University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) and Samaritans of Lancaster and District (1173652) have launched a new leaflet which aims to build a bridge between increasing mental health concerns and emotional support.
The new leaflet offers patients and their families the chance to open up about any mental health concerns they may be curious about and provides direct contact details to the Samaritans for any support. For people who may initially be hesitant to call the Samaritans straight away, the new leaflet offers self-help techniques which can be done independently to support their mental well-being.
UHMBT and Samaritans of Lancaster and District have been working on an Emotional Support Project, created by Catherine Hind, a Student Mental Health Nurse at the University of Cumbria. Catherine has several years experience of volunteering as a Samaritan in the Lancaster centre and is their Hospital Outreach Team Leader. Catherine said: “The outreach project was able to bring everybody together and is helpful for those who are coming to A&E and struggling with their emotional health.”
As well as the leaflet, the project offers staff training to develop a higher level of emotional understanding and ways to take appropriate action when faced with emotionally distressed patients.
“We are also helping patients to recognise when they are struggling and that it is okay to seek support. Talking and being listened to is definitely pivotal and that is what the Samaritans and the project is about”
Jenny Dighton, Director of Samaritans of Lancaster and District, added: “We are very pleased to be working together with UHMBT. We always want to be involved with our local hospitals and Trusts. We knew that if people had good access to Samaritans and a good awareness of how to contact us they need not feel on their own, they could always get support from us.
“We are keen to use and build upon our current resources and offer realistic support options to those in need of it.”
Paul Jebb, Assistant Chief Nurse at UHMBT said: “We want people to be able to self-care but also get the right care in the right place. A&E is very busy, and for someone trying to resolve their mental well-being and emotional needs, there are other alternatives to that.”
Samaritans local branch is run by volunteers and is one of the few services available for people 24 hours a day, 52 weeks of the year.
For more information visit https://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/files/5415/1542/4474/Samaritans_UHMBT_Partnership.pdf