Crisis services and planning for a crisis

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

Accessing NHS services in a crisis

Simon tells us about his experiences accessing NHS services in a crisis.

Posted on 05/07/2018

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 houses?

Crisis houses offer intensive, short-term support to help you manage a mental health crisis in a residential setting (rather than in a hospital).

This page covers:

When should I use a crisis house?

As an alternative to going into hospital, for example if you don't feel safe at home overnight, or things at home are contributing to you being in crisis.

How could it help me?

Crisis houses can vary and offer slightly different services. However, they usually offer:

  • overnight accommodation
  • a small number of beds
  • a home-like environment
  • intensive treatment.
Crisis house, sanctuary or safe haven?
Services with these names can be very similar. The main difference is that crisis houses usually offer overnight accommodation with a bed for you to sleep in.

Services described as sanctuaries or safe havens usually don't provide somewhere to sleep or live in. But they might be open overnight as a supportive place for you to go during a crisis.

How can I access it?

Crisis houses might be run by the NHS, independent organisations such as charities, or both of these together – so they're often free to use. If you find a private crisis house you want to access, it's best to check if there are any costs involved.

To use a crisis house, you'll usually need to be referred by a mental health professional, although some let you refer yourself. The staff will also need to assess you, to make sure it's the right place to help you.

When assessing you, they might consider:

  • the length of stay you'll need
  • the type of mental health crisis you're experiencing
  • your willingness to keep to their house rules (such as rules about drug use or how you behave towards other residents)
  • your background – some crisis houses are set up to help specific groups (such as women or people who are also struggling with drug addiction).

Crisis house support [was] relatively helpful, and was there 24/7. Unfortunately [where I went] you can only stop 14 days.

Is there a crisis house or sanctuary near me?

We've listed some details of crisis houses and sanctuaries. Unfortunately there are a very limited number around England and Wales, and there might not be one near you – but this isn't an exhaustive list and you may be able to find others we haven't included.

  • Mind doesn't endorse any particular crisis house or sanctuary, including those listed on this page. We have no knowledge of their services or performance.
  • It's up to you to decide if the crisis house or sanctuary you're considering is appropriate for you, and whether you're comfortable with their rules, approach and treatments.


This list covers:

Multiple locations


  • Bristol Men's Crisis House – residential crisis house, for men only. You can be referred by a health care professional, or you can self-refer by calling 0117 934 9848.
  • Bristol Sanctuary – non-residential service open from 6pm–12.30am on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. To find out more, you can call them on 0117 9542952, text 07709 295 661 or email [email protected].
  • Women's Crisis House (Link House) – residential crisis house, for women only. A health care professional can refer you to this service, or you might be able to refer yourself. To find out more you can call them on 0117 925 1811 from 8am–6pm or email [email protected].

Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan

  • Coed Arian Community Crisis House – residential crisis house, run by Welsh mental health charity Gofal with the local health board. A health care professional can refer you to this service.

Corby, Northamptonshire

  • The Safe Haven – non-residential service, open from 6pm–2am on Saturday–Tuesday evenings. To find out more, you can call them on 01536 461414, or visit their website.

Hastings, Sussex

  • Hastings Sanctuary Service – sanctuary run by the charity Turning Point. This service is for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, and they accept people with drug or alcohol problems. Your crisis team must refer you to this service.


  • Dial House – non-residential service, open from 6pm–2am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To refer yourself, call 0113 260 9328 on the night you wish to request a visit or text 07922 249 452. You can also email [email protected].



  • Manchester Crisis Point – short-term residential mental health service for people suffering mental distress aged 18 and over and living in Manchester. Contact the service on 0161 238 5149 for more information.

Torquay, Devon

  • Granvue – residential crisis house, run by the charity Step One. Your crisis team must refer you to this service.


This information was published in October 2018 – to be revised in 2021. References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information see our page on permissions and licensing.

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today