North Wales mental health helpline marks 25th birthday with plea to those struggling during the COVID-19 crisis

Staff at a Wrexham based mental health helpline are marking its 25th birthday by calling on people struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 crisis to reach out for support.

Since launching 25 years ago the CALL Mental Health Helpline for Wales has provided support to half a million people.

With the COVID-19 crisis likely to have a significant impact on mental health, the helpline’s services have never been more vital.

To mark its quarter century birthday this week, Manager Luke Ogden is urging people across Wales who are struggling during these uncertain times to get in touch for support.

He said: “We know that during the COVID-19 crisis there will be an increase in people struggling with their mental health for a variety of reasons. This could be because they are feeling isolated from the support network of friends and family; are worried about their finances or if they have a job to go back to; or are struggling to adapt to life under the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We have already seen an increase in calls to the helpline but we want more people across Wales to know that if they are struggling we will always be here to support them, just as we have been over the past 25 years.”

The service is funded by the Welsh Government and managed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

As well as providing a telephone helpline which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, CALL Helpline’s website offers a comprehensive directory of local and national mental health support. CALL staff also provide emotional support and advice via social media and a text message service for those who feel uncomfortable or unable to talk through their problems over the phone.

“The helpline operators are the backbone of this vital service and it’s no exaggeration to say that they are life savers” explained Luke.

“We also help to alleviate pressure on our Emergency Services colleagues by supporting people who have dialled 999 or 101 because they need emotional support and don’t know where to turn.

“Our motto is ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and we want people to know that we are here to support them during the difficult weeks and months ahead.”

The CALL Helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Call Freephone 0800 132737

Text Help to 81066

Visit http://www.callhelpline.org.uk/