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Support through a mental health crisis and preventing suicide

Are you or someone you know in immediate danger of self harm?

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.

  • During office hours, you can talk to someone about your concerns by contacting the Community Mental Health Recovery Service on:
  • Mid Surrey teams - covering Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, and Mole Valley
  • South West Surrey teams - covering Guildford, Surrey Heath and Waverley
  • North West Surrey teams - covering Runnymede, Spelthorne and Woking
  • East Surrey teams - covering Reigate and Banstead, and Tandridge.
  • Out of normal office hours, you can speak to someone urgently by calling our emergency duty team on: 01483 517898.
  • Make an emergency appointment with your doctor or, if the emergency is at night or the weekend, call your doctor's surgery out-of-hours service. Your doctor will make an initial referral to a community mental health recovery team.

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.

What do you do if you suspect someone is at risk of committing suicide?

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.

What happens if you know someone with a mental illness, but they do not want care?

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

Helplines, local support and self-help groups

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:

Depression Alliance


Information and support services including local self-help groups.

Woking Mind

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: National Mind website:

The Samaritans

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: 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:

Sane Helpline

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:

Prevention of Young Suicide

HOPELineUK: 0800 068 41 41

Papyrus offers advice and support for young people, parents and friends. Helpline: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Saturdays 2pm-5pm. Website: 


Page information

  • Updated: 17 Sep 2013
  • Christine Caines
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