May 21, 2020 4.00 pm This story is over 49 months old

Coronavirus mental health helpline gets 1,300 calls in first month

Health trusts launched the helpline just before the COVID-19 crisis

A new mental health helpline received more than 1,300 calls last month as lockdown took its toll.

Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust’s (LPFT) number was launched in mid-march, just before the coronavirus crisis escalated.

This week is mental health awareness week and NHS providers and county leaders have been pushing the support which is available to people as the country looks to enter the 10th week of government restrictions – albeit with some relaxation of the rules.

Dr Ananta Dave, Medical Director at LPFT said: “As the situation evolves, there may be more people feeling isolated or vulnerable and in need of mental health and wellbeing support.

“With so much change taking place in people’s lives, we want to send a message that the NHS is here to support mental health and emotional wellbeing, with many options to choose from depending on people’s needs.”

Tony McGinty, the deputy director of public health for Lincolnshire County Council said a number of health partners were also seeing an up-turn in demand for services, self-help guides and appointments.

“Don’t suffer in silence, absolutely go and find something that might help to you whatever that is,” said Mr McGinty.

“The absolute worst thing you can do is just try and tough it out because they just make it harder for you to deal with.”

“We know it’s really har and it’s and it’s probably true that the reason why some people’s mental health is suffering is because they do feel disconnected and the usual support mechanisms and letting off steam mechanisms are not available to them.”

He urged people to stay in contact with friends and family if possible through social media or other technology as well as taking part in exercise wherever possible.

“Physical activity releases all sorts of chemicals which are good for our mood and the way that we’re feeling, we’re releasing tension and anxiety and so on,” he added.

Anyone who needs help is advised to call the LPFT helpline on 0800 001 4331.