'Enhanced' mental health hotline launched for Newham
PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 12 December 2019
An improved mental health crisis line for Newham residents has been launched.
The line is open 24 hours a day, year-round and is meant to relieve pressure from A&E departments, who are often less equipped to handle a mental health crisis than they are physical emergencies.
East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) launched the enhanced help line Friday, February 8.
ELFT associate clinical director Dr Charlie Musters said: "Helping people through a mental health crisis means listening to what they are saying, and then helping to ensure there is rapid access to support.
"Too often in the past we may find that people are expected almost to be experts in how to navigate care provision themselves, meaning they can 'ricochet' between services."
The goal of the new service is to provide ease of access, improve experience and to move towards providing for patients' needs from a single point.
Diane Ball, Operational Lead for the new service, said the hope is the crisis line will develop into a dedicated mental health assessment centre, with various public health professionals on hand to support people through mental health emergencies.
She added: "This new service is designed to ensure that people do not get lost inside the system, because then things can get worse.
"We will now have mental health specialists available around the clock in order to support and direct people to the service they need."
The Enhanced Newham 24 Hour Mental Health Crisis Line is available on 020 7771 5888.