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Getting support and advice

All of us experience mental health issues throughout our lives. This could include feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, paranoid, agitated and a range of other distressing conditions. Often this is made worse by not sleeping, eating properly or looking after ourselves as we normally would do.

Some of us even feel so distressed and hopeless by mental health issues that we may feel like hurting ourselves and in some extreme circumstances wanting to end our lives.

Quite often we are able to get through difficult patches using support we have such as friends, family or taking time off to rest and recuperate. We also learn how to cope as we overcome bad patches and work out what helped and what didn’t.

Sometimes using the support we have isn’t enough and we need to seek expert support and advice. Sometimes it is not easy to work out the best place to go to for help, particularly if you are very distressed. There is no shame or weakness attached to seeking help. It is the first step towards your recovery.

If you already use one of our services you will have a crisis plan which you will have agreed and should follow this. This should include a crisis card with relevant contact numbers for you to use.

If you have not used mental health support services before you may find this helpful to decide where to go for help

There is a good selection of options available for both information about mental health and telephone support.

Samaritans - The Samaritans can be contacted on Tel. 08457 909090 and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Talk to them about whatever is worrying you.

Saneline - SANE runs a national, out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. They are open every day of the year from 6pm to 11pm. Tel. 0300 304 7000

Mind - Mind infoline provides information on a range of topics including types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments, advocacy. There lines are open 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays). Tel. 0300 123 3393 or email info@mind.org.uk

I need to see someone in the next few days

You should contact your GP and arrange an appointment. GP’s can arrange urgent appointments if required. You will be able to talk through your issues with your GP who can start treatment or refer you to a specialist service such as psychological therapies, counselling. If you do not have a GP you should contact NHS Choices to find out about registering. It is very important to be registered with a GP.

Camden & Islington Foundation Trust has crisis teams which can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The number to call is: 0203 317 6777.

You will speak to a clinician who will help to identify the best way for you to get the right help and support.

I think I need help now

The crisis team can be contacted for advice about urgent situations. They can arrange to see you on the same day in most circumstances. If staff are available you could be seen within a matter of hours, although this is not always guaranteed. 

The number to call is: 0203 317 6777.

Emergency situation

In exceptional circumstances where you feel you need an immediate response you can visit the accident and emergency department. It is worth noting that you will eventually be seen by the crisis team once any physical health issues have been treated. It is quicker to call the crisis team directly for advice before going to accident and emergency unless you think your health is immediately at risk.

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