Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disabilities services in County Durham, Darlington, Teesside and most of North Yorkshire, has introduced a freephone line to make it easier to get help in a mental health emergency.
Those in mental distress, including children and older people, can now contact their local crisis service on freephone number 08000 516171.
Following the success of the trust’s single point of access telephone number launched earlier in the year, and in response to national guidance, the freephone line will help reduce barriers to accessing urgent mental health support.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, callers, including those with learning disabilities and/or autism, will be offered a series of options which will divert them to their local crisis service. People calling the existing single point of access number will automatically be diverted to the freephone line with a view to this replacing the number in the coming months.
Ruth Hill, chief operating officer at TEWV, said: “Having a freephone line for those in mental distress is the right thing to do and we are pleased to be able to offer this.
“Over the last couple of years crisis services across TEWV have been focussing on delivering quality improvements that will enhance patient care.
“We are confident that the freephone line will help improve access and pathways into services and will compliment alternative service provision available in the area.
“At TEWV we place those who use our services at the centre of all we do and are working hard to make sure that our crisis services meet the needs of our local communities and are fit for the future.”
For advice on what to do in a mental health emergency visit www.tewv.nhs.uk/crisisadvice.