Mental health services enhanced for anyone in crisis during the coronavirus lockdown

Tracy Dowling CEO of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Tracy Dowling CEO of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - Credit: Archant

Support for those who are suffering a mental health crisis during the coronavirus pandemic has been strengthened across Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has temporarily set up facilities for patients that need a face-to-face assessment with a clinician.

Anyone in mental health crisis is still encouraged to call the First Response Service via NHS 111, and select option 2 - and the service is available 24/7.

Initially a patient will be assessed over the phone, and a follow-up phone or video call will be arranged if further support is needed.

From there, a face-to-face assessment may be arranged if required either through a home visit or an arranged appointment at the new temporary facilities which are now available.

Tracy Dowling, Chief Executive of the CPFT, said: “This is a really difficult time for everyone.

“Life as we know it has changed, and for many this will have a significant impact on their mental health.

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“We are working hard with our colleagues across health, social care and the third sector to ensure that people receive the care and support they need at this very challenging time.”

She added: “We continue to support people in the community with their mental health, and have increased staffing in our inpatient and crisis services. We are also offering therapy online using video or telephone calls, where appropriate.”

The temporary facilities offer an alternative place for people in mental health crisis who do not have serious physical health needs. Often, A&E isn’t suitable for someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

For those over the age of 17 and suffering mild to moderate depression or anxiety, CPFT says it is possible to access its Psychological Wellbeing Service.

Last month, it was revealed non-critical community mental health services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough had been temporarily put on hold in areas to prioritise the emergency coronavirus support.

The trust has since claimed the vast majority of mental health services were actually running as normal, with appointments taking place using video conferencing and telephone calls where in-person contact wasn’t possible.

A range of resources about mental health support are available at and a number of support services and helplines are open.