Woman calling the NHS one-stop 24/7 mental health phone-line in Birmingham and Solihull

NHS’ ONE-STOP 24/7 MENTAL HEALTH PHONE-LINE DEBUTS

The NHS has joined forces with Living Well UK and Birmingham Mind, to launch the region’s first one-stop mental health call-line for Birmingham and Solihull. Designed to make accessing mental health support as easily as possible, the 24-hour telephone number will allow callers to get immediate help over the phone from trained staff, as well as bespoke plans for aftercare assistance, all remotely.

The one-stop mental health call-line for Birmingham and Solihull is part of a suite of early intervention methods, which also includes a Live Web Chat instant messenger service and an email address operated by trained staff to address mental health concerns.

The trio of services comes at a critical point for NHS mental health services: since the start of the pandemic, there has been a sharp surge in the number of people reporting mental health issues, and with the third national lockdown being announced this week, this is only set to rise further. The latest studies predict that up to 10 million people in England – almost 20% of the population – will need either new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 crisis, pushing the already strained services to a critical point.

 Speaking about the new one-stop mental health call-line for Birmingham and Solihull, Sean O’Rourke, mental health nurse and manager at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG commented:

“This new 24-hour phone-line, alongside the LiveChat and email service, are so desperately needed, and so much hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that we can offer an optimised, efficient, and simple service for those who need it in our region.

“The nation’s mental health is at an all-time low, with economic, health and social uncertainty and insecurity being acutely felt by so many. Therefore, we know that it is more important than ever that people have the ability to seek and receive help when they need it; getting timely targeted support before their mental health deteriorates further.

The one-stop mental health call-line for Birmingham and Solihull is available to anyone living in the region who is registered with a GP. Whether they are dealing with anxiety and worry; experiencing burn-out or stress; or simply feeling a little down: the NHS one-stop 24/7 mental health phone-line provides all with a safe space to talk to a therapist, as well as giving referral access to immediate counselling support if required.

Added to this, the LiveChat – which is open from 10am-9pm – delivers the same service, meaning those who are nervous about picking up the phone can still receive help in real-time from trained staff. What’s more, it offers a translation service, meaning that those seeking assistance can do so in whatever language suits them best.

Helen Wadley, the CEO of Birmingham Mind, added:

The phone-line, LiveChat, and email services are available to all in the region, and we cannot stress enough that they are there to be used. Too often, we’re seeing people reach out for help far too late, and – like physical health – we know that the earlier we detect a problem, the quicker and easier it is to resolve.”

“Our expert staff and therapists are on hand around the clock, so pick up the phone and give us a call. If you’re not sure what you need, if you feel like it’s all getting too much, or if you simply can’t do it alone, it’s okay – we’re here to help you, ” concluded Ben Howells, the CEO at Living Well UK.

To seek advice, support or counselling, call the NHS one-stop 24/7 mental health phone-line on 0121 262 3555. You can also find out more about additional services by visiting: https://www.birminghamandsolihullccg.nhs.uk/your-health/mental-health-support-offer

Hattie D'Souza