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People who engaged with us also told us that when experiencing mental health crises, they need to be able to get support quickly.
We have now introduced a dedicated mental health crisis helpline.
Because of the increased demand caused by coronavirus, we had to do this quickly.
However, in the future, we’re planning to make this even easier, by introducing ‘111 option 2’ instead – an easy-to-remember number that is familiar to people.
Our vision is that people who call 111 and press option 2 will get through to a trained mental health team member who will make sure they get the support they need.
For example, Alice is has recently finished her A Levels and is feeling overwhelmed by her future. She has begun to hear voices and thinks the TV and radio are talking to her, which she finds very distressing. Her parents do their best to support her but one evening she locks herself in her room and threatens to harm herself. Her parents recognise that Alice is having a crisis so contact the Crisis First Response Service telephone line.
The person who answers the call offers Alice and her parents some immediate advice and support whilst arranging for a specialist crisis response team to contact Alice.
Within 4 hours Alice is being supported by a specialist crisis professional who assesses her needs and provides intensive support to Alice in her own home. With input from Alice and her parents they draw up a care plan, including anti-psychotic medication to help with the voices.
Alice’s care plan means she now has access to interventions that will support her and her family’s needs whilst she recovers. With support, Alice learns to manage her condition and get on with her life.