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24/7 mental health helpline launches in Lancashire

Posted on - 20th July, 2022 - 2:39pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Preston News, South Ribble News
A 24/7 phone line has been launched to offer mental health help and support. Picture: Lancashire NHS

A service offering residents mental health help and support 24 hours a day has been launched.

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Residents across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble will be able to call a Freephone number – 0800 013 0708 – for urgent and general mental health support every day.

Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust has launched the service which is managed within a call centre setting, based at Avondale Unit, Royal Preston Hospital and is made up of a team of Call Handlers and Mental Health Practitioners who take calls and manage referrals from patients, service users, families, carer’s and professionals, aiming to ensure callers are connected to the right professional in a timely manner.

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The team may arrange for the caller to receive support over the phone or for a mental health practitioner to see them at home, at a GP practice or another mutually agreed place to allow further information about current mental health needs. Information about other services that could assist will also be shared, if appropriate.

This new approach will help improve access to mental health services – particularly during evenings and weekends – across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, and is part of a wider programme of work across the health system, to transform access to mental health services for local people and their carers who have a mental health need or are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Caroline Donovan, Chief Executive at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a major improvement for the residents of Preston, Chorley and South Ribble who need to access help and support from our mental health services.

“This new Freephone number means people will be able to access practical advice and emotional support from qualified nursing staff and where appropriate, access to the right services in a more timely way.”

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The Trust has worked with GPs, MPs, representatives from the voluntary sector, as well as other key stakeholders across the health system, to develop this approach to make sure it meets the needs of patients and service users.

Caroline said: “This approach will mean we are better able to meet the varied needs of anyone trying to access mental health support. Whether it be an immediate response, routine appointment booking or even advice on how to access additional information, people will be able to call one phone number and receive the response they need.”

In addition, a partnership between Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust and SignVideo, the leading British Sign Language (BSL) Video Remote Interpreting and BSL Video Relay Service Provider in the UK, means that people from the deaf community living across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble are able to access the Trust’s mental health services whether for urgent or general mental health care, via the support of an interpreter by visiting the Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust website here.

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