Everyturn Mental Health and TEWV has expanded its Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) service across County Durham

The mental health non-profit, Everyturn Mental Health, and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) has expanded its Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) service across County Durham, following the success of the initial programme in Derwentside.

DBI helps to improve community wellbeing and ease pressures on existing services by training frontline staff (including GPs, paramedics, and police officers), to better support people in mental health crisis.

Specially trained staff make contact with a person within 24 hours of a referral, providing compassionate, problem-solving support in the community, grounding techniques in times of stress and developing connections in the local community to address social and practical needs.

The DBI service was launched in Derwentside back in October 2022 and was the first DBI service in England.


Following its success, the DBI service launched across County Durham in February and is being estimated to help over 650 people per year receive immediate mental health support – giving guidance and practical support to help people manage their mental wellbeing in the future.

Since launching in October 2022, the Derwentside DBI service has received 388 referrals, with 58% of those being successfully discharged without further support needed, after the 14-day support programme. A further 79% of people said they saw a decrease in their distress levels.

The initial DBI service also helped to train 246 front-line workers to identify people who would benefit from specialised support, including crisis planning, training around domestic violence, multi-agency risk assessment conferences, dialectical behavioural therapy skills, and trauma-informed care.

Tracy Bruce, Head of Community and Crisis Services at Everyturn, said: “We’re delighted to be expanding the DBI service across County Durham – the work done in Derwentside in training frontline staff and providing immediate support for people in distress has been transformative.

“Our continued work with TEWV NHS Foundation Trust will be vital in ensuring that there will be less pressure being placed on existing services and that more people can receive mental health support sooner.”

Dr Sheryl Elliott, Principal Applied Psychologist at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are proud that when the DBI service launched in 2022, we were, and still are, the only NHS Trust in England to deliver this service.

“It’s really exciting for the region that the service has extended to the whole of County Durham, where we can ensure mental health support is available to more people in their communities, when they need it.”