Northamptonshire mental health helpline called 200,000 times in two years

The 24-hour helpline provides mental health care for county residents

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 9:40 am

The number of calls to a dedicated Northamptonshire-wide 24-hour mental health number has hit 200,000 in the past two years, figures have revealed.

In March 2020, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and Mind launched the mental health lifeline providing round-the-clock advice and support for county residents.

Working closely with partner services to help callers within just two years, the service has received a staggering 200,000 calls from adults across Northamptonshire.

200,000 calls have been made to the mental health helpline

Christine Edwards, team leader for the mental health number at NHFT, has spearheaded the service.

She said: “Over the last two years we have all faced unfamiliar adversity and uncertainty. As crises continue to occur, both at home and overseas, we continue to provide vital support for our communities. If I could pass one message onto anyone struggling it would be to pick up the phone whenever you feel in need of support.

“Our mental health navigators are here to work with you to put a plan in place, whether you’re already receiving support, or maybe you don’t know how you feel – maybe you just need advice. The team have developed a directory of all open services within Northamptonshire and aim to ensure that each caller gets the right outcome from identified need.

“We work closely with ambulance teams (EMAS) and Northamptonshire Police to improve the pathways for the person in crisis, to ensure they receive the right care for them.”

The service was launched two years ago as the UK entered an unprecedented initial three-week lockdown as part of a range of measures introduced to combat the effects of the global Covid pandemic. Daily routines changed rapidly, and it was a time of enormous uncertainty.

Within that same week in March 2020, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and mental health charity Mind launched the 24-hour mental health number.

Northamptonshire Mind chief executive officer Sarah Hillier said: “The onset of the pandemic saw a rise in the number of people in our communities seeking help and the 24-hour mental health number was an invaluable tool in responding to that demand.

"A single number for the public and professionals to call at any time of day or night simplified the way into the mental health service and has provided an improved service to the people of Northamptonshire.

“Anyone in Northamptonshire is welcome to call – whether they are receiving mental health treatment or not.

“It has been a collaborative venture which has helped to combat the uncertainty and anxiety of the past two years and indeed, the ongoing events which have had a negative impact on mental well-being.”

The mental health number is designed to be the only number you need to call for mental health support. The team can provide immediate support or help to find the right service.

Carers are also welcome to call for a discussion about the services available, as well as families and friends.

To speak to someone on the mental health number call 0800 448 0828 any time, any day.

To find out more about mental health services across Northamptonshire visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/mentalhealth.

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