999 or A&E

ACT FAST

If you’re in crisis or despair, it’s important to get urgent help. When seeking urgent care for a mental health crisis, you have several options to consider. Remember: A&E can be a stressful environment for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Calling 111 can provide you with urgent advice for coping with a crisis.

Am I having a mental health crisis?

Knowing when it’s time to get urgent help can look like:
– having suicidal thoughts and plans to act on them.
– self-harming.
– experiencing intense mood swings, from highs to lows.
– experiencing an episode of psychosis: maybe you’re hearing voices or experiencing intense paranoia.
– feeling overwhelming emotional pain, worthlessness, hopelessness, rage, frustration or self-hatred.

Should I go to A&E?

Hospital might be the best option for reducing the risk of harm, whether that’s self-harm or suicide. When you’re facing a mental health crisis, attending A&E can keep you safe and offer any immediate treatment you might need.
Attending A&E or calling 999 should only be done if you or someone you know is in immediate danger to themselves or others.
But attending A&E with a mental health issue can be overwhelming, as A&E departments can be noisy and busy.
Below is an article on what it’s like to go to A&E when you’re experiencing a mental health crisis..

What are my other options?

Call NHS 111, who can:

– connect you to a nurse or GP

– organise a face-to-face appointment if you need one

– give you an arrival time if you need to go to A&E, meaning you could reduce your time in A&E

– give self-care advice
There are many helplines which offer free, anonymous support to anyone who is struggling.

Helplines are run by trained people who are there to listen. They can help you make sense of what you’re going through and talk through feelings and experiences without judgement.
Reach out to a friend or family.

Starting a conversation about your mental health may feel daunting or uncomfortable.

Although having an honest conversation with a trusted friend or family member is often the first step in seeking support or getting the help you need.

Helpful Reading

Below is an article on what it’s like to go to A&E when you’re experiencing a mental health crisis.