HELPLINE SUPPORT EXTENDED FOR ADVICE AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
A helpline offering advice and emotional support has been extended to be available 24/7 as people across Lancashire and South Cumbria deal with the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on their mental health.
The helpline operated by the area’s leading mental health provider Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust is available for anyone who is struggling to cope, feeling isolated or experiencing mental health problems such as stress, anxiety or depression.
Perri McGovern, Acting Service Manager for the Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline explained that it was a really uncertain and worrying time for the community. She said: “It can be difficult to manage mental health and wellbeing when you are not able to do the things that matter most to you like seeing your family and friends or just simply going out to work.
“We recognise this and want to support people whenever they are feeling this way. I am pleased that we’ve been able to extend our usual service hours to be available 24/7 at a time when people really need some extra support. It is important everyone knows you’re not alone and support is much closer than you think.
“I would urge anyone who needs support, a conversation or is suffering with a mental health problem to call or text us for emotional support and a listening ear.”
The helpline initially expanded in September last year when it added a text service for people to make contact without speaking to people. Feedback from service users since then demonstrates that 100 per cent of people who have used the service, say they would do so again.
The helpline can be contacted on 0800 915 4640 or by texting ‘hello’ to 07862 022846.
A member of the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust is currently delivering a series of weekly webinars to support families with mental health during this crisis. He is the founder of Change Talks, an educational programme on mental health that is (in normal circumstances) delivered to children and young people in schools across the region.
Social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, diet and routine, are important protective factors for mental health. Materials to promote and support mental wellbeing are included in the list of online resources we have published to help children to learn at home. Public Health England’s Rise Above platform supports young people. The Department of Health and Social Care is providing £5 million of additional funding to support mental health charities to increase their provision for adults and children at this time.
Social isolation, reduced exercise, and bereavement, may affect children’s wellbeing in this period.
Resources to promote and support children and young people’s mental wellbeing include:
All NHS mental health trusts are setting up 24/7 helplines, and seeking to use digital and virtual channels, to continue delivering support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.