A new life-saving service is aiming to prevent people in Staffordshire ending up in hospital.
Brighter Futures have secured £137,000 funding to launch a new self-harm and suicide prevention service.
Available to people over the age of 18, it will support people experiencing self-harm and/ or thoughts of suicide to help them better manage their mental health.
It aims to provide a range of support options to suit each person’s needs and to help them manage their wellbeing and reduce the need for emergency services.
Figures suggest that Stoke-on-Trent has a high number of hospital admissions for self-harm, with figures 88% higher than the national average.
The Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline, run by Brighter Futures, also supported 867 suicide-related calls between 2018/19 – with a further 170 calls related to self-harm.
The new service run alongside other mental health services such as the Clubhouse Network, Safe Spaces, Mental Health Helpline, and supported accommodation.
Brighter Futures Chief Executive, Helena Evans, comments: “We’re really pleased to launch this new service, we’ve been providing support across mental health, homelessness and supported accommodation for 45 years now and we know this will be a much-needed service to help people with mental ill-health.
“Sadly, all too often people find themselves at A&E or their GP when they have a mental health need. The new service aims to reduce demand for emergency services and other health service providers.”
Roger Graham, Senior Commissioning Manager of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for Staffordshire, says: “Staffordshire CCG are pleased that Brighter Futures’ bid for funding, which supports an initiative to address the challenge of self-harm and suicide, has been successful.
“Public Health England invited applications for this national programme, with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire receiving funding to provide a service within the area.
“Brighter Futures have an excellent track record of providing services in this area given their expertise delivering a self-harm support service for over 18 years and we look forward to seeing how they work with mental health services to provide appropriate support.
Sharon Godwin, from Brighter Futures, comments: “We’re pleased that our Self-Harm Support and Recovery is now taking referrals.
“With our input, we’re hoping that people will be able to better manage their mental health and wellbeing.
“All support will be tailored to people’s needs and might include: one-to-one support, relaxation and distraction techniques, and a recovery plan through a dedicated support worker. We also offer telephone support for people who need it.
“We’ve had great success through our Clubhouse Network in Stoke-on-Trent, which had almost 23,000 visits last year, and hopefully this service can be replicated further across Staffordshire.
“Brighter Futures provides support across mental health, homelessness and supported accommodation, and we know this will be a much-needed service to help people with mental ill-health. All referrals can be made through the mental health access team."