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The Mind Infoline and its operator BSS were awarded joint second prize in the category ‘Helpline of the Year 2014’ in acknowledgement of the continued support they provide to those who contact them – whether it’s people with lived experience of a mental health problem, or friends or family. Trained advisers provide information on a range of topics including types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments; and advocacy.
Sam Challis, Information Manager, said:
“We are delighted that the Mind Infoline has been chosen to receive this award. It’s fantastic that the hard work of our highly trained, compassionate advisers has been acknowledged. Our dedicated advisers deal with difficult calls every day from individuals who may be struggling with their mental health or facing adversity. The aim of this confidential support line is to ensure support is given to those who need it – that individuals are listened to, and given the best advice about the support available. Every day they have conversations that change lives for the better.”
Recent figures show demand for the Infoline has risen by 55 per cent in two years. Since 2012 the number of people contacting the Mind Infoline for advice and support has risen from 51,300 to 79,600.
In making their decision, the judges said:
“Living with a mental health problem carries with it stigma and experiences of discrimination. In addition many people feel a real sense of shame therefore having access to support at times when you most need it is crucial. The range of options available make it as easy as possible to access support no matter how difficult the person may find communication. The feedback sessions and training by people who have themselves experienced distress sets this apart for me as does the value placed on the work of the advisors.”
Mind recently expanded the Infoline by launching a text service to enable people to get in touch via their mobile phones.