Council to introduce 24hr wellbeing phone line after influx in mental health calls

Bassetlaw District Council is to bring in a 24-hour wellbeing phone line after an influx in calls relating to mental health and finance issues.

By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 3:46 pm

Bassetlaw Council decided to implement the new system after calls to their housing team increased sharply.

The ‘Support & Wellbeing Service’ would provide a 24/7 telephone line council tenants and would cost the authority £13,730.90 per year, which equates to £2.05 per tenant per year.

The proposals were approved at the cabinet meeting on July 5 and the service should be introduced by October 1 2022.

Bassetlaw District Council is to bring in a 24-hour wellbeing phone line after an influx in calls relating to mental health and finance issues.

“The housing service is receiving an increasing level of queries from tenants seeking advice on financial issues, legal related issues, mental ill health and other health concerns, and support to sustain their tenancy”, council papers stated.

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Life & Progress would run the scheme, which would give tenants access to fully confidential support, guidance, professional advice and counselling.

It would be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The introduction of the phone line would mean tenants could speak to someone without the need of a council officer.

The phone line would answer calls covering mental health, bereavement and loss, alcohol and drug awareness, debt advice and budgeting support, childcare and parenting challenges, care for older and disabled people and relationship difficulties.

Council papers added: “The Council has been successful in working with tenants during difficult periods to ensure that arrears are kept to a minimum, and to assist vulnerable tenants, often with complex issues, to sustain their tenancy through the work of the Tenancy Sustainment Team, Income Team, and Housing Officers.

“At the same time, increases in tenancy management and estate management issues have also increased, and resources within the Housing Team are stretched in meeting these demands.

“Local advice and support services are also stretched in meeting these demands, and the Housing Management Team has sought to identify additional services that can meet some of the needs of tenants.”

A review of the benefits of the service will be reported back to the cabinet in 12 months.