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24/7 mental health helpline set up for Bucks

Oxfordshire's Healthcare trust covers services in the Bucks area.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:46am 16th April 2020. 3-minute read.

24/7 mental health helpline set up for Bucks

A 24/7 mental health helpline has been launched to support people during the coronavirus.

Oxfordshire's Mental Health NHS Trust, which provides mental health services in Buckinghamshire as well as Oxfordshire, has launched a mental health helpline. 

The 24/7 advice line has been set up to provide support, advice and ease pressure of off 111. 

There is one number for under 18s and one for those above that age. 

Dr Rob Bale is Clinical Director for mental health services at the trust:

"So at times like this many of us will experience some form of distress of anxiety. We need to be able to recognise these symptoms so they don't escalate. 

"By using this helpline we be able to give people techniques to manage their difficulties and to divert them to resources that could help them."

It is aimed at callers who need mental health care, but whose situation is not life threatening with support from Oxfordshire Mind.

Oxfordshire NHS Trust hopes it will help people get the right advice they need for their mental health at this time.

The line will help people find out when and where they can get help and access to mental health professionals. 

Dr Bale told Mix96 there are some things people can do to help their mental health at this time:

"So the first thing I think people need to do is to try to maintain a routine or structure to their day,so that they have some form or normality.

"I recognise that not being able to go out and not being able to do your normal activities makes things difficult but having a routine, when you're getting up, when you're eating your meals and having a structure to your day can help.

"Staying connected is also very important. Even if it does mean you have to use phones, social media and other technology." 

However, Oxfordshire NHS Trust has advised that during office hours those who already use mental health services should contact them directly about their care plan.

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