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Mental Health Crisis


A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation.

You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, cannot cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hearing voices.

A crisis can also be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as confusion or delusions caused by an infection, overdose, illicit drugs or intoxication with alcohol. Confusion may also be associated with dementia.

Whether you experience a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or are experiencing problems for the first time, you'll need immediate expert assessment to identify the best course of action and stop you getting worse.

Where can I get urgent help?

If you have already been given a Crisis Line number from a health professional, call it.

If you're under the care of a mental health team and have a specific care plan that states who to contact when you need urgent care, follow this plan.

Call NHS 111 (Option 2)

You can call NHS 111 and select Option 2 if you or someone you know needs urgent care, but it's not life threatening.

Mental Health 111 (Option 2) is free to call, from a mobile (even when the caller has no credit left) or from a landline.

The 111 Option 2 service can help you if:

  • you have an existing mental health problem and your symptoms get worse
  • you experience a mental health problem for the first time
  • someone has self-harmed but it does not appear to be life threatening, or they're talking about wanting to self-harm
  • a person shows signs of possible dementia
  • a person is experiencing domestic violence or physical, sexual or emotional abuse


Samaritans has 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.