Helplines prove invaluable support to people with mental health problems

A leading mental health charity will tomorrow publish research which finds telephone helplines provide valuable emotional support for people with mental health problems.

The study by severe mental health charity Rethink into two of its regional helplines, Focusline in south Derbyshire and Lincsline in Lincolnshire, will reveal how they helped lessen anxiety and isolation in users and restored a feeling of control and were particularly useful in dealing with self harm and suicide.

Callers also felt a sense of relief at being able to talk things through with staff, particularly out-of-hours.

However the research finds that both lines were criticised by users because they had difficulty getting through to them. Stakeholders felt they could benefit from greater awareness by statutory and primary care agencies and further promotion to black and minority ethnic communities.

The study, commissioned by the Department of Health and the National Institute for Mental Health in England as part of an overall review of mental health helplines, will also suggest staff would benefit from on-going accredited training.

Do Helplines Work? will be made available at the Making Partnerships Work for Mental Health conference on November 16 in London. More from

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