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24/7 mental health crisis lines now free to call

Newsdate: June 2020

People living in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan who need urgent mental health support can now call our 24/7 crisis lines for free.

We have upgraded our existing 24/7 mental health crisis lines to Freephone numbers. This means they are now free to call from both landlines and mobile phones.

The new dedicated phone numbers are:

· 0800 051 3253 – for people living in Wigan
· 0800 051 1508 – for people living in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington

The crisis lines provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages, including children and young people, who need urgent mental health support.

Please be assured, anyone who dials the original local numbers will still reach our mental health crisis teams first time, without the need to be diverted. However, calls made to the original numbers will be charged.

John Heritage, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at North West Boroughs Healthcare, said: “We recognise that these challenging times are affecting a lot of people’s mental wellbeing.

“We are committed to responding to people’s needs and our dedicated 24/7 mental health crisis lines offer local, specialised support in a timely, person-centred and safe way.

“Now that these are free to call, it will make accessing the necessary support in times of crisis even easier.”

Dr Claire Bullen-Foster, Assistant Clinical Director – Mental Health Crisis Implementation, explained what happens when someone calls the crisis lines.

She said: “Our crisis lines aim to help children, young people and adults who need urgent mental health support because they are experiencing emotional distress and are struggling to cope.

“We also take calls from family members, carers or anyone who is concerned that someone they know is experiencing a mental health crisis.

“When someone calls the crisis line, they will speak with a mental health professional who will provide advice and guidance and who will work with the caller to plan how they can manage the situation and their feelings.

“The crisis lines are manned by mental health professionals who have the expertise to support people in crisis as well as having local knowledge about the health, social and voluntary services and trusted online resources that can provide support beyond the immediate crisis.”

For more information about the crisis lines and the range of support available, please visit: www.nwbh.nhs.uk