A 24-hour mental health helpline has just been made available to residents in Manchester who are suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
The scheme is staffed by people who have previously suffered from mental health difficulties themselves and will therefore be able to offer advice and support to those who need it when a doctor or counsellor may not be available.
As well as providing a friendly face when people need it most, it is also hoped that the free phone service will be able to help those having a mental health crisis so that they don’t have to go to A&E or call the police.
In addition to offering phone line support, the scheme, which is being run by mental health charity, Self Help Services is also providing rooms where people can physically go and visit support workers from the hours of 8pm and 6am when other sources of support may not be available.
The extended service is an addition to an already successful service which has helped more than 1,000 people since opening in 2013. 43% of those who used the service said that they would have otherwise gone to the hospital or called the police and 7% said that they would have attempted suicide or self harm had that support not been so immediately available.
The Chief Officer of Self Help Services, Nicky Ledbetter commented:
“The new extension to our service will allow us to support more people who are in crisis - providing support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We look forward to continuing to work with emergency services, GPs and groups in the community to ensure that people receive the right support at the right time.”
Do you think that other parts of the UK should adopt around-the-clock support services for people suffering with mental health issues? If you were feeling particularly vulnerable due to depression or other illnesses, do you think you would call on these services for help? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.