Ambulance trust commits to supporting those with mental health problems

Only ring 999 in an emergency.
Only ring 999 in an emergency.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is committing itself to support two initiatives to help those with mental health problems, both externally with patients and internally with staff.

The Trust’s has extended a pilot where mental health specialists support call takers and frontline clinical staff in the emergency control centre in an effort to reduce the number of mental health patients taken to hospital.

In addition, the Trust signed up to the Time to Change mental health anti-stigma programme, run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, by getting involved in national Time to Talk day.

The focus of the day was to encourage as many staff as possible to spend five minutes with a friend or colleague just simply to ask them how they are.

Dr Steven Dykes, Associate Medical Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “As an organisation we officially signed up to the Time to Change programme in 2014 and are committed to making sure that the mental health of both our patients and our staff is taken seriously.

“Having mental health specialists in our emergency control centre over Christmas saw a drop in 27 per cent of patients with mental health issues being taken to hospital which was an excellent result and one we are really keen to maintain.

“Whilst initially we will only be continuing this at peak times we are looking to secure funding to ensure it becomes a core service for us in the future.”