Help in a crisis
What is a mental health crisis?
This could include a range of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. For example:
- You could be having thoughts about harming yourself
- You could be feeling extremely anxious or panicky
- You might have unusual thoughts or beliefs or unusual experiences such as seeing or hearing things that other people don’t perceive
- You might find yourself unable to concentrate or organize your thoughts or becoming very withdrawn
- You might feel extremely low, worthless or as if life is not worth living
What should I do in a mental health crisis?
It is very important to get help as soon as possible. There are a range of mental health services which can provide specialist help if necessary, or it might be that just talking to someone will help you to feel calmer and to take steps to address the situation yourself.
If you are NOT already in contact with mental health services, you should make an emergency appointment with your GP. Outside office hours, call the Out of Hours GP Service on 0845 3458995 or 111.
If you ARE already in contact with mental health services, call your care co-ordinator. This may be your Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) or your social worker. If they are not available, you should call your Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). After office hours, at weekends and on public holidays - telephone the main switchboard at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust on 01865 741717.
More information about GPs and CMHTs can be found on our NHS services
Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team
The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) team are there to provide crisis support at home to people who might otherwise be admitted to hospital. You can be referred by your GP or Community Mental Health Team.
What about emergency situations?
People experiencing a mental health crisis are far more likely to harm themselves than they are to harm others. If you believe that a person presents an immediate danger to self or others, you should first ensure your own safety and then dial 999 and ask for the Police.
Mental Health Act Assessments
In situations where a person is believed to present a serious risk to self or others, GPs, psychiatrists or the nearest relative can ask for an Approved Social Worker or Approved Mental Health Practitioner to assess the person under the Mental Health Act, to see whether they need to be detained in hospital or whether some other compulsory powers of the Mental Health Act should be used. For more information contact your GP.