From Monday 8th of June, anyone who phones NHS24 Mental Hub from anywhere in Scotland can be referred to the Distress Brief Intervention Programme (DBI) for further support, when appropriate.

This follows an announcement in April by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, about this expansion, as part of the Scottish Government’s support for mental health and well-being during the coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic.

DBI provides an ‘ask once – get help fast’ early intervention for people 16 and over in distress/emotional pain who do not need urgent medical treatment.

NHS24 Mental Health Hub operates between the hours of 6pm and 2am, every evening. Staff have received additional DBI training, where they help ease a person’s immediate distress with compassion, empowered with the knowledge that they can now refer the person for community support, which the person will be contacted about within 24 hours.

The person is then contacted by trained third sector colleagues within 24-hours of referral who provide community-based problem-solving support, wellness and distress management planning, supported connections and signposting.

DBI is providing a gateway from NHS24 through DBI to the national and local support, most appropriate to each individual.

Kevin O’ Neill, Distress Brief Intervention Programme Manager commented:   “I would like to pay tribute to  our colleagues across the  DBI community which has worked tirelessly to brings together health and social care, NHS24, emergency services, third sector providers, universities and Scottish Government, to create this  vital national access, ensuring that people of Scotland can benefit from the connected compassionate support which DBI provides. Together we have built on the strong foundations created through the pilot DBI programme over the last three years which has seen over 7,000 people benefit from brief interventions.

“Can I also thank colleagues in our local Health & Social Care Partnerships and Health Boards across Scotland who have linked with us to build these new regional DBI links.  We are also grateful to the Scottish Government for their support, which in turn has enabled us to expand the DBI service to provide additional support for people presenting in distress across Scotland, during these challenging times.”

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thumbnail of Briefing Summary National Direct Referral from Mental Health