A dedicated mental health helpline set up to support people living in Herefordshire and Worcestershire experiencing a mental health crisis has proved invaluable during the pandemic.
The 24/7 mental health helpline supports people who are experiencing a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or are experiencing problems for the first time.
The service saw a 68% increase in calls between March 2020 and April this year, handling over 1,000 calls each month.
Provided by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the main provider of mental health services across both counties, the service is manned by a team of dedicated mental health professionals.
They offer advice, support and, if required, an assessment to identify the best support for an individual, which could include referral to the Crisis Assessment Team, or other mental health services such as Herefordshire and Worcestershire Healthy Minds or another specialist mental health service.
The team recognises that people may require support in different ways; seeing people in their home and seeing people in person is often beneficial and is considered as part of the way care is delivered.
If appropriate, patients may also be asked to attend the new purpose built Crisis Assessment Suite to receive urgent support and treatment. The Crisis Assessment Suite opened in Worcester last year. It provides a safe space for people in a mental health crisis, ensuring people get the specialist help they need as soon as possible.
Emma Webber, Associate Director of Specialist Mental Health and Learning Disability Services said, “The service has supported a significant reduction in the number of patients attending A&E in a mental health crisis, instead ensuring they can get the specialist mental health support they need.
I encourage anyone who feels they are in crisis to contact our team, or any of the national services to seek help as soon as they can. We’re a judgement free service, here to help you get the support you need.”
The service can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is open to people of all ages – including children and young people.
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Urgent Helpline: 0808 196 9127.
Parents can call for their children, and support is available for all ages.
The lines are also open to professionals such as police and paramedics who may have concerns about someone.
If someone’s life is in immediate danger, for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose or you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe call 999.