This guide explains what mental health crisis services are available, how they can help and when to access them. It also explains how you can plan for a crisis. If you're feeling in crisis right now, see our emergency advice.
If you feel unable to keep yourself safe and you need immediate help – especially if you think you are at risk of acting on suicidal feelings, or you have seriously harmed yourself and need medical attention.
Some A&E departments have a liaison psychiatry team (specialist help for mental health) that you can ask to see. If there isn't a liaison psychiatry team, A&E staff might contact other local services such as a crisis team (CRHT) to help assess you.
The liaison psychiatry team or mental health team might:
"I did take myself to the crisis team at A&E and got some help, [although I was] left to sit on my own for 2 hours. [After waiting] I was put in touch with the right people – they came to see me while I was there and I had a psych evaluation."
This can vary depending on the situation and the hospital you go to, but might include:
A&E departments are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and anyone can visit them free of charge.
Not all hospitals have A&E departments – to find one near you, you can:
To get to A&E, you can:
This information was published in October 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.