ROYAL BLACKBURN Hospital has opened a new space dedicated to mental health support within its A&E department to go alongside a new 24/7 response line.

This will be one of five new Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centres opened by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust across hospitals in both counties.

They form part of the trust’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and aim to support people who have not been physically affected by the virus but who have been placed under mental strain by the uncertainty and worry caused by the unprecedented crisis.

Trust Chief Executive Caroline Donovan said: “We really want to make sure that if people need help urgently because they are in crisis with their mental health, that it is very clear where they are able to access it.

The other centres can be found at the Royal Preston Hospital, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, The Orchard, Lancaster and Furness Hospital, South Cumbria.

Ms Donovan said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has helped set these facilities up so quickly and all teams who are working within them to ensure our communities continue to receive the mental health support and treatment they need.”

As well as centres that people can visit in person, the new helplines which allow people to access help remotely are key to the trust’s strategy.

The response line will be supported by a mental health wellbeing helpline, which will be staffed by volunteers and will deal with less urgent cases.

Ms Donovan said: ““In the past we have had a range of telephone numbers which were based in services in different areas.

“Having one line staffed by trained professionals means there is just one number to ring if you need help or know someone who does.”

She added: “We want to remind everyone that if you, or a friend/family member need mental health assistance or support – the NHS is here for you.”

The response line, for urgent and serious mental health cases, can be contacted at 0800 953 0110.

The helpline meanwhile can be contacted by calling 0800 915 4640 or by texting ‘Hello’ to 07860 022 846.

For a full list of mental health services, visit: