09 June 2021

Fast and responsive help is available to anyone suffering a mental health crisis as Bedfordshire and Luton adjusts to post-lockdown life.

That is the message from the health service providing 24/7 mental health crisis support across the county for all ages through NHS 111 (Option 2).

NHS 111 (option 2) service is a first point of contact for any adults, children or young people in urgent need of mental health help.

The call handlers are mental health professionals who complete a telephone triage and then offer a range of information, support and help to callers. A same day mental health assessment or further follow up support is arranged if required.

The service has been providing vital support for anyone who needs it over the last year and will continue to provide vital help as phased changes continue to be made to COVID restrictions.

The 111 mental health crisis support service is provided by East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which provides NHS mental health services in Bedfordshire and Luton.

“The NHS is open for business and here to help,” said Maxine Obeng, Assistant Director for ELFT’s Bedfordshire and Luton Crisis Pathway.

“If you’re finding it hard to cope or are worried about harming yourself, or others, then contact our professional and caring mental health professionals through 111 (option 2).”

She added: “The past year has been incredibly challenging for everyone and placed many new pressures on top of ‘normal’ life, which can be difficult enough.

“We are now entering a different phase of the pandemic but our message remains the same – don’t struggle in silence or on your own. We are here to help.”

The 111 service acts as a ‘front door’ to crisis and urgent mental health services across the county.

Face-to-face support for over 18s is also provided every evening through mental health crisis cafes in Bedford and Luton, which are provided by Mind BLMK. Contact can be arranged via the 111 team or by emailing crisiscafe@mind-blmk.org.uk