Published on: Thursday 13th May 2021

A new 24 hour mental health crisis line for children young people and families in Surrey has been launched by the county’s NHS mental health Trust: Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The freephone number – 0800 915 4644 – is the same telephone number as the adult mental health crisis line, and it is now also available for all children and young people from the age of six, and their families, by simply selecting option one. 

The crisis line is staffed by a team of trained call handlers and mental health nurses. It provides emotional wellbeing support, advice and signposting to a range of community services for children and young people (and their families and carers) who are in a mental health crisis. 

The number is available to all Surrey families - those who are already receiving mental health services, and also for those who are not. No formal request for support is needed. 

Justine Leonard, Director of Children’s Wellbeing and Mental Health Services at Surrey and Borders Partnership, said: “We know that managing unwell children can be distressing for families so we are making it easier to access advice in crisis situations. 

“A key aim of the crisis line is to help support young people, carers and families whilst they are at home and in the wider community providing immediate support, care and advice that helps them to manage their crisis and access the help that they need. Therefore, whenever possible, this will help avoid the need for children and young people to go to hospital in a crisis. We feel sure that this new service will help reduce the strain on families and provide them with much-needed friendly and professional support especially when times are really tough.”

A group of young people were asked what a 24 hour crisis line would mean to them, and their replies included: “It means to be able to call someone at 2am”, “Someone to tell you what your options are”, and “Someone to listen to you”. 

Overall the young people liked the idea of having a 24 hour crisis line that will be open and available whenever young people need it.