The overarching aim of the DBI programme is to provide a framework for improved inter-agency co-ordination, collaboration and co-operation across a wide range of care settings, interventions and community supports, towards the shared goal of providing a compassionate and effective response to people in distress. Such an approach will make it more likely that these individuals will engage with and stay connected to services or support that may benefit them over time.

What is a DBI?

A Distress Brief Intervention is a time limited and supportive problem solving contact with an individual in distress.  It is a two-level approach.  DBI level 1 is provided by front line staff and involves a compassionate response, signposting and offer of referral to a DBI level 2 service.  DBI level 2 is provided by commissioned and trained third sector staff who would contact the person within 24-hours of referral and provide compassionate community-based problem solving support, wellness and distress management planning, supported connections and signposting for a period of up to 14 days.

Who is a DBI for?

Distress is being defined as ‘An emotional pain for which the person sought, or was referred for, help and which does not require (further) emergency service response’. The initial test period will focus on people aged 18 and over. DBI does not replace existing arrangements for anyone in distress who requires further medical treatment, it is an additional option for frontline staff.

Who will provide the DBI and where?

For the purposes of the pilot, the DBI approach will be tested primarily in relation to people presenting in distress to A&E, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Services and primary care, including out of hours, although each partnership site can include other services if the conditions facilitate this.

Provision of DBI level 1 will be by front line staff, in the above settings.  Provision of level 2 will be by third sector services, providing a welcome additional option to which level 1 staff can refer people to.