In a mental health crisis, your mind is at melting point. You feel like you can't carry on anymore. You may experience extreme anxiety, have suicidal thoughts or even a psychotic episode. It can happen to anyone.
When you're in crisis you need compassion and understanding, no matter who you turn to for help - whether it's health and ambulance services, the police, social care or voluntary organisations.
We know excellent crisis care exists. It can save lives. That’s why it must be available to everyone who needs it, regardless of which service they turn to first. However, crisis care is not consistent across England. This needs to change.
Last year, national and local governments, and leaders of key services in England (including health, police, and voluntary organisations) signed the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, an agreement that sets national standards for crisis care.
The standards are:
- Access to support when you need it: anyone in crisis should be able to access support 24/7 and expect to receive compassion and understanding
- Emergency access to crisis care: a mental health crisis should be treated with the same urgency as a physical health crisis
- Quality treatment and care: people should be treated with dignity and respect, in an environment that supports their recovery
- Recovery and staying well: future crises should be prevented by referring people to appropriate services.
Across the country, local authorities, police, ambulance, health, social care and voluntary services have signed declarations agreeing to achieve the Concordat standards and are preparing local action plans to deliver them.
We’re calling for the next government, and the next set of MPs, to provide clear leadership and resources to make sure the Concordat’s standards are achieved and local action plans delivered so that excellent crisis care is available everywhere.