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. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, feel you can't cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hearing voices.
Whether you experience a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem, or are experiencing problems for the first time, you’ll need immediate assessment to identify the best cause of action and stop you getting worse.
Below are some suggestions for what you can do if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. The option you choose will depend on the severity of your symptoms and if you can wait a short amount of time to receive help or not.
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
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.
Contact your local mental health assessment team
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 in mental health crisis, you can contact your local assessment team directly:
If you are already open to one of our other mental health community teams, such as our recovery teams or early intervention teams, contact them in the first instance. If it's outside of the team's usual working hours, you can contact your local assessment team instead using the telephone numbers above.
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, 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. Many hospitals now have a liaison psychiatry team (or psychological medicine service) which is designed to bridge the gap between physical and mental healthcare.
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.
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.