Mental health was responsible for one in 10 ambulance call-outs during the coronavirus pandemic, figures for London have revealed.
Of 826,396 incidents attended between January and September, 81,644 – 10 per cent – had a mental health element.
June saw the highest proportion of attended call-outs involving mental health, making up 12 per cent of the total, or one in eight calls.
The figures have been compiled by the London Ambulance Service (LAS), whose consultant nurse for mental health, Carly Lynch, said: “A busy emergency department is not always the right place for someone experiencing a mental health crisis – it can often be an extremely traumatic experience.
“The paramedic and mental health nurse are able to treat both their physical and mental health needs and, once they have assessed the patient, they can encourage them to make a GP appointment, refer them to their mental health team or call an ambulance if they think they need to go to hospital.
“Working with eight mental health trusts across London, we are helping to provide expert and compassionate care for those in the midst of a crisis.”
Keith, a paramedic, said: “It sometimes can feel quite shocking thinking about the sheer amount of mental health patients we are responding to day in and day out.
“Life can be difficult and overwhelming sometimes – that’s why it’s so important for people to reach out and talk to someone they trust. Sometimes one conversation is all it takes for someone to get the help they need when they are struggling.”
The LAS said that there were a total of 168,000 mental health calls to the service in 2019.
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Mental health, Ambulance, Coronavirus
World news – GB – One in 10 ambulance call-outs during Covid pandemic for mental health reasons