How to get urgent support

Last reviewed on 22 January 2022

Life can be really difficult and you might sometimes feel completely overwhelmed. This kind of crisis situation can be triggered by many things, including bereavement, stress and social isolation, and may require an immediate response.

If you feel extremely distressed and worried that you might not be able to keep yourself safe, there is lots of urgent support available, including 24/7 NHS mental health helplines in every London borough. If you’re in immediate danger and it’s a medical emergency, call 999 straight away.

If you can, let a parent, carer, friend, teacher or someone else you trust know how you’re feeling so they can support you. If you’re already receiving support from mental health professionals, you should have your own Safety and Coping Plan (sometimes called a Safety Plan or a Care Plan). When you’re struggling, try to follow this plan one step at a time until you are safe and let your mental health professional know what’s going on.

Please don’t suffer alone. You can find lots of information about the NHS and other support organisations below – they are all here to help you.

You can also find your local NHS number in London and other resources for urgent mental health support here.

Every London borough (and other places around England) has a mental health helpline that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide urgent advice and support. You can find details of all the local helplines in London below.

If you currently receive support from a mental health service, please call the number you’ve been given for your care co-ordinator or duty team during their office hours. This number should also be on your Safety and Coping Plan. Out of office hours, please call the 24/7 helpline in your borough (see below).


North West London

Boroughs

  • Brent
  • Hillingdon
  • Harrow
  • Kensington & Chelsea
  • Westminster

24/7 Support Number: 0800 023 4650

  • Ealing
  • Hounslow
  • Hammersmith & Fulham

24/7 Support Number: 0800 328 4444


North Central London

Boroughs

  • Barnet
  • Camden
  • Enfield
  • Haringey
  • Islington

24/7 Support Number: 0800 151 0023


North East London

Borough

  • City & Hackney - 24/7 Support Number: 0800 073 0006
  • Newham - 24/7 Support Number: 0800 073 0066
  • Tower Hamlets - 24/7 Support Number: 0800 073 0003
  • Barking & Dagenham
  • Havering
  • Redbridge
  • Waltham Forest

24/7 Support Number: 0800 995 1000


South West London

  • Borough
  • Kingston
  • Merton
  • Richmond
  • Sutton
  • Wandsworth

24/7 Support Number: 0800 028 8000


South East London

  • Croydon
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Southwark

24/7 Support Number: 0800 731 2864

  • Bexley
  • Bromley
  • Greenwich

24/7 Support Number: 0800 330 8590

If you’d like to talk to someone in confidence about how you’re feeling, various charities provide free advice and support, including:

  • Childline: Call 0800 1111 (available 7:30am – 3:30am, seven days a week)
  • Hopeline UK (Papyrus): Call 0800 068 41 41, text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org (available 9am to midnight, seven days a week)
  • Samaritans: Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org (available 24/7)
  • Shout: Text SHOUT to 85258 (available 24/7)
  • Student Space: Call 0808 189 5260 or text STUDENT to 85258 (available 24/7)
  • The Mix: Call 0808 808 4994 (available 3pm to midnight, seven days a week) or text THEMIX to 85258 (available 24/7)
  • YoungMinds: Text YM to 85258 (available 24/7)

If you need help urgently but you’re not at risk of harm or serious illness, visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111.

If it’s an emergency and you need immediate medical attention, call or text 999 for an ambulance. You can also go to your local Accident & Emergency department (find your nearest A&E here).

If you’re in danger because of another person, call or text 999 and ask for the police.

Good Thinking provides a range of resources to help you manage your mental wellbeing, including advice, apps, blogs, podcasts and a self-assessment tool.

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