If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental or emotional condition that is quickly getting worse, or if they are at risk of committing suicide, this can be called a mental health emergency or a mental health crisis. In this situation, it's important to get help quickly.
In an emergency: dial 999 and ask for the police or ambulance service. Someone with suicidal tendencies can visit their local accident and emergency department and ask to see the duty psychiatrist.
Immediate advice and support: please see the NHS website regarding Emergency mental healthcare or contact one of the following:
There are also helplines, local support and self-help groups.
If you are worried that someone you know might be depressed or having thoughts of suicide, you should look for signs of change in their personality and behaviour. The signs to look for include them losing interest in things they used to enjoy, unhappiness, lack of energy or a reluctance to spend time with other people.
Sometimes just being there and showing that you care enough to listen can help.
If they won't talk to you, perhaps they would talk to a friend, or a relative, or perhaps they would prefer to write down how they feel. Try to persuade them to visit their GP or to get help from one of the telephone helplines listed below that have specially trained volunteers who will listen to them with care and understanding and help them through the immediate crisis. For more advice, please see the NHS page Offering support to someone who is feeling suicidal.
Before any services can be provided we need an individual's permission to provide any services. A doctor can decide whether a person has the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. All referrals to mental health services have to be made via an individual's GP
However, you may wish to contact the adult social care helpline on 0300 200 1005 to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to ensure a positive outcome.
Find out more via the Mental Capacity Act 2005
As well as letting the person you are concerned about know that there are support services who can help them, you could contact one of the organisations yourself to find out what you can do to encourage the person to seek and accept help:
Information and support services including local self-help groups.
National MindInfoLine: 0845 766 0163
Mind, the national organisation, provides local support through Woking Mind that is supported by Surrey County Council. There is a Drop-in Centre in Woking that you can attend without needing to be referred. Website: www.wokingmind.org.uk National Mind website: www.mind.org.uk.
Helpline: 08457 90 90 90
Samaritans operates a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or if you are worried you might be overheard talking on the phone, then you can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 90 90, Stirling FK8 2SA. They also provide local support through their branches that you can visit. Website: www.samaritans.org.uk.
Helpline: 0845 767 8000
Sane Helpline is a national out-of-hours telephone helpline offering emotional support and information for people affected by mental health problems. The Helpline operates between 6pm to 11pm every day. Website: www.sane.org.uk/helpline
HOPELineUK: 0800 068 41 41