A local mental health charity, Mental Health Concern (MHC), in partnership with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), is leading the pilot of England’s first Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) service in the North East.
MHC, which already provides mental health and wellbeing support to communities in Tyneside, Northumberland, and Teesside, will work with TEWV to provide mental health support to any individual in distress, but who does not require further emergency assistance.
The DBI approach has two levels. Level one involves training for front line staff (NHS111, A&E, Police, Primary Care, and North East Ambulance Service) to provide a compassionate response to people in distress, identifying those who would benefit from referral to the level two service.
MHC will lead on DBI level two. Specially trained staff will contact the person within 24 hours of the referral, providing compassionate, community-based problem-solving support, wellness and distress management planning, supported connections, and signposting for up to 14 days – helping to reduce their immediate distress, and supporting people to better manage their mental health over time.
Following the successful roll out of DBI in Scotland, this service will be the first of its kind in England. Results show that 90% of people referred to the service agreed that DBI had given them the tools and skills to manage their distress and one in nine revealed that they may have attempted suicide or continued with their suicidal thoughts if not offered the service.
The charity will provide DBI alongside its Together in a Crisis service, which provides support to those in mental health crisis across the North East including working with TEWV in Teesside. Two new roles will be created to deliver the DBI service and provide support across Derwentside.
Rachel Smith, Consultant Applied Psychologist with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Mental Health Concern to pilot the first DBI service outside of Scotland. This exciting new development is part of our work to make mental health support available to more people in their communities when they need it. We are confident it will make a real difference to the people of Derwentside.”
Adam Crampsie, Chief Executive Officer for Mental Health Concern said: “I am delighted to see the invaluable DBI service being rolled out in England, and I am incredibly proud that Mental Health Concern will be advancing its working partnership with TEVW and our NHS and VSCE colleagues on this pilot scheme in Derwentside.
“We’ve seen the impact that the service has had in Scotland in helping people in distress to cope and manage their issues better. We believe that the DBI Service will be as effective in the North East and provide prompt and specialist support for those who need it.”