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Calls now free as helpline marks 1,000th call

Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline has launched a freephone number as the service marks its 1,000th call for mental health advice.

Calls will now be free to the 24/7 mental health helpline which has received more than 1,000 calls from the public for mental health advice during the coronavirus pandemic.

The round-the-clock helpline was set up during the outbreak to make it quicker and easier for people in Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire to get the right advice they need for their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week for adults and children who need mental health care when their situation is not life threatening.

The original local landline numbers will continue to operate alongside new 0800 freephone numbers.

Adults: 0800 783 0119 or 01865 904 997

Children and young people: 0800 783 0121 or 01865 904 998

Clinical director for Buckinghamshire, Vivek Khosla, said: “We know the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown presents challenging times for us all. Our dedicated helpline staff have now taken more than 1,000 calls and been able to offer advice to people in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire when they really need it whatever the time day and night.”

Clinical director for Oxfordshire, Banes, Swindon and Wiltshire, Rob Bale, said: “We’ve made it even easier for people to get in touch by launching the 0800 freephone number. The original number will also continue. I would urge anyone who is feeling unwell to get in touch. There is no cost and we are able to help.”

People can call Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline when they need to find out when and where to get help and to access support from mental health professionals for a range of conditions and symptoms including anxiety, low mood, stress, worry,  difficulty with relationships, crying often, feeling helpless, confusion, hallucinations or hearing voices.

People can also call the Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline when they would usually ring 111, speak to their GP, council or police for non-emergency mental health advice.

The helpline adds to the range of ways people can get support locally including Safe Havens which continue to offer an alternative to A&E for mental health care in the evenings and at weekends during the outbreak.

During office hours, people who already use mental health services should contact services directly using the numbers in their care plan.

The Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Mental Health Helpline is being launched by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs local mental health services.

In Oxfordshire, the trust is part of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OMHP), which is also behind the helpline.