18 April 2017

Crisis support from Bristol Mental Health

Bristol Mental Health, in partnership with NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CGG), Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), service users and carers, has made a number of improvements to ensure that people experiencing a mental health crisis get the right support they need faster.

Improving the telephone line for people in crisis
The existing telephone line for people experiencing a mental health crisis will remain open and will keep the same number. A new call management system will be installed on 8 May 2017, which will help people in mental health crisis to reach support faster and others to reach an appropriate service. BMH also has a separate telephone line for professionals to call if they are supporting someone through a mental health crisis. This will remain open and available 24 hours a day on its current number, too.

Developing a crisis card
Bristol Mental Health has coproduced a wallet-sized crisis card. This can be used by service users if they experience a mental health crisis and will assist anyone supporting individuals through a mental health crisis. The card contains useful information, such as the contact details for services and professionals, as well as sections that service users can fill in with information to support them during a mental health crisis.

Making Bristol Mental Health's website more accessible
Bristol Mental Health's website has been redesigned to make it more accessible, so that visitors can easily find the right service to meet their needs or the needs of someone they're supporting.

Supporting frequent callers to the line
Work is ongoing to support individuals and organisations who call the line frequently. This includes working with individuals and other services supporting them, to help them access more appropriate support.
These improvements are being made as BMH's telephone line for people in crisis is being used for much more than its intended purpose, which is to offer specialist intervention to people in mental health crisis. This is making it harder for callers in mental health crisis, as well as professionals supporting those in mental health crisis, to get through.

Over a number of months, BMH and Bristol CCG have worked collaboratively with BIMHN, service users and carers as part of a project board that has identified the above solutions.

BMH and Bristol CCG are mindful that they must always be responsive to the changing needs of the people they support. Provisions for people in crisis, and anyone requiring mental health support, will be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure that people always receive the best possible support.

Please email awp.bristolmanagementteam@nhs.net if you would like any further information about this improvement work.

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