Crisis services

A guide explaining what mental health crisis services are available, how they can help and when to access them. Also provides guidance on how you can plan for a crisis.

Your stories

In crisis: my experience

In time for the release of the CQC's Mental Health Act report,Claire blogs about her experience of crisis care

Posted on 28/01/2014

How going to A&E helped me

Caroline blogs about how a visit to A&E helped her to realise she needed help.

Posted on 27/11/2013

What are crisis services?

A crisis service is any service that is available at short notice to help you resolve a mental health crisis, or to support you while it is happening. These services can be provided by:

  • the public sector (NHS or social services) 
  • the voluntary sector (charities or not-for-profit organisations)

What crisis services could help me?

There are lots of different ways you can access help when you're experiencing a crisis. In these pages, you'll find more information about the following services:

Crisis service

Situation when this service can help

Accident & Emergency (A&E) (emergency support)

You need immediate medical help – especially if you think you might act on suicidal thoughts, or you've harmed yourself and need urgent medical attention.

Emergency GP appointments (emergency support)

You need urgent support for your mental health, but there’s no immediate danger to your safety or the safety of others.

Listening services (telephone support)

You need to talk to someone right away about how you're feeling.

Crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) team

You need urgent support, and you're already in contact with your local mental health services.

Crisis houses

You need more intensive support than can be offered to you at home, but it’s either not appropriate or not possible for you to be admitted to hospital.

Hospital admission

You need ongoing, intensive support and it's not possible to provide it in the community.

Day services and online support

You need extra, ongoing support at home to help you manage a time of crisis.

Information services (telephone support)

You need information or advice to help you understand your options and plan your next steps.

I have been under the care of crisis team, hospitalised, day care [...] Once I'm under [the crisis team's care] they are supportive, professional and in my case have always made good decisions, like when I need medication changes or [to go into] hospital.

Will I always get the crisis care I want?

While we know that excellent crisis services do exist, not all the options listed above are available consistently across the UK. Unfortunately, you might find that services in your area aren't always able to provide the best possible care to support you.

We know how frustrating and difficult it can be to cope with services that don't provide the exact help you need, exactly when you need it. That's why we're campaigning to improve crisis care across the country.

You can read more about our crisis care campaign here, and see our page on the different ways you can take action with Mind.

[For me] the crisis team were a waste of time, but A&E can be helpful dependent upon what nurse I see. My GP is fantastic!

This information was published in September 2015. We will revise it in 2018.

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