Helpline makes the standard

Mental health telephone support service gains industry accreditation.

A BARNSTAPLE-based helpline that provides support for people with mental health problems has gained an industry recognised accreditation.

The WAND mental health helpline, based in Alexander Road, has received a certificate for achieving the Customer Contact Association and Mental Health Helplines Partnership’s Standard for Helplines.

The free helpline, set up in 1999 to serve Devon, is available to anyone with a mental health issue, their family and friends.

The service is staffed by 16 trained, caring volunteers who offer confidential emotional support and listening through an evening helpline.

Calls received concern many different issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, schizophrenia and self-harm.

Stella Ansell, manager of WAND, said: “Sometimes a listening ear from someone you don’t know is easier than talking to family or friends.

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“With statistics showing that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health issue at some stage in our lives it is so important that people feel they have someone to talk to.”

Stella said the endorsement was gained through months of hard work: “I am delighted that we have achieved this standard and wish to thank the team of dedicated and well trained volunteers who give up their time to be there for our callers.”

Lines are open on from 8pm-11pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. The line is closed on Sunday, May 3 and Monday, May 4 for the bank holiday.

If you are interested in volunteering on the WAND helpline or helping in other ways, contact Stella on 01271 372830 or

If you need a listening ear please call WAND on 0808 800 0312.

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