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What to do in a mental health crisis

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.

 

Therapy can be really helpful, but most therapists (including me) don’t offer a crisis response service.  So here’s some great advice on what to do if you or someone you know experiences a mental health crisis.

  • Contact NHS 111: This is what you should do if you or someone you know requires urgent care, but it is not life threatening. For example, if you experience a mental health problem for the first time or you have an existing mental health problem and your symptoms get worse.
  • Book an emergency GP appointment: Your practice should be able to offer you an appointment in a crisis with the first available doctor.
  • Visit A&E or call 999: A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency. Many hospitals now have a liaison psychiatry team which is designed to bridge the gap between physical and mental health care. If this service isn’t available, the A&E team will contact the local on-call mental health services.
  • Crisis Line: 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 Samaritans also operate a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence.

You can also find local support services here.

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