The Welsh Government has moved to expand the provision of mental health support as it launches an update to the NHS 111 service.
The 111 press option 2 service will give people crucial 24/7 access to a mental health professional who can provide over-the-phone assessments to guide people through crises and help alleviate stress.
When necessary, patients can be referred to dedicated mental health services or signposted for supplementary support with many instances acting as a substitute for visiting busy emergency departments or calling the police.
The implementation of the service, which people can access by calling NHS 111 and pressing option 2, will “transform” the way the Welsh health service deals with urgent mental health challenges according to deputy wellbeing minister, Lynne Neagle.
The national rollout will be backed by £6m of funding and will represent the latest iteration of the 111 service that Wales fully launched back in May 2022.
Mental health professionals at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board have been running the service in Gwent since March. The board’s mental health director, Dr Chris O’Connor, said that locals value the convenience of the service.
“I would urge anyone who needs urgent assistance for a mental health issue, or anyone who is concerned about a friend or family member, to call 111 (Press 2) and speak to someone who is there to listen, understand the situation, and help you access the right help and support,” added Dr O’Connor.
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