NSUN network for mental health is an independent, service-user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give us a stronger voice in shaping policy and services.
Help and support
Where to go and who to call
Are you concerned about an immediate risk of harm - either to yourself or someone else? Call 999.
This page lists other forms of support, some concerning mental health crisis, some concerning other needs, such as welfare and rights.
- Accident & Emergency Departments (A&E)
- Mental Health Services
- Other Services and Sources of Support
- Discussion Forums and Feedback Sites
- Help with welfare claims and appeals
- Information and help with Human Rights and mental health legislation
Accident & Emergency Departments (A&E)
Go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. In some hospitals, this will be called the Emergency Department.
Qualified staff are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will be able to assess you and give you the appropriate help.
Mental Health Services
If you are already receiving support from mental health services you should have a care plan. This will include details of who you should contact in a crisis.
Can't find your care plan?
- Is it day time? Contact your our Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)– Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Ask for your care co-ordinator or the person on duty
- Is it outside of office hours? Contact your local Home Treatment Team or telephone information or help lines listed below.
NHS mental health services
Find local mental health services on the NHS website.
You can also get mental health advice from NHS Choices.
NHS Direct phone: call new service 111 when you need help fast but it is not a 999 emergency. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.
Provide confidential support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. You don't have to be suicidal to call.
Phone: 08457 90 90 90 / 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 24 hours a day, every day of the year
Samaritans email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit your local Samaritans branch for face-to-face support
Samaritans website: www.samaritans.org.uk
Helplines Partnership is the membership body for organisations that provide helpline services in the UK and internationally. You can search for a helpline in the UK by name, topic area or location.
Phone: 0300 330 7777
Helplines Partnership website: www.helplines.org
Counselling Directory only lists counsellors and psychotherapists
who are members of a recognised professional body or those who have sent us copies of their qualifications and insurance cover.
Phone: 0844 8030 240 / 0844 8030 240
Counselling Directory website: www.counselling-directory.org.uk
A confidential UK national telephone helpline run by Sane, the mental health charity. Saneline offers practical information, crisis care and emotional support to anyone affected by mental health problems, including families and carers.
Saneline: 845 767 8000 / 845 767 8000 -– Monday to Friday, 12 noon to 11pm. Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 6pm
Sane website: www.sane.org.uk
Keeps a list of some of the statutory crisis services in England that accept self-referrals. You can read the list online. Go to the website below and click first on 'Information', then on 'Factsheets'. When you see the list of factsheets, scroll down to 'Crisis services' and then click on 'List of crisis services open to self-referrals'. Services in London are listed by borough; services in the rest of England are listed by county and metropolitan area.
Mind website: www.mind.org.uk
Offers advice and support to service users; have network of local associations in England and Wales.Details should be in local directories and libraries.
Call Mind InfoLine: 08457 660 163 / 08457 660 163 (local rate) – Monday to Friday 9.15am to 5.15pm
A national charity committed to improving the mental health and emotional well-being of all children and young people.
Are you a young person? Call: 0800 1111 / 0800 1111
Are you a parent? Call: 0808 802 5544 / 0808 802 5544
Do you need non urgent, general information? Call general enquiries: 020 7336 8445 / 020 7336 8445
YoungMinds website: www.youngminds.org.uk
Works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, with a goal of recovering a better quality of life. Rethink provides effective services and support and campaigns for change through greater awareness and understanding.
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm.
Rethink email: email@example.com
Rethink website: www.rethink.org
Together, working for mental wellbeing
Runs a range of services including advocacy, community support, day.
Together website: www.together-uk.org
A support network for people with bipolar disorders.
Bipolar UK phone: 020 7793 2600 / 020 7793 2600 weekdays 9am-5pm
Bipolar UK website: www.bipolaruk.org.uk
Hearing Voices Network
Advice and a network of local groups available to people who hear voices, their carers and workers.
Hearing Voices Network Helpline: 0161 834 5768 / 0161 834 5768
National Self Harm Network (NSHN)
NSHN was originally established to build a network of support groups for individuals who self harm and campaign for their rights. Since its founding the charity has grown and evolved. The charity now focuses on support and distraction enabling people to seek alternatives to self harm. NSHN aims to empower individuals to explore reasons for their self harm and to seek.
NSHN Helpline: 0800 622 6000 7pm – 11pm
NSHN website: www.nshn.co.uk
Papyrus - Prevention of Young Suicide
PAPYRUS was founded in 1997 by Jean Kerr, a mother from Lancashire. She and a small group of parents who had each lost a child to suicide were convinced that that many young suicides are preventable.From its beginnings, people have joined the charity which is now the UK-wide membership organisation dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.PAPYRUS membership is open to all who share the belief that young suicide is often preventable.
