At the start of March 2020, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and the mental health charity, Mind, launched the 24/7 mental health support number for people across Northamptonshire.
Within the first month, from 16 March – 15 April 2020, more than 3,659 calls were made to the Mental Health number. It has been designed to be the only number you need to call for mental health support in the county. When an individual calls, a trained member of staff will find the right support for the individual, whether this is from the NHS; the voluntary and community sector; or advice over the telephone.
Anyone in Northamptonshire is welcome to call, whether they are currently receiving mental health treatment or not. Existing service users can use the number as an alternative way to contact the service already supporting them as well as a way of speaking to someone out of hours. Healthcare professionals such as GPs can also call in order to refer their patients to services for support.
No one could have predicted how much our lives would change when the Mental Health Number launched; the service has provided vital support to adults across Northamptonshire its in first year, with calls increasing month on month with an average of 7,098 being made each month.
Anne Rackham, Director of Mental Health at NHFT said: “Looking back on the first year of the Mental Health Number, we could not have predicted how integral this single point of access would become to mental health services in Northamptonshire.
“Working alongside our partners, Mind, the team provides vital mental health support to more than 300 calls each day, working around the clock to ensure that anyone who is facing a crisis can call and receive the support they need. We may not know how things might change over the next 12 months, but please know that if you are struggling with your mental health – we are here to help, any time, any day.”
Central Services Director for Northamptonshire Mind, Nigel Mansfield, said: “These have been challenging times for many people in our communities and for organisations which have been supporting the mental health needs of thousands of people across the county.
“The first year of the 24/7 mental health number has seen more than 70,000 calls, which perfectly illustrates how crucial this single access point has been in supporting people with their mental health. Along with our partners at NHFT, we would urge anyone who needs our support to get in touch – you are not alone.”
NHFT and Mind continue to work in collaboration to provide mental health support to people across Northamptonshire, operating drop in cafes for anyone who is facing a crisis. With locations across the county and extended opening times, trained colleagues are on hand to offer confidential advice and support.
Anyone in Northamptonshire can reach mental health support at any time by calling this number: 0800 448 0828. Please also visit thementalhealthnumber.me for more information.