A crisis is a situation where things feel out of control and some action or decision needs to be taken urgently. You or someone you know might desperately need some advice or support.
Each crisis and each person is different and the kind of support that is needed will be equally individual. Who you contact in a crisis should usually depend on the kind of help that you feel that you need. This might include someone to talk to for support and advice, and/or somewhere to go where you can feel safe, get the medical treatment you need and get help with a situation where there may be a threat of harm or violence.
If you are in need of crisis support, you can contact the following organisations:
The Samaritans Helpline offers confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service helps you to talk through your concerns, worries and troubles. You don’t have to be suicidal to call. There are no age restrictions, young people can phone.
Alternatively you can contact the confidential email service (they will usually respond within 24 hours) or write to the address below.
Most local branches are open to people to visit and talk in confidence to volunteers.
In London there are the following local services:
- Central London Samaritans; 46 Marshall Road, London W1F 9BF. Tel 116 123. Visiting 9am – 9pm.
- The Samaritans of Lewisham, Greenwich & Southwark; 1-5 Angus Street, London SE14 6LU. 020 8692 5228.
- There is also a service in Putney (see website).
Phone: free helpline 116 123
24 hour mental health support line
24-hour mental health telephone support line to help people who are experiencing mental distress.
The line is for anyone who needs advice, help and assistance while in crisis or facing difficulties dealing with mental illness as well as patients and carers. A range of supportive interventions, advice on mental health and medication, accessing services, crisis reviews and liaison with care teams can be offered.
Phone: 0800 731 2864
24 hour A&E psychiatric liaison service.
Kings College Hospital offer inpatient and outpatient mental illness assessments by psychiatrists for people aged 18-65. They also provide psychiatric assessments within Emergency Departments to determine if people need mental health care and treatment at hospital. Their aim is to ensure that mental illness expertise is available to people who require assessment, care and treatment. They provide a range of clinical care and treatment services to suit people’s needs.
Phone: 020 3299 3181 or 020 3299 9000 for Hospital Reception
King’s College Hospital
London SE5 9RS
St Thomas Hospital
24 hour A&E psychiatric liaison service.
A team of mental health professionals based at St Thomas’ Hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. They assess people to determine if they need mental health care and treatment, and refer them to clinical services. As well as assessing and treating people who self-harm, they provide a 24 hour service to manage all psychiatric emergencies in A&E and inpatient wards. They also assess and treat those medical and surgical patients who have mental illnesses.
They work closely with community-based mental health and substance misuse services, the police, and local statutory and voluntary agencies to provide mental health care and treatment. This includes crisis care and brief therapy. As well as working with our patients, they offer psychological care for families of people with mental illness. If required, the team will arrange any immediate follow-up care with the relevant service.
Phone: 020 7188 6007 or 020 7188 7188 Hospital Reception
Psychiatric Liaison Services
St Thomas’ Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
The Sanctuary is an out of-hours support service in a non-clinical space, targeted at Lambeth residents over 18 years of age who live with a mental health condition.
The Sanctuary is staffed by Mosaic Support Workers, Peer Supporters from Solidarity in a Crisis and Mosaic Clubhouse Members. They offer a comfortable and welcoming environment; people to listen; information and signposting service, and a range of snacks and refreshments. Members can access various activities such as exercise classes, art, videos, DVD and music, or relax in our quiet space.
Referrals to the Sanctuary can only be made by the psychiatric liaison teams in local A&E departments once someone has been assessed, by either the Lambeth Home Treatment Team, the Community Mental Health Teams, Street Triage, the Living Well Network Hub or the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust 24 hour mental health line. People can be referred up until midnight.
The Sanctuary can arrange transport to their premises and take people home if required. The Sanctuary opens five nights a week – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 6pm and 2am.
Phone: 020 7924 9657
65 Effra Road
London SW2 1BZ
Prevention of young suicide
Papyrus provide confidential support and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person.
They run a national helpline, HOPELineUK, including text and email services, staffed by a team of mental health professionals who provide practical help and advice to vulnerable young people and to those concerned about any young person who may be at risk of suicide.
They campaign and influence national policy. Papyrus acts on the experiences of their members and service users by campaigning for the protection of young people at risk of suicide.
Phone: 01925 572 444 or HOPELINE UK: 0800 068 4141
HOPEline: 0800 068 4141 or email.
Monday to Friday 10am- 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 2pm – 10pm
Bank Holidays 2pm – 5pm
Solidarity in a Crisis
Out-of-hours Peer Support
Solidarity in a Crisis supports people in distress by providing out of hours emotional support over the phone and in person. The service is run by Peer Supporters who have their own experience of facing and overcoming crisis.
This service is available in the borough of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.
Phone: 0300 123 1922
Text: 0788 9756 087 / 0788 9756 083
Certitude, 31-33 Lumiere Court
209 Balham High Road
London SW16 7BQ
Monday to Friday 6pm – 12am
Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 12am