What to do during a mental health crisis

Mental health has always been important, but in recent years, it’s finally become more widely accepted as a serious issue that requires the same level of care and attention as physical health.

Throughout our Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re expanding the discourse around all aspects of mental health – looking after it, the charities and organisations who can help with it and the different ways to cope if someone’s mental health has deteriorated.

Mental health issues can develop over time – from a build-up of anxiety to debt related stress – giving people chance to prepare, but they can also happen just as suddenly.

If you or someone you know finds themselves in a mental health crisis, what should be done?

How to deal with a mental health crisis

A mental health crisis can take different forms for different people.

Dannielle Haig, Principal Psychologist from DH Consulting explained to Metro.co.uk: ‘A mental health crisis means different things to different people, however, it generally includes having suicidal thoughts, an episode of psychosis or doing something that is putting either you and/or someone else at risk.’

She continued: ‘If you are feeling like you’re starting to experience a mental health crisis then you may feel comfortable reaching out to supporting friends and family and I would recommend that you do talk to someone you can trust first and foremost.

‘In some cases, however, it is important to seek professional support. There are many mental health teams that you can reach out to, if you’re in a moment of crisis, through the NHS as well as mental health charities.’

It’s worth noting that you can also take these same steps in getting advice for somebody else if you are concerned for their mental wellbeing – you don’t just have to reach out for yourself.

Of course, if you’re worried about your own mental health or that of a friend and you’re worried that involving healthcare professionals might be overstepping boundaries, Moe Vader AKA Morlaye Ketty-Camara, a Youth Support Worker and co-host of the Vexxed told Metro.co.uk:

‘If all else fails, I’d encourage myself or anyone experiencing a crisis to reach out to their neighbour or if possible present to a place of business where perhaps a quasi-healthcare presence or services are provided for example if possible a pharmacy where you can have a discreet word with a professional or your GP if possible.

‘I implore anyone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis to not isolate themselves as much as all instincts may tell you otherwise, engage and gravitate towards maintaining contact and bonds with those that support, embrace and encourage your growth and development.’

Metro.co.uk MHAW Takeover

This year, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Metro.co.uk has invited eight well-known mental health advocates to take over our site.

With a brilliant team that includes Alex Beresford, Russell Kane, Frankie Bridge, Anton Ferdinand, Sam Thompson, Scarlett Moffatt, Katie Piper and Joe Tracini, each of our guest editors have worked closely with us to share their own stories, and also educate, support and engage with our readers.

If you need help or advice for any mental health matter, here are just some of the organisations that were vital in helping us put together our MHAW Takeover:

  • Mental Health Foundation
  • Rethink Mental Illness
  • Samaritans
  • Mind

To contact any of the charities mentioned in the Metro.co.uk MHAW Takeover click here

Mental health charities and organisations that could help in a crisis

The NHS runs a 24-hour mental health helpline for local, immediate support.

To access it, visit the NHS website and fill out a few details such as the age of the person requiring help and their postcode.

Other resources where you can speak to qualified or trained professionals include:

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a charity providing a mental health helpline and webchat.

  • Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
  • Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Mind is a charity that gives advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

  • Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
  • Website: www.mind.org.uk

PAPYRUS is a young suicide prevention society.

  • Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (9am to midnight, every day of the year)
  • Website: www.papyrus-uk.org

Samaritans offer confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

  • Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
  • Website: http://www.samaritans.org.uk

It’s important to remember that if advice and support aren’t enough and there’s cause for concern around someone’s physical safety during a mental health crisis, you should call 999.

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