Mental Health

Health written question – answered on 30th January 2006.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department has taken to develop mental health telephone helpline services.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department has committed funding of £5 million (2004–05 to 2006–07) and is actively supporting the implementation and development of an infrastructure to facilitate mental health helpline providers, working in partnership to achieve increased quality, efficiency, capacity, governance, choice and access in relation to the provision of helpline services 24 hours a day. Members of the Mental Health Helplines Partnership (MHHP) are taking forward a detailed programme of work and progress can be reported in the following areas:

Accredited training: facilitation of accredited training for mental health helpline workers through the Telephone Helplines Association.

Mental Health Helplines Quality Standards (MHHQS): 25 helplines have received accreditation and work is progressing to accredit a further 12.

Targeted Investment Resources: The MHHP has processed over 20 applications for targeted investment and approved 10 to date. Further applications are currently being processed.

Telecommunications solution: Once established this telecommunications solution will enable callers to access mental health helplines 24 hours a day. It is anticipated that a preferred provider will be identified within six months.

MHHP website: Negotiations are at an advanced stage with a preferred provider for the development and maintenance of a website, which will provide partnership updates on all areas of work and helpline services.

Shared Services provision: Later this year work is due to commence on commissioning shared services for MHHP members.

Mental health helplines conference: The MHHP will host a second national mental health helpline conference in May, to share its achievements with service users and key stakeholders.

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Posted on 1 Feb 2006 8:54 pm (Report this annotation)

is this a cheap solution to shutting down the psychiatric wards up and down the country and saving money i wonder! up lots of places of safety (well you’ve done that in the guise of wards)…… you are starting help lines which will be engaged most of the time and if it's based at the other end of the country how will they know what services are available to us in kent for example when we don't even know…..will they be manned by sympathetic, caring individuals who are allowed to help and make recommendations…..if they are like the samaritans that is of no help when your medications gone wrong…or you are scared of your gp…… you should really start thinking outside the box or eavesdrop on service user conversations then you may come up with caring solutions that actually help the citizens of this country…sorry you already eavesdrop grind the idea’s down and produce less than satisfactory services and then make us all feel like ingrates……don’t forget you work for us…..