The mental health non-profit, Everyturn Mental Health, is celebrating a successful first year of operating England’s first Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) service in the North East – with 77% of people saying they have seen a decrease in their distress levels.

Working in partnership with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), Everyturn launched the DBI service in Derwentside in October 2022, with the aim of the North East pilot to improve community wellbeing and ease pressure on existing NHS frontline services.

The specialist mental health support service provides relevant training to front-line NHS staff and police officers so they can identify people who benefit from more specialised support. Led by Everyturn, it also offers specialised support services to help alleviate people’s immediate distress and gives guidance and coping strategies to help them manage their mental wellbeing in the future.

In the first year of this pilot service, there were 253 referrals from people experiencing some of the most common mental health symptoms, including depression and anxiety due to life events including bereavement and relationship breakdowns. After successfully completing the 14-day support programme, 153 (60%) of people were successfully discharged without the need for further support.


The DBI pilot service also helped to train 217 front-line staff – with NHS paramedics, Mental Health Nurses, GPs, and GP paramedics being the most common professions to take part in the training, which covers crisis planning, domestic violence and Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference training, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy skills, and trauma-informed care.

Laura Reed, Team Manager of DBI Derwentside said: “We have been blown away by the impact that the DBI service has made so far, not only in providing necessary training to staff on the frontline but offering much-needed support to people experiencing distress.

“Communities are at the heart of everything we do at Everyturn Mental Health, so our partnership with TEWV in helping to facilitate the DBI service has been vital.

“By alleviating some of the pressures on existing NHS mental health services, we can demonstrate the difference being made in Derwentside and we hope that this can be replicated elsewhere, ensuring many more people get the support they need sooner.”

Sheryl Elliot, Clinical Psychologist for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s a privilege to work with Everyturn Mental Health and to be a part of this exciting service. We recognise the value of DBI and the impact that it has made in supporting people in Derwentside in dealing with their distress.

“The team have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and deliver training, and it is a credit to them that so many frontline services have engaged, and that anyone that has encountered the team speaks so highly of them. We hope that this will mean the service can be expanded to cover a wider geographical area.”