Mental Health Awareness Week: Helpline calls double since lockdown

Katherine Johnston (21 May, 2020)

The majority of calls were related to anxiety over COVID-19 and employment


An out-of-hours mental health crisis line operating in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham has seen double the number of calls since the lockdown started.

Solidarity in Crisis is a service run by Certitude, a London-based Care provider, specialising in supporting adults with disabilities, mental health needs, and people with autism.

In April calls were 90 per cent higher than in January, with the numbers expected to reach even more of a peak this month as people feel overwhelmed by the pandemic.

The majority of calls were related to anxiety over COVID-19 and employment.

Most come from young people aged eighteen to 25, or the over-65s. 

Callers are also seeing an increase in men contacting the service, although women remain four times more likely to pick up the phone asking for help.

Solidarity in Crisis manager Alexander Robertson, says: “We are seeing that many more people than usual – and particularly younger people – are feeling overwhelmed by multiple issues. 

“They are worried about housing, jobs and financial issues and they don’t know where to go for support. 

“Our peer supporters are able to talk people through their initial crisis and then signpost them towards a range of different services.

 “We operate out-of-hours –  in the evenings and at weekends – as this is when people tend to feel most overwhelmed. 

“I would urge anyone living in the areas we cover, who is feeling like they are not coping, to give us a ring. 

“Our highly-trained peer supporters are ready to listen and bring their personal experience of mental health issues to any situation.”

The Solidarity in a Crisis helpline is Freephone: 0300 123 1922, Text 07889756087 or 07889756083 and is open Monday to Friday 6.00pm – 12.00am, Saturday and Sunday 12.00pm – 12.00am.


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