Working with service users to improve mental health crisis line

Date: 18 Oct 2016

Category: Statements

Solutions for redeveloping Bristol Mental Health’s (BMH) crisis line are currently being explored by staff, service users and representative groups to ensure people in mental health crisis get the support they need faster.

Following discussions with some service users and representative groups, we recognise that initial discussions around making changes to the line have caused some concern. We are grateful for the comments and feedback so far which have been very valuable in informing the redevelopment work.

Through a specific project board, we are working collaboratively to identify ways to improve the service. The board is made up of service users and carers, elected officers from Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), as well as staff from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Currently the crisis line is being used for much more than its intended purpose, which is to offer specialist intervention to people in mental health crisis.

More than two thirds (66%) of callers to the crisis line are seeking advice, general information or to check appointments. This is making it harder for those in mental health crisis, as well as professionals supporting those in mental health crisis, to get through.

The project board is therefore looking at ways in which those with more general or administrative enquiries can receive timely answers to their questions, whilst those in urgent, mental health crisis can be fast-tracked for immediate support.

In the meantime, the crisis line will continue to be available as it is now. Working together, we will ensure that people are able to access the support or advice they need in a timely and accessible manner.

For more information, or to offer feedback / ideas please email awp.bristolmanagementteam@nhs.net