We all have mental health - for some of us it’s great and for some of us it is a real struggle. Each year World Mental Health Day (10 October) looks to get us talking about mental health.
In NW London to ensure that when people need to talk to someone urgently about their mental health a new 24/7 crisis helpline was launched earlier in the year.
This inventive idea makes mental health services quicker and easier to access and makes creating referrals easier. Ten months on from the launch Selena Cox, Service Manager at Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL), explains: “This new service has made such a difference to our patients, it’s amazing how much we can help, simply talking over the phone. Being able to offer advice and information directly to patients, carers and other professionals when they need it most often prevents a patient’s condition worsening. This not only benefits our patients but also helps our staff to intervene where they can have the most positive impact.”
It’s not just patients that have benefited from the new service but staff too. “Qualified professionals and senior doctors are available through the support line, which means we can provide advice to colleagues. The ambulance service and our local GPs are also benefiting from having experts on hand to talk to,” continued Cox. “The service has really helped join up the teams within the mental health service as well as their connections with the police, ambulance service and GPs.”
Talking to each other earlier and through clearer channels has resulted in quicker access to the most appropriate support for patients and with staff also able to spend more time with patients.
One GP commented that: “The Single Point of Access is the best anti-anxiety drug for GPs – meaning they can confidently manage their patients in the community with rapid access to expert support and advice if needed”.
The new support line has also ensured that when people need to talk about their mental health, help is available, with the new service receiving over 5,000 calls a month. Calls cover a range of issues from advice and medicine to referrals of people who are at immediate risk of suicide or who have taken an overdose.
The services accept referrals from family members, carers, the police, GPs, ambulance service and other professionals.
- To access this in Ealing, Hounslow and, Hammersmith & Fulham please call 0300 1234 244.
- To access this in Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington and, Chelsea & Westminster please call 0800 0234 650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other things for World Mental Health Day
Extra talking therapy services on World Mental Health Day
To help mark the day Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL) are holding a series of talking therapy taster sessions for staff and neighbours around them.
The theme for this year's World Mental Health Day is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress, which is why CNWL decided to offer these free of charge, taster sessions of some of the excellent courses and groups it runs.
Anyone from Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington and, Chelsea & Westminster can book a place by emailing email@example.com
New pilot pathway
Across North West London the NHS is improving support for those affected by mental health conditions. On 1 October, West London Mental Health NHS Trust (WLMHT) working in partnership with Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) introduced a pilot to improve the pathway across North West London for children and young people to access mental health inpatient care. The pilot aims to:
- Prevent avoidable time in hospital
- Admit young people closer to home
- Reduce length of stay for young people in hospital
- Eliminate clinically inappropriate out of area placements
- Reinvest savings in improved community services for young people.
New centre for children and young people in Westminster – all welcome to the opening
On 10 October itself, a new children and young people's mental health service centre will be opening in Westminster. Every month, Westminster CAMHS sees over 700 young people and their families facing mental health problems. The move has allowed the service to relocate to a new home that is more accessible and purpose adapted to the needs of its young people.
Doc Brown, of ITV’s Law & Order, C4’s The Inbetweeners and the 2016 Ricky Gervais movie David Brent: Life on the Road fame, is opening the new building. To celebrate, from 2-5pm on Monday 10 October at the new building (7a Woodfield Road, London, W9 2NW) all are invited to join Doc Brown and others in opening the centre.