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Mental health phone line helps 25,000 callers in seven months

​More than 25,000 callers to a mental health phone line launched seven months ago have received immediate help from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

NSFT, in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups, established the 24-hour service to provide immediate support to anyone experiencing mental health difficulties.

Anyone in need can dial 0808 196 3494 and be connected to trained staff at the Trust.

One caller to the helpline commented: “I have been extremely impressed with the service and as someone who finds going into A and E, or other alternative crisis environments, very distressing I have found that the support they can offer over the phone has changed my entire experiences of my crises.

The staff are always understanding and are always able to spot my distress even though it is not always stereotypically displayed.”

Since April 2020, a total of 12,473 callers to the helpline have received mental health support via telephone or video consultation, face to face assessment, referral to specialist mental health services or signposting to another specialist or voluntary sector service.

Stuart Richardson, chief operating officer at NSFT said: “It is vital that people in mental health crisis are able to access specialist support without delay. Our first response 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 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.