You might be in crisis if…
- You are thinking about harming yourself or thinking about suicide
- You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming
- You are experiencing psychosis (loss of contact with reality, seeing or hearing things that other people cannot, believing things that are not actually true)
- Your behaviour seems out of control or irrational and is likely to endanger yourself or other people
- You have a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem, or you might experience problems for the first time
In a crisis situation, it can feel like there is no solution, but there are several options available to you.
- It is important to get help quickly
- Help and support is available to you right now
- You are not wasting anybody’s time
If you are in crisis right now…
Connect with someone
The first thing you can do is connect with somebody else. Tell somebody how you are feeling. There are other people who care and want to help; a mental health crisis can stop you believing this. Try talking to a family member, partner, friend or colleague.
Call a phone line: Samaritans
“Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help. No judgement. No pressure. We’re here for anyone who needs someone.”
- Call the helpline: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
- Email: [email protected] (response within 24 hours)
- Write: Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS
- Website: samaritans
- You can visit some Samaritans branches in person
Samaritans also have a Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm to 11pm every day).
Contact local crisis services
Sometimes called ‘crisis resolution’ or ‘home treatment team’.
- The Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Crisis Team
0800 0516 171 – Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
For people of all ages living in County Durham, Darlington, Teesside, North Yorkshire and York.
You can call for 24-hour advice and support for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for, help to speak to a mental health professional, an assessment to help decide on the best course of care.
If you live outside of County Durham, Darlington, Teesside, North Yorkshire or York, visit the NHS website to find your local crisis service:
- You can dial 111 (available 24/7) for advice from the NHS about where to get urgent help
- Call 999/go to A&E: If you or somebody else’s life is at risk or if you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe – A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anybody’s time.
Make a safety plan
Stayingsafe.net has videos and ideas about how to get through.
There may be things that you and other people can do to make things better.
You can use the online tutorials and templates to make a safety plan.
Doctors in distress
Founded by doctors to support doctors (and other healthcare professionals) in distress. Doctors in distress aims to prevent burnout, stress and suicide in healthcare professionals. They offer support groups, webinars, creative projects, campaigns & fundraisers.
Please note Doctors in Distress is not an emergency crisis service; please refer to section ‘if you are in crisis right now’.
Support for men
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) supports men by running life-saving services and bringing people together so they reject living miserably, get help when they need it and don’t die by suicide.
- Call the helpline: 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight, 365 days a year)
- Use the webchat on their internet page (5pm to midnight, 365 days a year)
Andy’s Man Club
Andy’s Man Club are a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups across the United Kingdom and online.
They want to end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation.
Email: [email protected]
LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) support
Members of the LGBTQ community are disproportionately at-risk for suicide and other mental health struggles.
A mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people.
The online support service is an instant message service that is confidential, non-judgemental and anonymous.
Open most evenings from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm, with additional hours most days. Their website has a wealth of resources and online events.
Please note Mind Out is not an emergency crisis service; please refer to section ‘if you are in crisis right now’.
If you are from a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, you may face specific issues relating to your mental health.
Please note the resources below are not emergency/crisis services; please refer to section ‘if you are in crisis right now’.
- See Rethink’s BAME mental health factsheet
- Language Line Solutions: An organisation that can provide translation and interpretation services over the telephone to organisations and services.
- ‘BAATN’ The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network. Home of the largest community of Counsellors and Psychotherapists of Black, African, Asian and Caribbean Heritage in the UK.
- Black Minds Matter UK. A fully registered charity operating in the UK; connecting Black individuals and families with free mental health services. Created by professional Black therapists to support their mental health.
- Website: www.blackmindsmatteruk.com
- Mind: Young Black Men. This is a programme which works specifically with young Black men aged between 11 and 30 years old.
- Telephone: 0300 123 3393
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: www.mind.org.uk/about-us/our-policy-work/equality-and-human-rights/young-black-men/
- The Empowerment Group. A charity that understands the cultural importance of Black therapists supporting their communities. They offer heavily subsidised online one to one counselling sessions for Black individuals in the UK aged 18 plus. Also, they offer training services for groups and individuals of all backgrounds.
Papyrus HOPELINEUK offers confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide and others who are concerned about them:
- 0800 068 41 41 (Open daily from 9am to midnight)
- Text: 0786 0039967
- Email: [email protected]
If you do not want to talk to someone over the phone, these text lines are open 24 hours a day, every day:
- Shout Crisis Text Line – for everyone, available 24 hours a day
- Text “SHOUT” to 85258
- ‘YoungMinds’ Crisis Messenger – for people under age 19, available 24 hours a day
- Text “YM” to 85258
Stay Alive: The free ‘Stay Alive’ app is a suicide prevention resource with useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
The Samaritans self-help App is free to download and helps you to keep track of how you are feeling, get recommendations for things you can do to cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.
If you are worried about somebody else
If you are worried that somebody else is feeling suicidal or is in crisis, try to get them to talk to you. Do not feel that you must have all the answers, solve the problem, or make them feel better. Just be open and curious. Listening to what someone has to say and taking it seriously can be really helpful.
- Remember a mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one.
- If you think someone is in immediate danger, the quickest way to get help is to call an ambulance on 999.
- Contact local crisis services for urgent help; see the ‘local crisis services’ section on this web page.
- Watch this video on Having Safe Conversations around Suicide
- See the Samaritans’ tips on how to support someone you are worried about.
- See Rethink’s advice on how to support someone who is having suicidal thoughts.
If somebody you cared about ended their own life
Losing somebody to suicide is different to other kinds of bereavement. There is no right or wrong way to feel and you may experience conflicting thoughts and emotions. This type of bereavement can be isolating and lonely.
- ‘Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide’ offer telephone support, email support, self-help resources, local support groups and more for people bereaved by suicide. They also host a peer support network for men.
- The ‘Support after Suicide Partnership’ is a resource for people bereaved through suicide or other unexplained death, and for those helping them.
- Access a wealth of information and resources via www.supportaftersuicide.org.uk/
If you need mental health support but it’s not an emergency
- Contact your GP who can discuss your situation and refer you to local mental health services.