Papyrus helpline (HOPElineUK): 0800 068 41 41 / 0800 068 41 41 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Papyrus website: www.papyrus-uk.org
Beat - Beating Eating Disorders
Are you an adult? Call 0845 634 1414 / 0845 634 1414 – Monday to Friday, 4:00pm to 8:30pm. Saturday, 1:00pm to 4:30pm
Are you a young person? Call 0845 634 7650 / 0845 634 7650 – Monday to Friday, 10:30am to 8:30pm. Saturday, 1:00pm to 4:30pm
Beat website: www.b-eat.co.uk
Offer support for people experiencing panic attacks, phobias, etc
No Panic Helpline: 0808 808 0545 / 0808 808 0545 – every day, 10am to 10pm
No Panic website: www.nopanic.org.uk
British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
To find a therapist search the directories:
Cruse Bereavement Care
Promotes the well-being of bereaved people and enables anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. As well providing free care to all bereaved people, the charity also offers information, support and training services to those who are looking after them.
Cruse Bereavement Care website: www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk/
Hypnotherapy Directory was launched to connect individuals with qualified hypnotherapists in the UK. They offer information about what hypnotherapy is, how it can help, articles written by professionals and the latest hypnotherapy news.
Hypnotherapy Directory website: www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk
Other Services and Sources of Support
Offer advice and support on alcohol issues
Alcoholics Anonymous Helpline: 08457 697555 / 08457 697555
Alcoholics Anonymous website: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
Offer advice and provide services for people using drugs and those who work with them.
Open 10am - 5.30pm weekdays.
Release phone: 020 7729 9904 / 020 7729 9904 or 020 7603 8654 / 020 7603 8654 – evenings, weekdays and holidays
Release website: www.release.org.uk
Provides information for prisoners who have been released from prison.
NACRO Helpline: 0800 0181 259 / 0800 0181 259 (freephone)
NACRO email: email@example.com
Helpline 0845 300 0336 / 0845 300 0336
Information about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia issues
Alzheimer's Society website: www.alzheimers.org.uk
Community Legal Advice
Free and confidential advice service paid for by Legal Aid. They can help with problems with debt, housing, employment, education and benefits and tax credits.
Community Legal Advice Helpline: 0845 345 4 345 / 0845 345 4 345. Calls cost from 4p/min. They can call you back.
Community Legal Advice website: www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk
Citizens' Advice Bureaux (CAB)
Offer advice and information on issues such as benefits, health services, housing, consumer/employment rights, etc.
CAB website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) should now be available in every NHS trust in England to deal with any concerns or complaints for service users, relatives and carers.
PALS website: www.pals.nhs.uk
Complaints about the NHS
Serious concerns about NHS care can be directed to:
- The complaints service at the NHS trust concerned (in the first instance: details should be available locally);
- The Health Service Ombudsman: initial enquiries can be made to 0845 015 4033
- Your local MP (via constituency surgery or by phone: details locally) or council member.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC checks all hospitals in England to ensure they are meeting national standards, and share its findings with the public.
CQC website: http://www.cqc.org.uk/.
National Advice Service
National Advice Service phone: 020 8974 6814
Discussion forums / feedback sites
- Mental Health Research Network
- Patient Opinion
- Health Talk Online
- Health Boards
- Uncommon Forum
- Critical Mental Health
- Blue People
- Survivor History Group
- Yellow Card Scheme - Website for reporting adverse drug reactions, medical device adverse incidents, defective medicines, and counterfeit or fake medicines within the UK
- independent April Blog about iatrogenic harm. Adverse side effects causing psychiatric changes from medical treatment including everyday medicines and anaesthetics
Help with welfare claims and appeals
- How to win a PIP appeal: This website shares advice which could prove useful. We have not tested this resource but if anyone has please let us know.
- WCA info: help for advisers assisting people to make a new claim for benefit on the basis of their incapacity for work, and in challenging decisions to refuse, or award a lower rate of, the benefit.
- This Disability Rights guide contains advice / stories / resources concerning employment, education, welfare support and online resources. The document is aimed at people with newly acquired conditions
Help / information about Human Rights and mental health legislation
- Equality and Human Rights Commission (contactable here)
- Liberty (advice pages here)
- Human Rights Guides collection
- The Mental Health Act made law in 1983 and its 2007 Amendment
- The Mental Health Act Code of Practice, enacted in 1983 / revised 2008, the summary of changes brought in by the latest consultation held in 2007 / 2008. The Code was again open to a public consultation in July 2014.
- BIHR’s mental health resources
- Mental Health Advocacy and Human Rights
- Restraint in mental health services: What the guidance says summarises restraint in a mental health setting, including how and when it should be used. It contains key points from the current guidance on restraint, good practice initiatives and stories of how campaigners around the country are making a difference.
- Restraint in mental health services: Influencing change in your area - is about how to get involved with your local services, campaign for change and, where necessary, how to complain. The voice of service users and carers in a mental health setting can transform lives and improve services. Our guide will support you on this journey and is full of practical information and tips about how you can influence change.