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Integrated Care System steps up to support Lancashire and South Cumbria’s mental health

Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) has increased and widened its mental health offer for local people, in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Measures the ICS has implemented include:

  • Introducing Samaritans Bedside – a speed dial feature on hospital bedside phones allowing people to quickly call Samaritans at the touch of a button.
  • Developing a ‘Suspected Suicide? WHAT support can I provide’ card to police and key workers so they can quickly and easily signpost people to support if needed when they are called out.
  • Providing funding to extend the remit of the Big White Wall to the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria, among other voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise the ICS supports.
  • Creating an easily accessible and sharable online list of all mental health support in the area, and an accompanying mental health support resources PDF list.
  • Developing a suicide prevention campaign of posters, sharable social media content, and adverts encouraging people to “keep talking” through lockdown and social distancing.

ICS Mental Health Deputy Director, Paul Hopley said: “While the physical effects of coronavirus are clearly visible and reported on in the news every day, the mental health implications are usually invisible. The fact that we are isolating ourselves from our usual interactions with family and friends makes this even harder for people.

“Many of these services were due for roll-out later in 2020, so the fact that we have been able to speed up making them happen to meet the demands of people in Lancashire and South Cumbria now, is brilliant.

“Others are new initiatives where colleagues and partners saw gaps in provision and stepped up to provide a new offer for local people.

“Anyone needing support or someone to talk to should not have to suffer alone.”

To find out more go to healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport

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