A scheme has been created to help people from Greater Manchester access mental health support faster has been hailed a success.

A partnership between Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Police and the North-West Ambulance Service, aimed at improving care for people experiencing a mental health crisis, has been hailed a success.

The three organisations joined together last year in October to develop a response for people in a mental health crisis who call 999.

The initiative was created to make sure that people received the right mental health support at the right time and place, to enhance chances of people making a full recovery quickly, whilst also reducing pressure on frontline services.

So far, the initiative has been a huge success - just six months into using the new response, more over 1,100 cases have been diverted from frontline NWAS and GMP services, with NHS support being provided instead.

One service user, who would like to remain anonymous said: “Just four words sum up the mental health support for me – ‘you saved my life’.  

“I want to say how grateful I am for this immense support throughout my time of need.

“It is because of this that I have been able to rise up with a heart full of courage, so thank you.”

Debbie Robinson, Strategic lead for urgent and emergency care at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) said: “COVID has had a profound impact on the mental health of our communities, and we know that many people who are struggling with their mental health would benefit from receiving support directly from our services when they phone the ambulance or the police.

“The impact of the pandemic, alongside normal Winter pressures, meant that frontline health services saw an increase in demand.

“It was so important that we did our part to make sure that people could access mental health care quickly, working with our ambulance and police colleagues.

“In response to this, we collaborated with the North West Ambulance Service and Greater Manchester Police, to see how, by linking up, we could work more effectively to help as many people as possible receive the best care, faster.

“We established twice-daily meetings, to create new referral pathways, and continue to analyse as we go along.”