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 day services?

Day services provide support for people coping with mental health problems outside of hospital.

This page covers:

When should I use day services?

If you're managing a mental health crisis at home and you'd find it helpful to get more support or have opportunities to meet other people in similar situations.

You might use day services alongside other support – for example, from your GP, community mental health team, crisis team (CRHT) or social care.

How could they help me?

Day services can include:

  • drop-in centres
  • acute day hospital services
  • one-to-one support
  • group support.

Day services might provide support, help you learn self-management techniques that could help in the future or simply give you a change of scene. They can include:

Staff will usually have a good knowledge of local services, and close links with the local community mental health team (CMHT).

I once had to have the NHS community mental health team come out to assess me. Their service was good, but the next team I saw were better, and so was the day centre.

How can I access them?

You can find day services near you through:

  • Your GP - they might know of local services you can access.
  • NHS service finder – you can search online for NHS services near you, including day centres.
  • Your local crisis team (CRHT) or community mental health team (CMHT), if you're in contact with them.
  • Your local Mind – many local Minds offer activities and services to support you in looking after your mental health.
  • Rethink Mental Illness' service directory - you can search online for support options near you, including day services.
  • Crisis houses – some let you visit during the day to access their support programmes, even if you're not staying overnight.


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.

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