Where To Get Help And Support for Mental Health Problems

Some practical advice for seeking immediate help and support

If you think you might have mental health problems, talking to your GP is generally the best place to start. However, if you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you may need to seek emergency help. A crisis occurs when your mental health is at breaking point, and you may experience:

  • Suicidal thoughts/feelings and self-harming behaviour
  • Extreme anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Psychotic episodes (including delusions, paranoia, hallucinations and hearing voices)
  • Mania or hypomania
  • Behaviours that make you a danger to yourself or others

There are different ways to get help, depending on the type of mental health crisis you are experiencing.


You need immediate medical attention, especially if you think you might act on suicidal feelings or you have harmed yourself and require urgent medical attention. Go to the nearest A&E department or call 999. If you’re not sure whether you should call 999, call NHS 111 for advice on what you should do.
You need urgent support but do not pose an immediate threat to yourself or others. Make an emergency GP appointment at your local practice.
You need urgent support and are already in contact with your local mental health services. Contact your local Crisis Team.
Your situation at home is contributing to your problem or your home environment isn’t safe overnight but it’s not suitable for you to be admitted to hospital. Find a local Crisis House. Most Crisis Houses offer overnight accommodation and intensive treatment.
You need to talk to someone or want emotional support immediately Contact a listening service, such as Samaritans or No Panic Youth Helpline.

Sometimes people experiencing a mental health crisis receive treatment in a hospital. This is usually because being outside of hospital would be a risk, intensive treatment is required, or a proper assessment can only be carried out within a hospital. If you think you need treatment in a hospital, ask your GP, psychiatrist or other mental health professional to refer you.


Ongoing Support

Resources can be limited when it comes to ongoing support, but if you search for different types of support near you using a search engine, then you should find something helpful. Forms of mental health support that may available to you include:


  • Community mental health teams (CMHTs)
  • Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
  • Eating disorders teams for young people
  • Learning disability services for adults and young people
  • Social care
  • Residential care
  • Local CBT therapists
  • Anxiety support groups
  • Mindfulness courses
  • Mental health support groups
  • Local therapists
  • Online resources, such as Mind, Elefriends, It Gets Better and Hearing Voices Network


Listening Services

Many people helplines very useful. They can be a source of emotional support that has a very positive impact on their mental health recovery. There are many listening services, including:

Samaritans: 24-hour helpline offering support for anyone feeling down, distressed or unable to cope (116 123; jo@samaritans.org)

CALM: support, information and advice for men under the age of 45 who are feeling suicidal (0800 58 58 58)

Disabled Students Helpline: advice for students with disabilities, over the age of 16, who are studying in England (0800 328 5050)

No Panic Youth Helpline: information, support and advice for young people (13-20) with anxiety disorders (0330 606 1174)

Rethink Mental Illness: advice, information and support groups across England (0300 5000 927)

SANE Line: national, out-of-hours helpline for anyone affected by mental illness (0300 304 7000)

Mind Out: advice, information and peer support for LGBTQ+ people through an online chat service


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