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Working through Christmas: GHA's mental health team

Acting sister in the GHA's mental health liaison team, Michaela Milward.

Michaela Milward is an acting sister in the GHA's mental health liaison team, and this Christmas she will be on hand for anyone in need.

Ms Milward and the team work throughout the year to ensure the community's needs are met.

The team of five is based in Accident and Emergency in St Bernard's Hospital, where they are there 24 hours a day to provide crisis intervention and offer short term support.

The team also attend New Mole House Police Station and assess patients who have mental health issues whilst in custody, and also attend wards in St Bernard's Hospital.

The festive period can be difficult for families and individual, but Ms Milward said it tends to be a quiet time.

She said the majority of referrals comes through the 111 phone line, which advises the patient to attend A&E.

The team will see the patient within a 30 minute window of their arrival to St Bernard's Hospital.

Ms Milward will be working on Christmas Eve, December 27, and New Year's Day.

"Christmas has always been a quiet period as a lot of people spend time with their family," she said.

She wanted to reassure the people of Gibraltar that the mental health liaison team are available through the festive period.

"If you are struggling by yourself or in a low mood, or have no support in the community, we are here for everybody," she said.

She added: "It's just reassuring people who are struggling with mental health, there is support out there for them and they can ring 111, which is a free number they can ring 24 hours a day. The mental health services are available during that period."

When Ms Milward ends her shift on Christmas Eve and return home to celebrate with her children and husband.

Her husband will be working the morning of Christmas so she plans to spend the day with her children and friends.

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