Urgent Medical Help

In an extreme emergency call 999 in the UK, or 911 in North America. Elsewhere, call 112.

For urgent medical help in the UK, please contact your local GP or call the NHS 111 service on 111.

If you are in another country, please call your doctor or the local emergency services.

Urgent Emotional Help

If you need someone to talk to urgently and in confidence (for example if you are having suicidal thoughts):

Both are free, 24/7 confidential services. They provide people facing a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, or those around them, with support, information, and local resources.

In other countries, you can find similar services by looking at the Befrienders Worldwide website.

Non-urgent Emotional Help

Tell someone you trust. You may find it helpful to talk to your partner, a relative or a friend about your problems. They may be concerned about you and welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say. If this is not possible, you may prefer to talk to someone else you can trust, like a faith leader or a tutor.

Your GP is usually the first person you talk to about your mental health problems. Your GP may refer you to specialist services.

If you are unhappy with your doctor, you can ask to see another doctor at the same practice or can visit a different practice within your area. If you are unsure where to find other doctor’s surgeries, use the ‘Find a local health service’ search facility on the NHS Choices website.

In the United States, the Federal Government’s SAMHSA National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families experiencing mental health issues. You can call them on 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Other ways of getting help

Here is a list of other key UK organisations offering information and support, including helplines and local services for people affected by mental health problems. A web search will find similar organisations in your country. In the United States or Canada, the local 211 services will help identify appropriate support organisations.

  • Mind offers advice and support to service users. They have a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help and assistance. You can call them on 03001233393 or text them on 86463 or email them at [email protected]
  • Rethink is a national charity that provides information, advocacy, and local support groups and community services for people with severe mental illnesses and their carers. You can contact them on 03005000927 or by email [email protected]
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health operates a range of services across Scotland for people with mental health problems. Their phone number is 0141 5301000 or by email at [email protected]
  • Young Minds provides information and advice for anyone with concerns about a child or young person’s mental health. You can speak to their experts on their Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544.
  • Specialist services Most people recover from mental health problems without needing to go into hospital. There are specialist services which provide various treatments, including counselling and other talking therapies. You may also need help with other aspects of your life, for example claiming benefits or dealing with housing problems. Often these different services are coordinated by a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT).CMHTs are usually based either at a hospital or a local community mental health centre. Some teams provide 24-hour services so that you can contact them in a crisis. If you are already in contact with a CMHT, you may find it useful to keep their number in your phone. Otherwise, you should be able to contact your local CMHT via your local NHS Mental Health Trust, social services or social work team.To find out more, visit the mental health section of the NHS England’s website. The Northern Ireland Government website has a useful guide to the different roles of mental health professionals.
  • You may also find it helpful to contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for advice about housing, benefits, debt problems, legal issues and local services.
  • Please also use the Mental Health Forum to find help. People here will share their own experiences and knowledge and help you find what works best for you. Often you need to try a few different approaches to find one which suits you.