Help is at hand for vulnerable

The new Mental Health Crisis Card which has been prepared by Wigan Borough LINk and the NHS Five Boroughs Partnership
The new Mental Health Crisis Card which has been prepared by Wigan Borough LINk and the NHS Five Boroughs Partnership

THE launch of a new information card will make it easier for vulnerable people to access vital services.

Wigan Borough Local Involvement Network (LINk) has created the Mental Health Crisis Card which will be available across the borough for people with mental health issues and their carers.

The card, which has been put together in association with the NHS Five Boroughs Partnership, contains phone numbers for a range of organisations, including the mental health assessment team, the Samaritans, NHS Direct, emergency and non-emergency contacts for the police and a helpline for carers.

There is also a space for each recipient to provide some details about themselves which may help them if they cannot communicate their wishes to anyone trying to help them, including contact numbers to phone and information about their diagnosis and medication.

The crisis card has been prepared after surveys by Wigan Borough LINk found many people did not know how to access services available in the borough for them.

Community engagement officer Julie Darbyshire said: “It kept cropping up that people in mental health crisis didn’t seem to know where to turn to or which number to ring if they needed help and we’ve deliberately decided to keep it quite simple.”

The cards will be available from a range of locations across Wigan, including the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, community centres, the student support service at Wigan and Leigh College, and mental health service providers.

The LINk will also be giving out cards to people it has helped and worked with, and has received requests from GPs for the crisis cards to be available in their surgeries. An agreement to allow this is currently being put together.

Ms Darbyshire said: “It depends how well we can get the word out to people about it, but hopefully it will be all across the borough within a few months.”