If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should visit your local A&E or call the emergency services: 999.

If you need help now, but it’s not an emergency – go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111. Or call your local crisis team, if you have their number.

NHS urgent mental health helplines

NHS urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages. You can call for:

  • 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for
  • help to speak to a mental health professional
  • an assessment to help decide on the best course of care

Find a local NHS urgent mental health helpline

The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence.

Text Shout to 85258 for support in a crisis.

If you are experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope & need support, Shout can help with urgent issues such as:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Abuse or assault
  • Self-harm
  • Bullying
  • Relationship challenges

NHS Services: NHS Choices covering the latest advice on Covid-19; how to find a GP, Dentist, Pharmacy, your nearest A&E, urgent care services, etc.

0800 58 58 58

This helpline is open from 5pm – midnight all year round for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.


webchat information page

Their webchat is open for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.


Their helpline and webchat are open from 5pm – midnight 365 days a year, and they can talk to you about whatever is getting you down.

There are additional organisations around the UK that can also help you with specific issues. You can explore those organisations here

Nightline: available for students, look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. This service is operated by students.

Switchboard: If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email chris@switchboard.lgbt, or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.

Men’s Health Forum (MHF) is set up to help tackle the high rate of male premature death. Visit their website at: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

How can ‘Helplines’ help me?

Listening line staff will let you talk through your feelings and experiences without judging you or telling you what to do. Many listening services let you talk for as long as you need to.

Before calling a helpline, you might want to consider the following:

  • What times are they open?
  • Is it free to call or is there a cost involved?
  • Is what you say confidential? For example, many services have policies on what to do if someone says they have attempted suicide or are actively planning to.
  • What will you do if the line is busy? It’s often worth trying several times, or you might plan to call back later or try a different service.

You might be able to find the above information on the organisation’s website, or you can ask the, ‘listening line staff’ to explain their policies during the call.

Visit the Citizens Advice Bureau (CBT) for advice about benefits, debt problems, legal issues and local services. The Citizens Advice Bureau website has a directory listing its local offices.