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Monday, 27 June 2011

Mental health emergency

If a person's mental or emotional state gets worse quickly, this can be called a mental health emergency or mental health crisis. In this situation, it's important to get help quickly.

Your care plan

If you have a care plan, it has names and numbers to call in an emergency. If you have been or are being treated for a mental illness, you should have a care plan.

Where to go for help

If you do not have a care plan, or cannot find it, you could:

  • make an emergency appointment with your doctor or call your doctor's surgery out-of-hours service if the emergency is at night or the weekend
  • call your mental health worker or care co-ordinator if you have one
  • call your local mental health crisis team
  • go to the accident and emergency department at your local hospital

Mental health crisis team

Most areas have a mental health crisis team. These teams are made up of psychiatric nurses, social workers and support workers and:

  • are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • respond to a crisis within four hours wherever possible
  • carry out assessments under the Mental Health Act (1983)
  • provide support and short-term help until another team is available or the help is no longer needed

Mental health crisis teams are part of social services and you will be able to find their contact details via your local council.

If you are caring for someone 

If you feel someone is a danger to themselves or others call your local council's social services team. If there is an immediate danger call the police on 999.

If you need someone to talk to

If you want to call someone about how you feel or how you deal with someone else's behaviour, you could contact NHS Direct or the Samaritans.

NHS Direct

Telephone: 0845 46 47

Textphone: 0845 606 46 47

Trained nurses can give you help and support 24 hours a day.

The Samaritans

Telephone: 08457 90 90 90

Textphone: 08457 90 91 92

The Samaritans offer a 24-hour confidential telephone helpline. You can also contact them via email or write to them.

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