Crisis services

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

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

How do I get help in a crisis?

A crisis is any situation in which you feel you need urgent help. For example, you might feel in crisis if:

  • you are having suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • you are having thoughts about harming yourself or someone else
  • you have seriously hurt yourself

The table below gives some general information on how you can get help in a crisis.

What's happening

Ways you can get help

you think you may act on suicidal feelings, or you have seriously harmed yourself

  • you can go to any hospital A&E department and ask for help (if you need to, you can call 999 and ask for an ambulance)

you are feeling extremely distressed, or are experiencing suicidal feelings

  • you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone) – they're there to listen
  • you can click the yellow 'I need urgent help' button at the top of this screen for more options
  • if you are already in touch with a community mental health team (CMHT), you can contact them and ask how they can support you – they may have a crisis helpline you can call
  • you might find it helpful to read our information pages on coping with:

you need medical help or advice fast, but it’s not an emergency

  • you can call NHS 111 (in England) or NHS Direct (in Wales)
  • you can contact your GP and make an appointment for as soon as possible

you're worried that you might experience a crisis in the future

This information was published in January 2015. We will revise it in 2018.

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