Lancashire base in Coppull.

The work is in partnership with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, and they aim to work with each individual guest to give them the help they need.

Derek Caren, chief executive of Richmond Fellowship, said: “We are delighted to launch the new service. Two years ago this was just a concept. We’ve worked with the trust over the past two years and wanted to provided local services in Lancashire.”

Burnley MP Julie Cooper also visited the site and urged more work to be done looking into mental health. She said: “This is fantastic to have this facility in Burnley, but we need more, the problems are not going to solve themselves.”