Police - seeking help for a mental health problem

A guide for police service staff and volunteers on how to seek professional help for a mental health problem.

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What is mental health and mental wellbeing?

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Taryn Ozorio
Posted on 24/01/2011

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

  • you can call NHS 111
  • 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

  • for information on how to plan for a crisis and other types of crisis support, see our page on crisis services 


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

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