York mental health support shortlisted for national BBC Radio 4 award

The team behind City of York Council’s mental health support line and crisis bed service have been shortlisted for a national award, selected by BBC Radio 4.

The service has been shortlisted in BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind awards which looks to celebrate people’s experiences of exceptional mental health care and will recognise the unsung heroes who helped make the difference. The team is one of three that have been shortlisted in the group category from a total of over 1,000 nominations. The winners will be announced on the All in the Mind show on Tuesday 26 June.

As part of the awards, the team were featured on BBC Radio 4 as part of the All in the Mind show.

The service was nominated by Jackie, who has called the support line and crisis bed service intermittently over the course of 15 years and it has allowed her to recover and continue to work.  Jackie had this to say about the service: “For the last 15 years I have had mental health issues and experienced hearing voices constantly telling me I should kill myself and how/when/where I should do this.  They went everywhere with me.  I have needed a lot of support just to remain alive, let alone work full time and continue some sort of positive relationship with my family. The mental health support line staff have provided much of this.

“They have never minded how often I called them, or why I called, or that often there was little they could do apart from listen to me rant or sob depending on the day. Usually the conversations would end with me much more settled and with a plan for the next few hours.

“Individual staff seem to remember previous conversations I have had with them and will resume that next time we speak. They feel able to share something of themselves with me so that sometimes we discover we have things in common which makes it a more personal, human, service.

“In the past few years I have used their crisis bed. I found this really helpful because all the staff knew me and how best to support me. If I wanted some support or just a chat there was always someone willing to provide it.”

“Because I am alive and happy and this team have been of enormous support to me I would like them to be recognised for it.”

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care said: ‘ To have Jackie say so many positive things about the service and that she is able to stay alive and happy is reward enough, but to be recognised by ‘All in the Mind’ is really good.  I am a great fan of the programme and listen whenever I can.  I know that it does so much to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge the stigma around mental ill health – it makes a real difference.  Congratulations to all involved.”

Mags Hyett manages the team: “The mental health support line is available by referral from key workers, care coordinators, doctors, nurses, or any other mental health workers people are in contact with. The line is also available to carers and supporters and aims to offer people someone to talk to and get support, encouragement and reassurance.

“We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this work. The team does an amazing job helping those that call. Up to 7,000 people have been referred to the service, should they feel they need it, and we take a couple of hundred calls every week.

“More important than the award short listing though is hearing the impact that the team have made in supporting Jackie, who is inspirational and very brave in both her day to day life and in talking about her mental health.”

All in the Mind is BBC Radio 4’s magazine programme on mental health, psychology and neuroscience which has been running for nearly 30 years. The show is available on demand at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qxx9

You can watch a video about the mental health support line and how it has supported Jackie www.youtube.com/watch?v=00ISVY6Ty_M&feature=youtu.be

For more information on the mental health support line visit www.york.gov.uk/info/20140/mental_health/1465/mental_health_support_line

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