Lincolnshire

Gareth Price: Experiencing a mental health crisis? Where to go for help…

It is estimated that one in four people will suffer from mental health problems at some point in their lifetime.

They can affect people from all walks of life – if you’re under stress, either at work or home, suffered a recent bereavement or struggling to cope with day-to-day life – all of these things can impact on our mental health.

Having access to the right support at the right time is crucial to helping those experiencing a mental health crisis. These are people who may feel they are at breaking point, experiencing suicidal feelings, major depression, psychosis, mania, extreme anxiety or panic attacks.

It is essential that people experiencing mental health crisis receive the care and support they need as quickly as possible, in a place they can feel safe, supported by professionals who understand their needs.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) offers a number of services to assist people when they have become mentally unwell – ranging from counselling sessions all the way through to hospital admission.

People experiencing mental health problems for the very first time, should contact their GP initially, who will be able to point them in the right direction for help.

However, patients who are already known to LPFT services, can call the Trust’s Single Point of Access Contact Centre on 0303 123 4000, if they require further assistance.

Our Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams (CRHT) were set up some 11 years ago and include a range of health professionals to assist people in their homes during an acute mental health crisis, aiming to avoid hospital admission.

They operate from bases in Lincoln, Louth, Boston and Grantham and provide intensive home support for around six weeks.

Treatment involves an initial assessment and plan of care, which can include various coping strategies, emotional support, medication management and help to identify early warning signs.

If a patient’s already in one of the trust’s mental health inpatient units, the team work closely with them to try and ensure early discharge and support them when they leave hospital and return home.

In addition to the Trust’s CRHT support, last year LPFT was awarded a portion of £15 million government funding to go towards providing alternative places of safety to support those people in mental health crisis.

Just over £405,000 will be spent on a psychiatric Clinical Decisions Unit based at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre in Lincoln.

Money will also go on a new Section 136 Suite for children and young people based at the Ash Villa inpatient unit in Sleaford – removing the need for young people in a mental health crisis who have committed no crime from being taken into police custody.

Thirdly, funds will go to providing a bespoke rapid response vehicle, allowing innovative street triage services across the county.

All of this will directly improve care for people when they are at their most vulnerable, enhancing Lincolnshire’s existing mental health crisis services for young people and adults, to offer faster and more appropriate support for people in their time of need.