Crisis services and planning for a crisis
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.
What are emergency GP appointments?
Your local GP surgery should be able to offer you an appointment to see a doctor quickly if you need urgent support for your mental health. This is often called an emergency appointment or same-day appointment.
This page covers:
What might happen at the appointment?
In your appointment, the doctor might:
- ask about what's happening for you currently, including your moods, thoughts, behaviours and any recent events that have contributed to you feeling in crisis
- provide information and advice, for example, about other local services you can contact yourself
- prescribe or adjust medication, which might be to help you cope with symptoms you're experiencing or to try to reduce side effects that are contributing to how you're feeling
- refer you for more support, for example to a crisis team (CRHT) or potentially for hospital admission.
If you need an emergency appointment, you should be offered one as quickly as possible – although you might be asked to wait for a doctor to call you back before being given an appointment time. You can go to a doctor's surgery in person to ask for an appointment, but they won't usually be able to see you straight away – so it's often best to contact them before going in.
If you need an appointment outside regular opening hours, you might see a doctor at your nearest surgery or you might be asked to visit another surgery in your local area.
Emergency GP appointments in England
To access this service in England, you can:
- contact your local GP surgery. You can find GP surgeries on the NHS website. If the surgery is closed, you should hear a recorded message explaining what to do, or you can call 111 instead.
- call 111, a free 24-hour NHS helpline that can help you access local services including GPs. Find out more about this service, including options for people with hearing difficulties, on the NHS website.
Emergency GP appointments in Wales
To access this service in Wales, you can:
- contact your local GP surgery. You can find GP surgeries on the NHS Direct Wales website. If the surgery is closed, you should hear a recorded message explaining what to do, or you can use the options below instead
- contact your local out-of-hours service. To find their details, see the Health in Wales website
- call 111, a free 24-hour NHS helpline. In Wales, you can call 111 and select option 2 to access urgent mental health support. Find out more about this service on the NHS 111 Wales website
This information was published in October 2018.
This page is currently under review. All content was accurate when published.
References and bibliography available on request.
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