Dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency
A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation.
You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, cannot cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hearing voices.
A crisis can also be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as confusion or delusions caused by an infection, overdose, illicit drugs or intoxication with alcohol.
Whether you experience a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or are experiencing problems for the first time, you’ll need immediate expert assessment to identify the best course of action and stop you getting worse.
Where can I get help?
If you have already been given a Crisis Line number from a health professional, call it.
If you’re under the care of a mental health team and have a specific care plan that states who to contact when you need urgent care, follow this plan.
Call 999 – You may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself.
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.
Examples of mental health emergencies include thinking you’re at risk of taking your own life or seriously harming yourself and needing immediate medical attention.
Call 999 if you or someone you know experiences an acute life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.
You can go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.
For any emergency when you cannot talk, call 999 then press 55
The 999 emergency service has an additional service call Silent Solutions for times when you need emergency help but cannot speak. The service works in the same way as calling 999. When the operator asks which emergency service you require if you don’t say anything they will ask you to cough or make another noise like a tap on the handset. If it’s too risky to do this (for example, if you are hiding from an attacker), the operator will ask you to dial 55. This will then alert them to the face that no, you haven’t called 999 accidentally- and yes, you need urgent help. The system tracks your location using GPS and sends help.
Suicidal help and advice
Who to contact if you need urgent support in a crisis
If you feel suicidal or feel like harming yourself or other people:
Go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department (A&E). You can search for your local department through the NHS Choices website
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person (under 35) who might be.
You can contact HOPELINEUK for confidential support and practical advice.
Call: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786209697 or Email: email@example.com
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (weekdays), 2pm – 10pm (weekends), 2pm – 10pm (bank holiday)
If you would like to know what mental health services are available in your area, the Hub of Hope website offers a postcode search of local services.
Visit their website at https://hubofhope.co.uk
Maytree is a sanctuary for people in suicidal crisis. Their helpline is open 24hrs a day – if no one answers leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Many of their volunteers have struggled with suicidal feelings themselves and have first-hand experience of getting through a suicidal crisis. Their number is 020 7263 7070 or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4pm, not including bank holidays
Alternatively, you can:
Contact your GP – to search for a GP in your area or to find the contact details for your practice, please see the GP section on NHS Choices
Phone the NHS 111 / 0845 4647 service is free of charge from any phone and self-refer to The Well-being Service.
The Samaritans CALL FREE 116 123. Free confidential support in a crisis 24/7, every day of the year. Samaritans support anyone who needs help in the UK and Republic of Ireland, working closely with schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, health and welfare services, homeless shelters, prisons and other charities. Samaritans also promote awareness of OLLIE at local social venues, community events and music festivals.
Support for Children and Adolescents
CALL Childline on 0800 1111. 24/7 counselling service for children and young people.
The MIX offers free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile. visit www.themix.org.uk/get-support to find out more.
Think you Know
Sharing, oversharing and your privacy:
From sandwich pics to soul-searching poetry, we share a lot of our lives online. How much is too much? And what should you say if someone wants information you’re not ready to share?
Some things to remember:
What you put online stays online. Even things you delete can be saved or screenshotted – including those Snapchat snaps meant for just one friend online, strangers are still strangers. Forums and group chats can be a great way to connect over things you wouldn’t say face to face, but don’t feel pressured to share more than you feel comfortable with.
It’s easy to over-share on social media sites, especially if you forget who can see your profile. You can use Facebook’s Friend settings to create lists so that only people you trust can see all your updates.
Privacy is possible. Make sure you use social media site settings to protect your information. Don’t hesitate to block anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
- Youth Talk : www.youthtalk.org.uk
- Kooth : www.kooth.com
- AnxietyBC : www.youth.anxietybc.com or www.anxietybc.com
- Samaritans – 111 123
- Mental Health Helpline – 01438 843322
- Relate for children and young people – 0300 100 1234
- Breathe with me – www.breathewithme.co.uk
- Health for teens – www.healthforteens.co.uk
- MoodTrack : diary mood tracker where you can interact with other people
- MindShift : website www.mindshift.co.uk
Additional Support and information:
Help for Heroes Combat Stress CALL 0800 138 1619. Crisis support for veterans struggling with depression.
JOCA (Just One Click Away)Email: email@example.com 24/7 support and a friendly ear, especially for men.
CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY (CALM)
Calm runs a helpline and webchat to support men who need to talk or find information. It is open 5 pm-midnight, every day.
Call 0800 58 58 58 nationwide
or 0800 802 58 58 from London
Or visit www.calmzone.net/help/get-help
- Child Bereavement UK
- (Cruse) – hopeagain.org.uk (for young people)
- Cruse.org.uk – Adults
- Winstonswish.org.uk – for adults to help children with loss
DRUGS AND MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE
Drugs and mental health are linked in a few ways.
Using drugs or alcohol can be a way to deal with difficult emotions like the pain of mental illness. Mental health problems that affect your judgement or because risky behaviour could also make you more likely to take drugs.
You could reach a point where you feel unable to cope without the drug and your life revolves around getting more of it so that it’s in control of you. Addiction is often linked to mental illness.
There’s a risk that drug use could make a mental health condition worse, or make someone more likely to develop mental illness. For example, there’s a link between cannabis use and paranoia, while other drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms can produce psychosis.