Healthy living * Mental wellbeing

NHS stress helpline launched

NHS stressline launched Aims to provide practical and emotional support

The NHS has launched a new phone service to provide help and advice to people suffering from stress.

The service, available in England, is being rolled out nationally after a six month trial.

NHS Stressline callers will receive practical information and advice from trained health advisors. If they are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, they will be directed to a wider package of financial and mental health support. The Stressline number is 0300 123 2000 and it is open daily from 8am to 10pm.

The helpline will be the focus of a new public awareness campaign being launched in the beginning of 2010. The availability of the service is timely given that, in the UK, studies show:

  • Debt can be a cause and a consequence of mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety and depression, but often people do not know where to seek help;
  • Nearly half the UK population worried about money and debt in 2009;
  • A quarter of people with mental health problems experience debt, but a third these people do not seek help for financial difficulties; and
  • Average household debt in the UK is £9,120, excluding mortgages

Phil Hope, Care Services Minister, said: "After the festive season many of us take a long hard look at our finances. Tightening our belts and getting out of debt always features high on the list of New Year’s resolutions. But debt can have a serious impact on a person's mental well-being, causing stress, depression and even suicidal thoughts."

He continued: "The NHS Stressline is there to help improve people’s mental and financial well-being. Whether it’s practical advice, emotional support or the first step in getting treatment for depression, it will give people real help to tackle their money worries."

About the Stressline

The NHS Stressline number is 0300 123 2000 and it is open daily from 8am-10pm.

The Stressline has been in a trial period since July 2009 and has already helped 1,000 people. Over 150 people have been advised to access health services and over 50% of callers have been directed to information services for debt management, employment or housing.

This article was published on Wed 30 December 2009



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