Freephone help points in UK hospitals improve access to mental health support

To coincide with World Mental Health Day which takes place on 10th October, Infopoint, the UK’s leading provider of free telephone help points, highlights how their equipment installed in hospitals across the UK make it easier for people to access mental health support.

Infopoint help points are usually placed in high traffic locations in hospitals and health centres and give patients quick and direct access to a number of important helplines and services when they need it most. Examples of these lines include taxi services, PALS, NHS 111, National Blood Service and the Samaritans.

The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children has one of Infopoint’s free telephone systems installed in its Emergency Department with direct access to the mental health charity Samaritans.

The Trust has relied upon Infopoints to deliver freephone access to services in its hospitals and health & wellbeing centres for a number of years and has installed the service in its children’s hospital to respond to a specific need around mental health.

Mandy Magee, Senior Health Manager of Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, said:

‘’Not only does the freephone Infopoint provide quick and easy access for patients and their relatives to a number of helpful services, it also includes a free direct line to the Samaritans.

‘’The Infopoint at The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children directed a high number of calls to the Samaritans in 2018. By making it more convenient for our younger patients to access this support service in a safe environment, we hope that we are helping to improve mental health support and make sure that young people are getting the help they need before problems escalate.”

The Samaritans charity offers a free phone number to call for support: 116 123. The team at Samaritans is at the end of the phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and responds to more than 5 million requests for help a year.

The small prompt of having the Samaritans free dial visible and easily accessible in locations such as hospitals, schools and youth centres could be life changing to anyone going through a hard time.

This year, World Mental Health Day is focusing on suicide prevention and will use it as an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues across the world.

Every year close to 800, 000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout life and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally. [1]



If you are a local authority or NHS trust and would like to find out more about Infopoint help points, please click HERE to contact us.