Mental health phone line helps 24,000 callers

October 9, 2020

More than 24,000 callers to a crisis mental health phone line launched six months ago have received immediate help from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).

EPUT, in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups, established the 24-hour service to provide immediate support to adults experiencing mental health crisis.

Anyone in need can dial 111 and press 2 for mental health crisis and be connected to trained staff at the Trust.

One person who is encouraging those in crisis to pick up the phone is Mark Dale, an EPUT volunteer and Governor, who considered taking his own life before reaching out for help.

He said: “Suicide and mental health shouldn’t be taboo subjects. I was lucky, I was helped. If you’re struggling, please pick up the phone and seek help. It’s ok not to be ok.”

Since May 2020, a total of 20,080 callers to the 111 crisis line have received mental health support via telephone or video consultation, face to face assessment, referral to specialist mental health service or signposting to another specialist or voluntary sector service.

Paul Scott, Chief Executive at EPUT, said: “It is vital that people in mental health crisis are able to access specialist support without delay. Our 111 service enables people to do just that.

“If you or someone you care about is experiencing mental health difficulties, please know you are not alone. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

The 111 crisis mental health helpline was launched in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Essex.

The service does not replace 999. Anyone in mental health crisis who requires serious or life threatening emergency mental or physical care, should dial 999 immediately.

The crisis phone line is for people aged 18 and over. Anyone under the age of 18 or family members of anyone under the age of 18 in crisis, should call North East London NHS Foundation Trust’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service on 0300 555 1201.