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Feeling Desperate?

What to do in a Crisis
Sometimes our own mental health causes us serious concern and we need urgent help. Sometimes someone else's mental health causes us great concern. Sometimes we are afraid for our own or someone else's safety. If this is the case, please do not hesitate to contact someone who can help, even if it is only for support and guidance. They may help to calm the situation and reassure you. When you speak to someone, try to remember to:

  • keep calm
  • keep safe
  • tell them who you are
  • tell them what is wrong
  • tell them what you need
  • trust what they say to you
  • if there is a reason why you cannot follow any advice, do not be afraid to tell them why

    If there is real danger, dial 999 and ask for the Police

If this is your FIRST experience of crisis
If this is the first time you need support with some form of mental distress, it's important to make contact with the right people without delay. You are probably feeling frightened or confused, or extremely worried. Don't let these understandable feelings put you off asking for help. Even if you don't understand what is happening, or if you don't know what you need to help you, please get in touch NOW with one of the following:

  • Your local/family doctor (GP) - you might already have a trusting relationship with your doctor. They will probably know you and your family, So they should be the first person you try to contact in your first mental health crisis. Tell them (or the person who takes the call for them) as much as you can about what is happening
  • Ask for an emergency appointment
  • If you feel you cannot get to the surgery, ask for a home visit

    When your surgery is closed, patients in the Cambridge area
    should contact Camdoc - 01223 464242

    Patients in the Peterborough area should contact their local
    GP surgery where an out of hours service operates

NHS Direct - 0845 4647
If for some reason you are unable to contact your doctor, then telephone NHS Direct. This service has medically trained staff who will understand the importance of your situation. They will ask you some questions and offer advice about what to do next.

Peterborough NHS Walk-In Centre 01733 293 800
Peterborough NHS walk-in centre is located near the main shopping centre. Liases closely with mental health assessment teams and can either help someone with mental health problems/issues or refer them to the appropriate services.
Open 7.00a.m. - 10.00p.m. Open 7 days a week.
Rivergate Primary Care Centre
Viersen Platz

If you have experienced problems before
Existing users should look at their Care Plan if they have one for what they do in an emergency.

Crisis Lines
These are staffed by well-trained volunteers with a wealth of experience and are open when other services are closed. The person at the other end of the phone will listen carefully to you and give you time to express how you are feeling. Organisations include:

Alcoholics Anonymous 0845 769 7555
The supportive helpline is manned by A.A. members with at least a year’s sobriety

Bridgegate Drugs Team 0800 279 2978 (Peterborough only)
Advice, information, needle exchange and counselling. Support for families and friends also offered. Phone for information

Childline 0800 1111 (freephone)
For children and young people with any type of problem. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week

Lifeline 0808 808 2121 (freephone)
Cambridgeshire's mental health helpline, open 7-11pm, 365 days a year

Rethink 0208 974 6814
Provides information, support and advice to carers

Samaritans 0845 790 9090
A listening service offering emotional support 24 hours, 7 days a week

Saneline 0845 767 8000
A crisis support and information line. Open 1pm-11pm, 7 days a week

Shelterline 0808 800 4444
A housing advice helpline open 24 hours, 7 days a week

Refuge 0808 2000 247
A helpline for women experiencing domestic violence. Open 24 hours 7 days a week.
Open: Monday-Thursday from 8.30am-5.00pm; Friday from 8.30am-4.30pm. 01572 722577.

Last revised 10 September 2008



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