Getting Help in a Mental Health Crisis

Emergency sign - getting help in a mental health crisis

If you have taken an overdose, think you are at risk of severe harm or of harming someone else, please dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. Don’t delay as minutes can matter.  Call now!

If you don’t want to call 999

If you can keep yourself safe at the moment, but still need urgent advice:

If you need to talk to someone, day or night

The Samaritans

The Samaritans operate a 24-hour 7-day a week service on 116 123. Calls to this number are free and do not appear on itemised bills. Alternatively, you can phone 0330 094 5717 (charged at local rates). You can also email for a reply within 24 hours.

The Samaritans offer a drop-in service in some areas (Liverpool included–see below). They also operate an online self-help app. Their app might help you keep track of your feelings, and gives recommendations for things you can do to help yourself cope, feel better, and stay safe in a crisis.

Shout text service

Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in a mental health crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. You can contact them by texting SHOUT (or YP if you are under 19) to 85258.


If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. Calls are free, and the number will not appear on your phone bill. They also operate a chat service. Their website gives further details about their service.

If you need help during a mental health crisis

Mental health crisis self-help

The mental health charity Mind has information on ways to help yourself cope during a crisis. These include calming exercises and a tool to help you get through the next few hours.

NHS urgent mental health crisis helplines

NHS England provides 24-hour mental health helplines are for people of all ages. You can call them for advice and support for you, your family, or anyone else you are concerned about. Visit their webpage to find your local number to call as it varies by age and geographic region.

The number for the Liverpool and Wirral area is 0300 303 3972, and it is the same number for both adults and children. You can find further details of the service on Cheshire and Wirral Partnership website.

The Mental Health Crisis Team

The NHS also operates a 24-hour emergency service within your local hospital’s A&E department. You can turn up at A&E reception and ask to see someone from the crisis team. You may have to wait a while, but they will see you. Mersey Care runs the service in Merseyside. You can find further details on their website.

Local Services (Liverpool area only)

COVID-19 Update: Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, most in-person services have moved online. Please check the individual service website for further details.

The Liverpool Light

The Liverpool Light is free preventative out-of-hours mental health crisis service. It’s open from 6 PM to 1 AM, 7–days a week. It provides a safe place for people who are experiencing or at risk of a mental health crisis: a secure environment for individuals to de-escalate, recuperate, and begin their recovery.

They also provide a specialised referral service outside of GP and day service hours, offering an alternative to attending the A&E department at the nearby Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

James’ Place

James’ Place provides a service to men and those who identify as men, who live in the Liverpool area, are over 18 and are in suicidal crisis. You can contact them by phoning 0151 303 5757, emailing or via the form on their website. You also access their 24/7 helpline by texting JP to 85258.

The Samaritans, Liverpool

Liverpool Samaritans runs a drop-in service at 25 Clarence Street, L3 5TN, open 10 AM and 8 PM 7-days a week. You can reach them on 0151 708 8888.

Other services

Mental health crisis helplines

The NHS maintains a list of mental health charity helplines that can offer expert advice in dealing with a mental health crisis.

Ongoing support for mental health issues

While we cannot provide a 24-hour emergency service, we can offer help and support once the crisis has passed. Talking things through with someone can make a massive difference and could avert another crisis. Please contact us for further information.