“Isolation, loneliness and financial security are all factors which impact on people’s mental health." (Photo credit: Nottinghamshire Police)

The Mental Health Street Triage Team advise people to seek help if they are struggling with loneliness in isolation.

The team is encouraging people to look after themselves and others this Mental Health Awareness Week, by checking in virtually on friends and family and accessing support services if needed.

The Mental Health Street Triage team is made up of medical professionals from Nottinghamshire Healthcare who work alongside front-line Nottinghamshire Police officers to provide a more integrated response to incidents where those affected present with mental health issues.

Police Sergeant Anthony Horsnall, Mental Health Coordinator at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “It’s widely recognised that covid-19 and the lockdown measures to contain the virus will have an impact on people that could last some time.

“The Government has put significant restrictions on people’s lives and employment. Although support is there to help as many people as possible, it won’t be possible to shield everyone from the negative effects of these measures.

“Isolation, loneliness and financial security are all factors which impact on people’s mental health. When you add poor coping mechanisms to that – such as drinking more – this can lead to an increase in mental health related calls to police.

“Nottinghamshire Police’s Street Triage Team is continuing to support people who come into contact with the police at a time of mental health crisis. We are seeing that some people’s difficulties are becoming more severe as the challenges posed by lockdown add to pre-existing conditions.

“If you are struggling, and particularly if you have suicidal thoughts, I urge you to seek help. There is support available and you are not alone.”

Alison Harrison, Service Manager at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, said: “The Street Triage Service provides essential mental health support to people in emergency situations. We’re pleased to work with the Police, particularly during these unprecedented times, to ensure people in need receive the most appropriate care and support at a time when they are most vulnerable.”

People who are already using mental health services are encouraged to follow the crisis information which they have been given. Anyone who isn’t already being seen can refer themselves for crisis support on 0300 303 0165.

You can also seek support from your GP, by calling Samaritans on 116 123 or NHS 111.