What to do in a crisis

You might be in crisis if:

  • You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option
  • Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
  • You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.

If you believe you or a person you care for is in a mental health crisis and is in immediate need of help, there are several different avenues you can take.

Who to contact

Between 9am-5pm, Monday–Friday

If you are already receiving support from mental health services, the first point of contact should be your care co-ordinator. Your care plan will contain information on how to contact them. If they are not available, ask to speak to the clinician on duty.

Your GP: If you are in crisis and need immediate help, then please contact your GP.

Out of Hours (5pm – 8am, Monday to  Friday; and Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays)

There is a single point of contact if you, or a friend or relative, are experiencing a mental health crisis out-of-hours. The Out-of-Hours Urgent Advice Line provides advice, support and signposting to people living in the boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. If you already use CNWL services, this number is also on Crisis Card given to you by your care coordinator or named lead professional.

The Out-of-Hours Urgent Advice Line number is 0800 0234 650.

Emergency doctor: All GP surgeries have an out-of-hours number that you can call in an emergency. The out-of-hours doctor may assess the situation over the phone, ask you to attend a clinic/service or may come out to assess the service user. They will be able to arrange any necessary specialist assessments.


A&E: If you are not able to obtain the support you need through the methods above, you can call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department. They will be able to assess your needs and contact mental health services to arrange an assessment or hospitalisation if necessary.

NHS Direct: If you urgently need to speak to someone, NHS direct provides a 24-hour health advice and information service. Talk to NHS direct on 111.

Samaritans: If you urgently need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08457 909090.

Police: If the person you care for is being violent, threatening or you feel at risk, you should contact the police directly by dialling 999.