Northamptonshire's mental health phoneline received more than 3,100 calls for help in 11 days over festive period

The mental health number averaged more than 250 calls per day

By Max Pearson
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 3:10 pm

Northamptonshire' s mental health help line received more than 3,100 calls in just 11 days during the festive season, averaging more than calls per day.

The mental health number, which was launched back in April 2020, is a 24/ hour telephone helpline designed as the only number you need to call for mental health support in the county.

It is partnered with mental health charities to provide drop-in services and other support to help people take steps towards improving their mental health.

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The news arrives with even more demand expected in 2022

But this Christmas, the service has encountered significant demand, including people in crisis.

In a statement, the Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), said: “Throughout the Christmas period, 24 December to 3 January, more than 3,100 calls were made to the mental health number.

“During this time, people came to us for a range of reasons including urgent crisis support, for often complex matters, or emotional support when dealing with isolation or loneliness.

“Our crisis services are here for you, no matter the time or day.

"Call 0800 448 0828 or visit our website for locations and opening times to drop into one of our crisis cafes, there is no need to book.

"Services are operated by Northamptonshire Mind and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – offering free support for anyone dealing with mental health difficulty.”

The numbers come after mental health services across the county have seen a marked increase in demand, amidst the spread of Covid-19 as well as rising costs of living.

Unfortunately, the rise has not been restricted solely to mature adults.

Sharon Womersley is the CEO of the The Lowdown, a mental health charity that offers free and confidential counselling for young people aged 11 to 25.

The CEO reported that during the last financial year her charity delivered a 45 percent increase in counselling sessions to meet demand. She also revealed a 52 percent increase in referrals so far this financial year.

Mrs Womersley said: "The lowdown has seen a significant increase in demand for our services.

"Our main cause for concern is the increase in self harm and suicidal thoughts of the young people receiving support from the lowdown.

"For the future our main concern is being able to meet the demand for our services as I think this will continue to increase.

"Reach out, support is there, please do not suffer alone. Both for adults and young people there are wellbeing cafes available providing immediate access to support.

"There are also many help lines available, as detailed on our website."

If you are struggling, you can visit the NHFT's website, or call the Mental Health Number, any time of day or night, on: 0800 448 0828