- Call a friend or family member.
- A good first port of call is your GP, who can also be a gateway to other support services. If you can’t get an appointment soon enough, ask for your GP to call you back; they may help over the phone or make a home visit (my GP has done both for me). After hours, GP surgeries usually have an out-of-hours service accessible through the surgery’s usual number. Or you can Google “GP out of hours service in [your location]”.
- If you already have contact with mental health services, contact your local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) or crisis team. Check your crisis card, advance directive, joint crisis plan (JCP) or care plan (care programme approach/CPA).
- There are telephone helpline services (some operating round the clock, others during evenings or daytime) detailed below. They can be good sources of practical help & emotional support. Don’t feel they’re not for someone like you or you’re not “bad enough” (or whatever): they are there for you, so go ahead & call. I’ve called Saneline many times in the past, & it made a real difference.
- I’ve also included email support services, if that’s your prefered method of communication in a crisis, though you should expect a slower response time.
SERVICES AVAILABLE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY
- SAMARITANS (samaritans.org) – Confidential listening service. Call 08457 90 90 90 (You can also get in touch by email (firstname.lastname@example.org; their volunteers try to reply within 12 hours) letter or face to face by visiting a local branch. Just click through to their website for all the links.)
- 999 – The emergency services (including the police & ambulance) are always available if there is an urgent or imminent risk. Call 999
- NHS DIRECT (nhsdirect.nhs.uk) – Should be able to provide details of crisis support services or advise on accessing the local Accident & Emergency department. Call 0845 46 47
- Go to your local Accident & Emergency department if you are feeling suicidal or if you have self-harmed & are concerned about it.
- MIND (mind.org.uk) runs 2 information lines (rather than crisis support lines), open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. MIND INFOLINE – “Information including types of mental distress, where to get help, drug & alternative treatments & advocacy.” Call 0300 123 3393 (email via email@example.com). MIND LEGAL ADVICE SERVICE – “Legal information & general advice on mental health related law covering mental health, mental capacity, community care, human rights & discrimination/equality related to mental health issues.” Call 0300 466 6463 (email via firstname.lastname@example.org)
- MOOD SWINGS (moodswings.org.uk) – Helpline proving advice, info & support to people with severe mood disorder . Open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday. Call 0845 123 6050
- NO PANIC (nopanic.org.uk) – Helpline for people with anxiety disorders. Also has telephone recovery group for members. Open 10am-10pm every day. Call 0808 808 0545
- SANELINE (sane.org.uk) – “SANE runs a national, out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support & information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends & carers. We are open every day of the year from 6pm to 11pm.” Call 0845 767 8000. Non-crisis support is also available by email & via Sane’s online forum.
COPING IN A CRISIS
More helpful information can be found on the Rethink Mental Illness page “Coping in a crisis“, Sane‘s “Crisis support” page and Mind‘s “Crisis services” page. The organisations listed on the “Get support” page have tons of resources.
Please contact me (via the “About” page) if you find that any of the links above are out of date or if you would like to add another link.