A new 24-hour service for people with mental health difficulties has been launched in Tameside by Ashton-under-Lyne MP, Angela Rayner.
She met with mental health professionals, GPs and police officers to welcome the new phone line service, The Sanctuary.
It provides a 24-hour telephone crisis line service seven days a week to help people who are having an emotional crisis and are experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression or suicidal thoughts.
The Sanctuary can also provide a place of safety and support, in a non-clinical environment, where clients can speak to trained staff who have experience of mental health difficulties.
Support is tailored to individual needs, because no two crises are the same, with telephone assessments, screening and interventions.
The Sanctuary provides an alternative for people in distress who may have gone in the past to the local A&E department.
Angela Rayner, Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, said: "I am delighted to help launch this new service in Tameside - it will bring real help and support to local people who are experiencing mental health difficulties.
"A sympathetic and knowledgeable voice on the end of the phone can make all the difference to people who are suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
"I want to see serious investment in mental health services in my constituency - 1-in-4 local people suffer from some form of mental illness, many in silence and without any support at all. The Sanctuary offers new hope that we can begin to give mental health as much priority as physical health."
Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Officer of the mental health charity Self Help Services which runs The Sanctuary, said: "This new service will allow us to support more people who are in crisis – providing support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with emergency services, GPs, other third sector providers and groups in the community to ensure that people receive the right support at the right time.”
Dr Tina Greenhough, Mental Health Clinical Lead for Tameside and Glossop CCG added: “I am very excited about the launch of the Sanctuary.
"When people are in crisis it can often be difficult for them to know where to turn and who to talk to.
"The Sanctuary will provide those answers and as a CCG we are delighted to help fund this service that we know will make a real difference to people in Tameside and Glossop”.
Local residents, or those registered with a GP in the area, can call The Sanctuary on 0300 003 7029.
For more information about The Sanctuary visit www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/sanctuary
Follow Self Help Services on Twitter: @selfhelpservice
Like The Sanctuary on Facebook: facebook.com/SanctuarySHS