Getting Help in a Crisis

Knowing your service options is an important step in tackling a mental health crisis. You do not need to manage alone as a range of help is available, depending on your circumstances.

Urgent help

Examples of a mental health crisis includes thinking you are at risk of taking your own life or seriously harming yourself and needing urgent medical attention. You may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself.

Given the current COVID-19 situation a specialist Crisis Assessment Centre at St Pancras Hospital, has been set up to avoid people with mental health distress attending Accident and Emergency departments. This will avoid risk of infection and avoid potentially longer waits for them to access support. If not an immediate emergency please do not phone 999 but phone the crisis service on 020 3317 6333

If you are deaf or have hearing loss, you can use a 999 emergency text service. However, you MUST register your phone to use this service. Click here and follow the instructions to register your phone.

What happens at an Accident & Emergency (A&E) department?

Many hospitals have a liaison psychiatry service, which is designed to bridge the gap between physical and mental health care. A mental health clinician will assess your difficulties and offer advice on next steps in your care (eg. whether you can go home or need to be admitted to hospital). 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 (CRHTs) who will arrange an assessment of your needs.

Find your nearest A&E

Calling crisis services

If you do not need urgent assistance via Accident & Emergency services but have significant concerns about managing risk of hurting yourself via deliberate self-harm or suicide, if you feel unsafe and/or if you have concerns that you might harm others, crisis services are available. These services are designed to support you outside of a hospital setting and are available by telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The phone number for the Camden & Islington Crisis service is 020 3317 6333.

Booking an urgent GP appointment

If you need urgent support for your mental health but can keep yourself safe for a brief period of time until you can access a medical appointment, then you can contact your GP surgery and request an Emergency or ‘same-day’ appointment. You will be offered an appointment with the next available doctor who will inquire about your current difficulties and consider appropriate next steps in managing your care.

You can get urgent help from any GP surgery without being registered as a patient, although you might need to register as a temporary patient if you need treatment over more than 24 hours. You can locate a your nearest GP surgery on the NHS Choices website

If you call out of hours and/or the GP surgery is closed you can call 111, which is a free 24-hour NHS helpline that can help you access local services.

Managing suicidal thoughts

We recognise that suicidal thoughts can be common as a response to psychological stress and encourage you to use one of the following options:

Samaritans Freephone 116 123. This service provides 24-hour confidential emotional support. You can also send an email to jo@samaritans.org and can expect a response within 24 hours.

The “Stay Alive” App is a helpful way to manage suicidal thoughts. It provides 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. It is available for free download on all smart phones here

Mental health advice

Rethink National Advice Service – Telephone: 0300 5000 927 Advice on how to get help and recover from severe mental illness. Available Monday – Friday from 10am – 2pm. Not open on bank holidays. Email: advice@rethink.org

Saneline – Telephone: 0300 304 7000 Advice to anyone affected by mental illness, offering support, details of local services, treatment and mental health legislation. Open every day of the year from 6pm – 11pm. Text care or visit the website.

Mindinfo Line – Telephone: 0300 123 3393 Advice on mental illness, help and alternative therapies. Text: 86463 Email: info@mind.org.uk

HOPELineUK – Telephone: 0800 068 4141 Confidential helpline service staffed by trained professionals who can give support, practical advice and information to anyone concerned about themselves or a young person they know who may be at risk. The helpline is open Monday – Friday from 10am – 10pm and 2pm – 10pm on weekends and 2pm-5pm bank holidays. Calls are free from BT landlines, other networks and mobiles may vary. The helpline advisors will call you back if you leave a message. Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org Text: 07786 209 697

Maytree – Telephone: 020 7263 7070 Maytree is a registered charity supporting people in suicidal crisis in a non-medical setting. Maytree offers respite accommodation, subject to assessment, in a supportive non-medical environment. Address: 72 Moray Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3LG Website: www.maytree.org.uk

General health enquiries

Residents in Camden and Islington can contact their GP, or speak to a local pharmacist for care advice.

For general health enquiries dial 111 for free from a landline or mobile phone to gain access to local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call 111 at any time because the service is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Deaf patients can use Typetalk or a textphone to contact NHS 111.

NHS 111 is the number to use if you are not in an emergency/life-threatening situation but do need medical help quickly. Here are some more reasons you may use NHS 111:

  • you think you need to go to A&E/hospital
  • you need care quickly from the NHS
  • you need help but don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information
  • you are ill and need to be told what to do next
Domestic violence services - urgent help contact information

Immediate danger
If you are in immediate danger, you can do the following:

  • Call 999 if you are able to
  • You can use the ‘Silent Solution system’ by calling 999 then pressing 55 when prompted.
  • You can access the Emergency Text Service: If you cannot use a voice phone, register with the police by texting ‘REGISTER’ to 999

Other crisis contacts

National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Freephone 24-hour  helpline which is run by Refuge
Contact no. 0808 200 0247

Drayton Park Women’s Crisis house
Provide residential stay and support during a mental health crisis. Women can self-refer or be referred
Contact no. 0207 607 2777

Rape Crisis 
Helpline for sexual violence survivors
Contact no. 0808 802 9999

Maytree
Can offer residential stays for people experiencing suicidal thoughts
Contact no. 0207 263 7070

Solace Women Aid
London-based Domestic Abuse charity. Offers safe refuge, advice and accommodation
Advice line: 0808 802 5565
Solace Rape Crisis helpline: 0808 801 0305