Urgent support advice for mental health crisis: an employee's guide

If you are having thoughts of suicide, are harming yourself or have thought about self-harm, it's important to tell someone.

These thoughts and feelings can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you do not have to struggle alone.


When to get urgent support

If you are concerned about your mental health, visiting your GP is a good place to start. In most areas, you can also refer yourself for free, non-urgent NHS psychological therapy services, also known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services, which provide evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety.

It's important to seek help from your GP immediately if you are experiencing the symptoms below for the first time or are not already receiving care from mental health services:

  • hallucinations – hearing or seeing things that are not there (for example, hearing voices); this can also include feeling, smelling or tasting things that are not there
  • delusions – having strong beliefs that are not shared by others (for example, believing there is a conspiracy against you)

These are symptoms of psychosis and it's important to get treated as soon as possible, as early treatment is more effective.

If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, contact one of the organisations below to get support right away. Or see further NHS advice on dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency.

Get urgent support

Free 24-hour listening support

When life is tough, Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website

Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.

Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line



Crisis support for young people

If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus's HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.

Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41

Text 07786 209697

Visit the Papyrus website


Visit A&E or call 999

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.

Examples of mental health emergencies include thinking you're at risk of taking your own life or seriously harming yourself and needing immediate medical attention.

Call 999

In a life-threatening emergency, phone the emergency services and ask for an ambulance.
Call 999 if you or someone you know experiences an acute life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.


You can go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.

You may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself.


Once at A&E, the team will tend to your immediate physical and mental health needs.

Many hospitals now have a liaison psychiatry service, which is designed to bridge the gap between physical and mental healthcare.

The Royal College of Psychiatry website has more information about liaison psychiatry services.

If this service is not available, the A&E team will contact the local on-call mental health services, such as the crisis resolution and home treatment teams (CRHTs).

The team in charge of your care will assess you and decide on the best course of care, and whether you can go home or need to be admitted to hospital.

Urgent, non-emergency medical advice

If you need help urgently but are not at risk of death or serious illness, call the NHS non-emergency advice line.

Call 111

NHS 111 advice online


People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.





Contact us

Occupational Health Services

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Oxford OX1 3PD



 01865 (2)82676


Opening hours

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 Friday: 8.30am to 1pm and 2 to 4pm


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