Updated on 14 March 2019
If a person's mental or emotional state gets worse quickly, this can be called a mental health crisis or a mental health emergency.
It may be a person’s first mental health crisis or a relapse of an existing mental health condition.
Mental health crises may be one of these:
- suicidal behaviour or intention
- panic attacks / extreme anxiety
- psychotic episodes (loss of sense of reality, hallucinations, hearing voices)
- other behaviour that seems out of control or irrational and that is likely to endanger the person or others
In a crisis situation, it's important to get help quickly.
If there is an immediate risk
If you, or someone you know, are in immediate danger of serious harm (for example, if someone has taken an overdose) call 999 for an ambulance immediately. Give as much information as possible to the operator and be as clear as you can when giving your address and telephone number.
If there is a risk of physical violence, or if the person is at risk of self harm or of causing harm to someone else, it may be necessary to contact the police.
People already receiving treatment for mental ill health
If the person having a mental health crisis is already getting treatment and support for their mental ill health they will have a care plan. In this care plan will be the numbers you can call in an emergency.
Information on access to mental wellbeing services in the Vale of York can be found here
Access and Referral to Crisis
Download Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust’s Access and Referral to Crisis information briefing here.
People without a care plan, or if you can't find it
Phone your GP surgery and ask for an emergency appointment. If you phone and the surgery is closed there should be a recorded message giving you an emergency contact number to call. Alternatively, phone your mental health worker or care co-ordinator, if you have one, or go to the accident and emergency department at your local hospital if there has been an injury or another physical health problem.
If you need someone to talk to
If you want to call someone about how you feel or how you deal with someone else's behaviour, you could contact NHS 111 or the Samaritans.
The Haven @ 30 Clarence Street offers out-of-hours mental health support to anyone aged 16 or over in York and Selby.
They are located at 30 Clarence Street (open 6pm-11pm, seven days a week).
Telephone: 07483 141 310
Textphone: 18001 111
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. More information is available here.
Telephone: 116 123
Textphone: 08457 90 91 92
The Samaritans offer a 24-hour confidential telephone helpline. You can also contact them via email or write to them.
Alternatively, you can contact one of the services local to where you live in the Vale of York.
North Yorkshire residents
If you live in the Easingwold, Selby, Tadcaster, Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside or Pickering areas, you can call the confidential and anonymous Mental Health Helpline on 0333 0000 309.
This service provides a listening ear, emotional support, signposting and referral into other services for individuals and the carers of people experiencing mental distress. Referrals are not required to access the service which is available 365 days a year during the following hours:
Monday to Thursday – 5pm to 8.30am
Friday – from 4.30pm to 8am (24 hours at the weekend and on bank holidays)
For more information visit North Yorkshire County Council’s What can I do in a crisis or an emergency? page on their website.
City of York residents
If you live in the York area, the Mental Health Support Line is available by referral only from your key worker, care coordinator, doctor, nurse, or any other mental health worker you are in contact with. The line is also available to carers and supporters.
If you're aged 18 and over and experience mental health problems, this telephone-based support and information is available from professional staff, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help manage any difficulties related to your mental health, such as: anxiety, panic attacks, low mood, hearing voices, personal problems, such as relationships or financial difficulties.
For more information visit City of York Council’s Mental Health Support line page on their website.
Healthwatch York have also produced a user friendly guide on how to seek help in a crisis which is available here.
East Riding of Yorkshire residents
If you live in the Pocklington area, referral, assessment and treatment services for working age adults (18-65 years of age) who are experiencing severe and complex mental health issues are provided by Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust who can be contacted on 01904 526582
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