Thu. Dec 3rd, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Mental health support available 24/7 from NHS helpline

2 min read
Now important support for Islanders suffering mental health issues during the virus lockdown is available from 111 - whenever it is needed.

Specialist mental health support is now available around the clock by calling the NHS 24/7 Mental Health Triage Service via 111. The service allows young people and adults who experience mental health problems to have direct access to expert advice, assessment and support 24/7 via the NHS 111 helpline, in the same way it does for anyone living across Hampshire including Portsmouth and Southampton.

The service enables people who call NHS 111 while experiencing mental health concerns to be transferred to the Mental Health Triage service. They will be able to support people by:

  • Telephone consultations and offering self-help guidance
  • Access electronic patient records
  • Refer people to community mental health teams
  • Enable people to be supported at home
  • Help de-escalate people in mental health crisis.

 

Lesley Stevens, Director of Mental Health & Learning Disabilities said: ” We are very pleased to be able to extend this service to people on the Island. Having mental health professionals involved at such an early stage of a 111 or 999 call will improve access to our services. People can call NHS 111, be assessed and receive the best care that suits their needs.

“The Mental Health Triage Service will also be able to arrange an appointment with the callers local GP or community mental health team and respond to anyone in an urgent crisis”

Victoria White, Head of Ambulance said: “The Island NHS 111 service currently receives approximately 40 Mental Health calls per month so we aim to not only improve the experience for people with mental health concerns but enable patients to access the most appropriate help in a clinically safe timeframe which may not always be an ambulance or a hospital admission.

“Having a mental health triage team accessible 24/7 to the NHS 111 and 999 services will ensure we improve the patient experience by streamlining the patient journey”

James Seward, Locality Director and Mental Health Lead for NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Having easy access to mental health resources is always crucial – and with the current pandemic we know these services are needed more than ever. The NHS 111 number is easy to remember and use. I’m so pleased Island residents are now able to call the number and have the option to speak to the Mental Health Triage Team for quick and easy access to support.

“Often providing support early on can prevent the situation from escalating into a crisis – this is why it’s vital people come forward and seek support if they are worried about their mental health. It’s been great to work with our NHS partners to deliver this service and look forward to more collaborative working going forward.”

If anyone is experiencing a mental health crisis and is in need of urgent care or support, please dial 111 and speak a mental health nurse/practitioner. If you are currently using mental health services you should contact your Community Mental Health Team or out of hours service first.