If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, there are the people who can help. For users in the United Kingdom, the following advice from the NHS may be useful. (source)
If you’ve already been given a Crisis Line number from a health professional, call it.If you are under the care of a mental health team and have a specific care plan that states who to contact when you need urgent care, follow this plan. The charity Mind offers information about how to plan for a crisis.
The Samaritans operate a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence. Call them on 116 123.
You can also find local crisis support services on this site.
Contact NHS 111
You can call NHS 111 if you or someone you know requires urgent care, but it is not life-threatening. For example:
- if you have an existing mental health problem and your symptoms get worse
- if you experience a mental health problem for the first time
- if someone has self-harmed but it does not appear to be life-threatening, or is talking about wanting to self-harm
- if a person shows signs of onset dementia
- if a person is experiencing domestic violence or physical, sexual or emotional abuse
Book an emergency GP appointment
Alternatively, contact your GP practice and ask for an emergency appointment. Your practice should be able to offer you an appointment in a crisis with the first available doctor.
For more information, see:
Visit A&E or call 999
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.
Call 999 if you or someone you know experiences an acute life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.
You can go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety. You may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself.
Once at A&E the team will tend to your immediate physical and mental health needs. Many hospitals now have a liaison psychiatry team (or psychological medicine service) which is designed to bridge the gap between physical and mental healthcare. Learn more about this service in the glossary section.
If this service is not available, the A&E team will contact the local on-call mental health services, such as the crisis resolution and home treatment teams (CRHTs). See more details in the box below.
The team in charge of your care will assess you, decide on the best course of care, and whether you can go home or need to be admitted to hospital.
Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline.
Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales. Founded in 1946 as the National Association for Mental Health, it celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016.
Worldwide Suicide Hotlines
Suicide crisis lines can be found in many countries worldwide. There have been studies in the United States and Australia which show that suicide crisis lines may help people who feel like killing or hurting themselves and may make them feel better.