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Freephone NHS helpline set to improve access to mental health crisis support

Mental Health Helpline now available 24 hours a day and free of call charges

People living in Surrey and North East Hampshire can now access specialist mental health advice and support round the clock – with the launch of a new and improved NHS helpline.

The Mental Health Crisis Helpline is an NHS telephone service run by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Lines are manned by trained call handlers who support local residents who are concerned about themselves, or a friend or relative, in mental health crisis.

Previously an evening and weekend service, the Mental Health Crisis Helpline is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be accessed completely free of charge thanks to a new Freephone number.

The helpline is also now supported by qualified mental health practitioners, such as a social worker, mental health nurse or an occupational therapist, who provide expert support and work closely with the Trust’s Home treatment Team to help adults of all ages access urgent face to face assessments if needed.

Additional call handlers have been recruited to increase capacity and all staff have completed a new training package which has been designed especially for the service.

The service has been co-designed with people who use services, carers and representatives from health and care organisations.

• Freephone number for Surrey and NE Hants residents and their carers: 0800 915 4644
• Health and care professionals advice: 0300 456 83 42
• Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
• Calls to the previous Mental Health Crisis Helpline number (0300 456 83 42) will be answered by the same team but will be charged. Calls are charged at a local rate from UK landlines. Mobile costs may vary.
• Accessibility for people with speech or hearing difficulties: SMS text 07717 989 024 or Next Generation Text Service textphone: 18001 0800 915 4644
• Find out more at www.sabp.nhs.uk/help