Mental health emergencies are serious and it is important you ask for help.
If you are in a crisis situation, you feel suicidal or have harmed yourself in any way, please take one of the following steps:
- Call 999 for an ambulance
- Go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency department (if it’s safe to do so)
- The Fire Fighters Charity’s 24/7 Crisis Line: Call: 0300 373 0896 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Immediate and ongoing suicide and mental health crisis care for past and present UK fire services personnel.
- Call your local crisis team: your public health care provider’s website can help you find 24/7 support and advice specific to your local area. To find local services, click on your country of residence: England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
The NHS wants to help you get the right help in an emergency, which may mean going to hospital. You can find more information about seeking urgent help for mental health issues from the NHS on their website
If you don’t want to call 999
If you feel able to keep yourself safe for a while but you still need urgent help, you could:
- Call NHS 111 for emergency medical advice
- Or contact your GP surgery and ask for an emergency appointment. Many medical centres are offering these remotely due to the pandemic.
If you need to talk right now
There are people out there who are ready to listen to you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email email@example.com for a reply within 24 hours
- Text “Shout” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line
You don’t have to be suicidal for these numbers. They’re just available for you to talk to someone.
If you’d like to talk to another organisation
Launched by the Royal Foundation, Our Frontline offers round-the-clock one-to-one support, by call or text, from trained volunteers, plus resources, tips and ideas to look after your mental health.
Mental health charity, Mind, has a large library of resources for ways to help yourself in a crisis.
If you’d like to use an app, please try:
distrACT – This app has been developed by clinicians and a team of experts in self-harm and suicide. The app won the 2019 British Medical Association ‘Patient Information Award’ for wellbeing.
Stay Alive – This app is a suicide prevention resource, full of useful information to help individuals stay safe. It can be used if someone is having thoughts of suicide or if they are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
If you’re worried about someone else
There may be times when you need to seek urgent help for someone else in a crisis, who may have harmed themselves and needs medical attention, has expressed suicidal thoughts that you feel they may act on, or are putting themselves or someone else at immediate risk of serious harm.
If they are not safe by themselves, call 999 and stay with them until an ambulance arrives, if you can. If you can’t be with them in person, try to keep them on the phone or encourage them to call the Samaritans until an ambulance arrives.
If they’re not in immediate threat, you can get quick medical advice by calling NHS 111 or you could try to make an emergency appointment with their GP. You could encourage them to call the Samaritans or text the Shout Crisis Text Line on 85258. You may also feel you need to remove things that could be of harm to them, particularly if they’ve expressed specific details for things they might use. You can find more information on supporting someone who feels suicidal on Mind’s website
If you or someone else is in danger from them, dial 999 and ask for police help. You may feel worried about getting someone in trouble, but it’s important to put your safety first.
If you’re looking for refuge from domestic violence, Women’s Aid and Refuge run a free 24-hour national domestic violence helpline for those facing violence or abuse. Support can be accessed by calling 0808 2000 247 or visiting their website.
If you’d like support from The Fire Fighters Charity
If you or someone you care about could benefit from our non-crisis support, get in touch with us. Our Support Line is open from 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday, so call us on 0800 389 8820 or make an enquiry via the Access Support page here on My Fire Fighters Charity.