Mental health emergency
If a person's mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, this can be called a mental health emergency or mental health crisis. In this situation, it's important to get help quickly.
Your care plan
If you have a care plan, it has names and numbers to call in an emergency. If you have been or are being treated for a mental illness, you should have a care plan.
Where to go for help
If you don't have a care plan, or cannot find it, you could:
- make an emergency appointment with your doctor or call your doctor's surgery out-of-hours service if the emergency is at night or the weekend
- call your mental health worker if you have one
- call your local mental health crisis team
- go to the accident and emergency department at your local hospital
Mental health crisis team
All local trust areas have a mental health crisis team. These teams are made up of psychiatric nurses, social workers and support workers. They:
- carry out assessments under the Mental Health (NI) Order 1986
- provide support and short-term help until another team is available or the help is no longer needed
If you are caring for someone
If you feel someone is a danger to themselves or others call your local social services team.
If there is an immediate danger call the police on 999.
If you need someone to talk to
If you want to call someone about how you feel or how you deal with someone else's behaviour, there are people you can talk to.
If you or someone you know needs help now, you can call Lifeline free, in confidence, 24/7 on 0808 808 8000.
Lifeline is a crisis response helpline available to people of all ages across Northern Ireland. It offers immediate help over the phone 24/7 if you, or someone you know, is in distress or despair.
All calls are answered by qualified counsellors who are available to listen, help and support your needs in confidence. They are experienced in dealing with a range of issues including self-harm, trauma, depression, anxiety, suicide and sexual violence and abuse.
If appropriate, you could be offered an appointment for face-to-face counselling or other therapies in your local area within seven days. Lifeline can put you in touch with follow-up services to ensure you receive the best possible response to your needs.
Lifeline also gives support and guidance to families and carers, concerned friends, professionals, teachers, youth workers, clergy and communities.
Telephone 08457 90 90 90. Textphone 08457 90 91 92. The Samaritans offer a 24 hour telephone helpline. You can also contact them via email or write to them.