The Northamptonshire Integrated Response Hub (IRH), also known as The Mental Health Number, is celebrating after being recognised at the Positive Practice in Mental Health National Awards.

The team took home the award for ‘All Age Crisis and Acute Mental Health Care 2021’, as well as being highly commended in the award for ‘Suicide Prevention’.

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and the mental health charity, Mind, launched the mental health number in March 2020, with the vision of having a single phone number that any Northamptonshire resident could call to access mental health support, 24/7, 365 days per year.

Anne Rackham, Director of Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Speciality Services at NHFT said: “We are delighted that the Integrated Response Hub has been recognised for these two awards, during an exceptionally challenging time for everyone working in mental health services.

“The integrated, collaborative nature of the mental health number means that we aim for service users to receive the right advice, care or treatment, for them at the right time.

“The service user and carer feedback we have received demonstrates this is working, with callers commenting they are treated with compassion, they are listened to, and they receive the support they need quickly and efficiently. They also express that the service is knowledgeable, inclusive, kind, friendly and diverse.”

CEO of Northamptonshire Mind, Sarah Hillier, said: “It was extremely pleasing to see recognition for the engagement and collaboration work which has gone around making the crisis pathway a success.”

The service launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and received 1,223 calls in the first month. By August 2021, the service hit the milestone of having received 100,000 calls since the launch. The team currently responds to about 500 calls a day on average.

Due to the collaborative nature of the Integrated Response Hub, the involvement of service users and carers, as well as stakeholder organisations and the third sector, is at its core. Co-production is embedded as business as usual within our mental health services and the wider Mental Health Collaborative, meaning that all of our mental health transformation work, including the mental health number, is developed and delivered in collaboration with service users, carers and experts by experience.

Anyone can all the number for support with the mental health, at any time day or night – simply call 0800 448 0828