Coronavirus: New mental health support available for Melton residents
Councils, police and the NHS have joined forces during Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday, to encourage residents who are experiencing mental health concerns during the pandemic to seek help.
Those working in partnership on the project include Leicestershire County Council, which leads the Start a Conversation suicide prevention campaign, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups, Leicestershire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
A new central access point number – 0116 295 3060 – is now available for anyone of any age in the two counties and a tailored mental health information, advice and support resource can be accessed at www.startaconversation.co.uk for those in crisis.
Cllr Lee Breckon, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at County Hall, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown are presenting a range of challenges to our mental health, with an increased number of residents across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland sadly reaching crisis point and unsure of where to turn.
“We hope these resources help to signpost people to the most appropriate support for them in a clear and effective way.”
Dr Sue Elcock, medical director for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, commented: “We recognise the emotional burden the current unprecedented changes to daily life can potentially exert on people of all ages.
“Our new central access point number is a 24-hour helpline where anyone of any age in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland can get NHS advice and support for urgent mental health needs.”
Chief Inspector Steve Riley, mental health lead for Leicestershire Police, said: “We have seen a significant increase in calls relating to mental health over the past few weeks.
“We recognise the importance of mental health and stand ready to assist our partners, the ambulance service and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, commented: “I would urge anyone who is struggling to cope to access the support available to them.
“I can’t stress enough that it is a sign of strength to seek help and we have all worked hard to ensure that services remain accessible.
“Many people suffer from loneliness at any time, but the feelings of isolation and anxiety at the moment may well be heightened for very understandable reasons.
“I’m really pleased to join with our partners in promoting these resources which will provide vital support to those with mental health needs when they need it most.”