24/7 Mental health helpline enters new phase with increased support and partnership working

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s mental health support line, now renamed the Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service, is one of several major innovations to support service users during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The helpline is now a permanent service, with an even broader offer of support and advice for local residents, thanks to an innovative collaboration with third sector organisations and the emergency services.

The helpline’s new name of Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service was chosen by Derbyshire residents with lived experience of mental ill health. The helpline number remains the same – 0800 028 0077 – and it remains a 24/7 service for Derby and Derbyshire residents of all ages.

  • The helpline team now consists of staff from the charity P3, as well as clinical staff from Derbyshire Healthcare. The first point of contact for anyone who calls the helpline is now likely to be one of P3’s team of advisers, who will help callers to consider options for managing their concerns, by exploring self-help resources, coping skills and community-based support in their area, and with practical advice about organisations that can help people with issues like housing and finance. At times calls may be answered by a Derbyshire Healthcare clinician.
  • Working alongside the P3 team will be advisers from Derbyshire Federation for Mental Health (DFMH) who specialise in supporting children and young people and will ensure the helpline can provide an effective response to younger callers.
  • The P3 and DFMH staff will have the option to escalate a call to a Derbyshire Healthcare mental health professional on the helpline. Our clinical team will then explore with the caller what additional help and support may be required. The clinical team will continue to work closely with Derbyshire Constabulary, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the 111 service run by DHU Healthcare, providing a triage function and crisis response for individuals coming into to contact with emergency services.
  • If helpline team colleagues believe that a caller would benefit from face-to-face support, they can now also arrange for them to visit a new ‘safe haven’ that has been opened in Derby. At the safe haven, support workers from the charity Richmond Fellowship will offer further one-to-one support and help address issues that may be affecting the individual’s mental health or making them feel isolated within their community. The mental health crisis services for Derbyshire will also work closely with the safe haven.

The helpline and NHS 111 are the best places to signpost local residents who are in distress or experiencing any form of mental health crisis.

But if individuals are already receiving secondary mental health care, for example through a community mental health team (CMHT), they should make contact with their usual care co-ordinator if they need urgent support

If anyone is having suicidal thoughts or has attempted to harm themselves, the first port of call should be to call 999 or go straight to a hospital emergency department

For individuals who are experiencing common mental health problems like anxiety or low mood, the first point of contact should be their GP or one of the IAPT talking therapies providers.

Learn more about the helpline’s development on the Trust website.