Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disabilities services across much of the north east of England and most of North Yorkshire, have introduced an all age, single point of access telephone number for local people to call in a mental health emergency.
With 15 crisis teams supporting children, adults and older people across the large geography of the Trust, the single point of access replaces individual team numbers, making it as simple as possible for people to access professional mental health support when they are most in need.
The phone line, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offers callers, including those with learning disabilities and/or autism, a series of options which will divert them to their local service.
Ruth Hill, chief operating officer at the Trust, said: “If a person’s mental or emotional state gets worse quickly, it’s important that they are able to access help fast.
“Experiencing a mental health crisis can be a frightening and can leave people feeling alone, out of control and unable to cope.
"Having a single telephone number means people don’t have to work out who their local team is and which number they need to call when they are in a heightened level of distress; helping to remove barriers to services and ensuring people get the right support, from the right people when they most need it.
“Over the last couple of years crisis services across TEWV have been focussing on delivering quality improvements that will enhance patient centred care.
"We are confident that the new phone line will help improve access and pathways into services whilst complimenting alternative service provision and options.
“We are committed to continuing to improve crisis services to ensure they are ‘fit for the future’ and that they meet the diverse needs of people in the local communities.”
Advice on what to do in a mental health crisis is available on our website, www.tewv.nhs.uk/crisisadvice or you can contact your local crisis team via the single point of access telephone number 0300 0200317.