A new telephone assessment service has been set up by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to help those in need of urgent mental health care during the lockdown.
“We know that many of our service users are currently self-isolating at home and the circumstances we find ourselves in will be adversely impacting their mental health.
“We cannot underestimate the impact this outbreak will have on our patients and carers.
“It is our duty to do everything we can to support people with mental illness experiencing a crisis, which is in no doubt going to be exacerbated by concerns around coronavirus.
“We are working hard with our colleagues across the mental health sector to ensure our patients and service users, both inpatients and those receiving treatment in the community, continue to receive the care and support they need at this very challenging time.
“The NHS is working closer together than ever before and we have the opportunity to save peoples’ lives if we act fast and in partnership.”
The public support for the NHS has been phenomenal – another picture outside @MaudsleyNHS today . Thank you for the kindness that helps keep our amazing colleagues going THANK YOU pic.twitter.com/LeMStDoCfS
— Beverley Murphy RMN ???? xx ???? xx ????= ? (@SLaMCOO2019) April 7, 2020
Many services have now been adapted to allow safe care to continue amidst social distancing, for example using phone, video conferencing appointments where a face-to-face appointment is not essential. Those for whom need face-to-face support is necessary are still being seen in person.
The trust, which covers Southwark, Lambeth, Croydon and Lewisham is predicting an increase in reported mental health problems during the crisis as people are affected by social isolation, financial worries and health fears.
During the crisis, the trust is also appealing for donation to help staff and patients including hand gel and moisturising hand cream.
Please donate our hands are red raw!!! ?? https://t.co/VgjtOn3GBj
— Vanessa Smith RMN ?++?++?? (@SLaMDoN2019) April 2, 2020
How to get help
The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has a support line for those in need of support, open 24/7.
Call 0800 731 2864