Get urgent help in a mental health crisis
A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation.
It often involves a sudden worsening of your symptoms. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, feel you can't cope with day-to-day life, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hearing voices.
Below are some suggestions for what you can do if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. The option you choose will depend on how severe your symptoms are and if you can wait a short amount of time to get help or if you need help immediately, so please have a read of the options and decide which one is best for you.
Book an emergency GP appointment
Contact your GP practice and ask for an emergency appointment. Your practice should be able to offer you an appointment with the first available doctor if you are in a crisis.
Call the Samaritans
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.
Contact NHS 111
You can call NHS 111 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you or someone you know requires urgent mental health 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
The Sanctuary overnight crisis centre
Open all night, every night from 8pm–6am, The Sanctuary offers a place of safety and support for people in Wigan and Leigh who are experiencing a mental health crisis outside of usual working hours.
People living in Wigan and Leigh or those who have a GP in the borough can access the service by calling The Sanctuary on 01942 410 522. The Sanctuary is based at Claire House, Phoenix Way, Lower Ince, Wigan, WN3 4NW.
Following a conversation with a trained member of staff, people will then either be offered telephone support or they will be invited to come to The Sanctuary for one-to-one support. The Sanctuary is run by charity Self Help Services.
Contact your local urgent mental health service
Guidance for adults age 18 and over
We have mental health assessment teams in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you feel you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can contact your local assessment team directly on the numbers below:
If you are already receiving care from one of our other mental health community teams, such as our home treatment, recovery or early intervention teams, contact them directly. If it's outside of the team's usual working hours and you don't feel you can wait until the next day to speak to someone, you can contact your local assessment team using the telephone numbers above.
Guidance for children and young people up to age 18
Children and young people who are experiencing a mental health crisis can contact our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Assessment and Response Team. The team is available 9am to 9pm seven days a week, covering Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington.
If you need urgent support or advice you can call the team on 01925 579 405. If nobody is available straight away, please leave us a message and a member of our team will call you back as soon as they can.
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency after 9pm and need immediate help, please visit your nearest accident and emergency department (see below 'visit A&E or call 999' section for further guidance).
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 a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.
You can go to accident and emergency (A&E) directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety, for example if you are 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. The local A&E departments at Warrington Hospital, Whiston Hospital and Royal Albert Edward Infirmary each have a mental health liaison team who will work with A&E staff to ensure your mental health needs are supported while you're in hospital.
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 stay in hospital.