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.
Crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) teams can support you if you have a mental health crisis outside of hospital. They're often called crisis teams for short, although you might find your local service is called something different.
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"I had a crisis at the GP surgery [...] so I saw the crisis team right quick (within four hours!). Needless to say in these circumstances the crisis service was comparatively brilliant."
Crisis teams support people who might otherwise need to go to hospital, for example due to psychosis, severe self-harm or suicide attempts. They usually include a number of mental health professionals, such as a psychiatrist, mental health nurses, social workers and support workers.
The amount of support they provide can vary, for example, how often they can visit you and whether you can contact them 24 hours a day. Staff members often work in shifts, so you might not see the same people each time.
Support from a crisis team could help you manage a crisis at home, which some people prefer. But this isn't right for everyone and you might feel you'd rather be treated in hospital – for example if your home environment has contributed to you feeling in crisis.
"[My] crisis team have been with me on three separate occasions for two months at a time, sometimes visiting twice a day to keep me out of hospital."
There are different ways you can access your local crisis team during a crisis, depending on your situation and how your local team works. These can include:
"Most of the guys at my local crisis team are brilliant. Even when they've already seen me in A&E three times that week it still feels as important."
"[My crisis team] were very supportive but the biggest issue was continuity and staffing. [In my case] there was a lot of 'we will see you tomorrow' and then they would change times at short notice or not come at all."
This information was published in October 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
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