WHITEHALL’S anti-suicide chief has praised Swindon mental health nurses as she visited a counselling facility in the town.

Jackie Doyle-Price spoke to staff and patients at the Lift Psychology Service, based in Old Town.

The minister for mental health, inequalities and suicide prevention, said: “It is vital that the NHS provides the most appropriate mental health care to patients as early on as possible and I was very impressed to see how the team here is helping patients manage their more complex mental health conditions in primary care.

“I heard first hand today about the difference the Lift Psychology service has made to service users, and how the hard work and dedication of the team is enabling some remarkable stories of recovery.”

Run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Lift Psychology see around 600 people every month. Patients refer themselves to the service, which is intended to reduce waiting times.

Dr Alex Stirzaker, clinical psychologist, said: “Working with people early on with their mental health difficulties helps them to manage their difficulties more effectively and means that they feel more able to cope with the challenges which many of us face.

“This has been a great opportunity to showcase the work we are doing and demonstrate the positive impact it has on people’s lives.”

For more, visit: www.lift-swindon.awp.nhs.uk.