£500,000 to improve first response mental health services.
Patients experiencing mental health problems will be better supported – thanks to a half million pound increase in funding.
NHS24 will use the development funding to improve the services it offers to people experiencing low mood, depression and anxiety, supporting those who need unscheduled care but do not require to contact emergency services.
The numbers of people contacting NHS24’s dedicated mental health line, Breathing Space, has more than doubled over the last decade from 38,000 in 2006 to 87,000 in 2016.
Speaking on World Mental Health Day as she visited one of NHS24’s call centres at Clydebank to meet staff, Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt said:
“We want to provide a better first response to people seeking help, one that directs them to the best service to meet their needs.
“Building on the plans laid out in our Mental Health Strategy, this £500,000 funding package will help NHS24 to improve their mental health services, whether online or via telephone. This is a key part of our work to intervene early, which we know can help prevent problems from worsening.
“On World Mental Health Day, it has been good to meet some of the NHS24 staff who deliver this care on a daily basis - and learn, first-hand, how effective these early interventions can be in supporting people to deal with a wide range of mental health conditions.”
Existing support include online and telephone services Breathing Space, NHS Living Life and the main NHS24 line. The rise in use of the services reflects more people feeling able to ask for help due to rising awareness and falling stigma.
Mental health funding to NHS24 has been a total of £1,125,000. The £500,000 development funding is new in 2017-18 on top of this.
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