Mental health helplines

Emergency help - If someone’s telling you they’re about to take action to hurt themself or others – or they’re about to try to take their life or someone else’s, call 999 and ask for police, not ambulance.

The police will organise an ambulance if needed. (Ambulance workers can’t restrain someone from hurting themselves or others, only police can do that. Ambulance staff and paramedics also can’t take someone to hospital against their will.)

With increased stress at the moment, lots of people are struggling with their mental health – some for the first time. Complex thoughts and feelings can be confusing, frustrating and frightening.

If that’s you, or someone you know, there’s help out there. No-one needs to struggle alone. 

Mental health support is usually available from GP practices, friends and family but there are specialist helplines too.

Why call a helpline?

  • Helplines are anonymous. You can tell them anything without embarrassment – they’ll never know who you are
  • You can sometimes call any time, when other support routes or people aren’t around
  • They help many people feel less alone
  • Helpline staff are specifically trained and experienced. They know what to do
  • You can hang up on a helpline if it gets too much or you feel embarrassed
  • Helplines often become a lifeline for people when they’re struggling to cope or are feeling isolated.

Which helpline?

Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.

The NHS website lists a range of organisations waiting to help - from those which focus on specific physical conditions to more general mental health advice, from support with bereavement to helplines dedicated to supporting men, children or young people.

Most have a phone number you can ring and many also have a website, online webchat or email address you can contact.

The same website includes a host of other useful links and information.

Self-help websites

Other sites can also be a useful resource for ways you can help yourself or others:

Harmless - how to help young people talking about self-harm.

Every mind matters - this site includes links to a 10 minute fitness workout; links to information on anxiety and sleep; advice on routines, food and to mental health wellbeing audio guides.

It also includes 10 tips to help if you’re worried about coronavirus or mental wellbeing while staying at home.

We can also help you and your family with dedicated advice about managing money, finding work, getting online and much more. Find out about the support we offer and more about our money and digital service.