Staff at a North Wales based mental health helpline are reminding people that it’s OK not to be OK, as the region faces a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
The CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales has recently recruited additional staff and volunteers to meet a growing demand for support during the COVID-19 crisis.
Calls to the helpline have more than doubled over the past six months, compared to the same period last year. The team’s DAN 24/7 Drug and Alcohol helpline has also seen an increase in calls.
As Wales faces a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, CALL Helpline Manager, Luke Ogden, says it’s vital that people reach out for support if they are struggling.
“We want to remind people across Wales that they’re not alone, and our trained staff and volunteers are available 24/7 to provide support and a listening ear” he said.
“We are well aware that the pandemic has affected people across the country.
"The isolation associated with lockdown restrictions alone can affect people in many different ways, leading to an increase in anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol consumption.
“Many people face uncertainty over their livelihoods or are struggling with financial issues, and this can have a knock on impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
“Being able to speak to someone over the phone, either for emotional support, information, advice or signposting, can make a huge difference.”
The service is funded by the Welsh Government and managed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Since launching 25 years ago it has provided support to half a million people.
As well as providing a telephone helpline that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, CALL Helpline’s website offers a comprehensive directory of more than 1,500 local and national mental health services. CALL staff also provide emotional support and advice via social media and text message service for those who feel uncomfortable or unable to talk through their problems over the phone.
The CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Call Freephone 0800 132737
Text Help to 81066
The DAN 24/7 Drug and Alcohol Helpline for Wales is also available 24/7, 365 days a year
Call Freephone 0808 808 2234
Text DAN to: 81066