Help in a crisis
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Help in a crisis

Need help in a mental health crisis? Find out what to do below. For all life threatening emergencies, call 999 or visit your local A&E department.

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 a helpline
Samaritans operates 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 or email

Alternatively, you can call the PAPYRUS HOPELine UK (under 35s) on 0800 068 41 41 (9am-10pm weekdays and 2pm-10pm on weekends), or the CALM Helpline (for men) on 0800 58 58 58 (from 5pm to midnight every day).

Use NHS 111
You can use NHS 111 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
Visit: From here you will be asked questions about your main symptom, find out when and where to get help, and arrange a call with a nurse if needed.

Contact your local urgent mental health service
Guidance for adults age 18 and over
If you feel you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can contact your local urgent mental health service for emergency and urgent support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Use the contact numbers below to speak to your local team:
If you are already receiving care from one of our other community mental health teams, such as home treatment, recovery team or early intervention team, please 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 / crisis resolution team. Contact details should be included in your safety / crisis plan or you can speak to the teams above who can direct you as needed.

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 (CAMHS) 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 01744 627 618. 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 life-threatening mental health emergency after 9pm and need immediate medical 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.

If it's not a life-threatening emergency and you or the person you're with doesn't need immediate medical attention, please consider the other options above before dialling 999.

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.

 Content Editor ‭[2]‬

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