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Mental health emergency or crisis services

If you need help with a mental health problem or crisis there are services that you can use.

What is a mental health crisis

Emergency mental health support

Telephone helplines

Suicide prevention helplines

Out of hours mental health listening services

What is a mental health crisis

A mental health crisis is when you feel that you are unable to cope or you’re not in control of your situation. This can include feeling:

  • great emotional distress or anxiety
  • thoughts of self harm or suicide
  • hearing voices or hallucinating
  • confusion and mental distress

A crisis can be caused by an existing medical condition, an overdose, alcohol or drug use, an infection or dementia.

You may be experiencing a mental health crisis for the first time or you may have a known mental health problem. You’ll need support and an assessment from the right professionals to make sure you get the right care and to help stop your condition worsening.

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Emergency mental health support

If you have an existing mental health problem you may be under the care of a mental health team and have a:

  • crisis line telephone number to call
  • specific care plan to follow that says who to contact when you need urgent care

When you need help urgently

If this is the first time you’ve experienced a mental health crisis or you feel like you’re condition is worsening or that you may act upon feelings of self harm or suicidal thoughts. Get help quickly.

Northumbria Police or the Ambulance Service: Call 999 if you or someone you care for is in immediate danger, is hurt or their life is at risk.

Visit your nearest Accident and Emergency department (A & E) if you or someone else needs immediate help or you’re worried about their safety. This may include feeling close to acting on suicidal thoughts or if you have seriously harmed yourself.

NHS 111 deals with urgent, not life threatening, medical issues.  Trained staff ask you a series of questions to understand your problem. They can then arrange for a clinician to call you, or offer support and advice over the phone. They may arrange an appointment for you at an urgent treatment centre or an ambulance if needed. This service is provided by North East Ambulance Service.

Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team Newcastle and Gateshead is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is an alternative to hospital admission for people over 16 experiencing a mental health crisis. The team are experienced mental health professionals including nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and pharmacy staff. They offer mental health assessments and home treatment. The crisis team does not provide an ‘emergency’ service such as a 999 response.

Community Health and Social Care Direct Emergency Duty Team (EDT) can be contacted outside of office hours for advice and support. They’re on call to help with care and support emergencies including:

  • safeguarding children and adults
  • adult mental health care
  • children and families
  • emergency Mental Health Act assessments
  • making sure that people are safe and cared for until a more thorough assessment of their needs can be carried out the following working day

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Telephone helplines

Suicide prevention helplines

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts or feelings of self harm you can talk to:

Samaritans about any feelings of distress and despair including thoughts that could lead to suicide or self harm. They offer confidential listening on their 24 hour telephone helpline or face to face without an appointment. Drop in support is available 9am to 9pm.

Papyrus HOPELINEUK if you’re under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call them weekdays 10am to 10pm. Weekends 2pm to 10pm and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm

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Out of hours mental health listening services

Mental health listening services give you the chance to talk through your feelings and experiences. Most helplines are confidential, free to call and available outside of office hours.

Samaritans offer confidential listening either on their 24 hour telephone helpline or face to face without an appointment. Drop in support is available 9am to 9pm.

SANEline is a national confidential out of hours telephone helpline that offers information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health problems. Interpreters are available to translate into over 100 languages.

Mental Health Matters helpline is a confidential out of hours telephone service. They offer emotional support to anyone, including carers. They signpost to local and national mental health services.

Shout is a 24 hour, 7 days a week text service. It is free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

CALM helpline is a free and confidential helpline and web chat service for men who need to talk about their mental health, who are down or have hit a wall for any reason. They also offer information and support. Open 5pm to 12am every day of the year

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Other useful organisations

Please note – The content on this website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you are feeling unwell, make an appointment to see your GP or contact NHS 111. In an emergency, dial 999.

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Last updated: January 23, 2020

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