Team behind 'The Mental Health Number' in Northamptonshire wins national award

The Mental Health Number was launched early last year to provide a single phone number that any Northamptonshire resident could call to access mental health support 24/7

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:54 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 2:08 pm

The Northamptonshire Integrated Response Hub (IRH) - known as The Mental Health Number - has won a prestigious award at the Positive Practice in the Mental Health National awards.

The team took home the award for “All Age Crisis and Acute Mental Health Care 2021”, as well as being highly commended in the award for 'Suicide Prevention'.

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and the mental health charity, Mind, launched the mental health number in March 2020 (0800 448 0828) with the vision of having a single phone number that any Northamptonshire resident could call to access mental health support, 24/7, 365 days per year.

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Smiles all around for team at the Northamptonshire Integrated Response Hub (IRH) as they collected their award.

Director of Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Speciality Services at NHFT, Anne Rackham, said: “We are delighted that the Integrated Response Hub has been recognised for these two awards, during an exceptionally challenging time for everyone working in mental health services.

“The integrated, collaborative nature of the mental health number means that we aim for service users to receive the right advice, care or treatment, for them at the right time.

“The service user and carer feedback we have received demonstrates this is working, with callers commenting they are treated with compassion, they are listened to, and they receive

the support they need quickly and efficiently. They also express that the service is knowledgeable, inclusive, kind, friendly and diverse.”

The service launched at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and received 1,223 calls in just the first month. By August 2021, the service had received a jaw-dropping 100,000

calls since the launch. The team currently respond to about 500 calls a day on average.

Due to the collaborative nature of the Integrated Response Hub, the involvement of service users and carers - as well as stakeholder organisations and the third sector - is at its core.

Co-production, is embedded as business as usual within their mental health services and the wider Mental Health Collaborative, meaning that all of their mental health transformation

work, including the mental health number, is developed and delivered in collaboration with service users, carers and experts by experience.

CEO of Northamptonshire Mind, Sarah Hillier said: “It was extremely pleasing to see recognition for the engagement and collaboration work which has gone around making the

crisis pathway a success.

“It is a proud day for us here at Northamptonshire Mind and this award perfectly illustrates the tenacity and commitment of staff throughout the pandemic and beyond.

“Staff have put supporting people in our community at the front and centre of all they do. It is an honour to lead such a dedicated and hard-working team.”

Anyone can all the number for support with the mental health, at any time day or night – simply call 0800 448 0828.