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    What To Do If You Are In A Crisis

    When you are experiencing a mental health crisis, it can feel as though you are unable to cope or gain control of your situation.

    You may have overwhelming feelings of anxiety, feel very emotional distressed or be struggling with your everyday life or work.

    You may be thinking about self-harm, contemplating suicide or be experiencing hallucinations and hearing voices in your head.

    A mental health crisis can also happen as the result of an underlying medical condition, such as confusion or delusions caused by an infection, overdose, illicit drugs or intoxication with alcohol. Confusion may also be associated with dementia.

    Whether you are experiencing a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health condition, or experiencing these problems for the first time, you need to seek an expert assessment immediately to identify the best cause of action and stop your mental health from deteriorating further. 

    Contact our Mental Health Helpline

    Open 365 days a year and can be reached on 0800 915 4640.

    • Monday to Friday 7.00pm until 11.00pm
    • Saturday & Sunday 12.00pm until Midnight

    The Samaritans

    The Samaritans operate a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence. Call them on 116 123.

    If you are in South Cumbria

    If you are aged 18 years upwards and experiencing mild to moderate common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders you can access help from ‘First Step’.  You can either self refer to First Step on 01524 550552 (core hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday) or ask your GP to refer on your behalf.

    Your GP can also refer you to the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) for a mental health non-urgent assessment. The assessment appointment is usually offered within 3 weeks of the team receiving the referral.  The CMHT operates core hours between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday during a standard working week.

    If you are experiencing acute mental health distress and are having a mental health emergency you (or a carer) may be able to access support from the Access and Liaison Integration Service (ALIS).  Your first point of contact needs to be your GP or CHOC (Cumbria Health On Call) on 0300 024 7247.  The ALIS is a 24hour service and can provide:

    • a mental health assessment (including a Mental Health Act assessment)

    • advice and support

    • support for those who care for you

    If you are in Lancashire

    You can refer yourself  to Specialist Triage, Assessment, Referral and Treatment (START) Team for help.

    START operates core hours between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday during a standard working week. 

    After 4.30 pm and out of hours the Home Treatment Team (HTT) practitioner will act as the duty START practitioner.  When a person contacts the team out of hours in need of help, the HTT practitioner will support.


    9am - 5pm START

    5pm - 9am Crisis HTT


    01254 226430

    01254 226074


    01253 951225

    01253 956280

    Pendle & Burnley

    01282 628455

    01282 657222

    Chorley & South Ribble

    01772 676173

    01772 773525

    Hyndburn, Rossendale & Ribble Valley

    01254 226006

    01254 612640

    Lancaster & Morecambe

    01524 550550

    01524 550198/199


    01772 647024

    01772 773433

    West Lancashire

    01695 684161

    01695 684356

    Self-referral including self-presentation to START.

    START also accepts referral from a range of sources including:

    • GPs and other Primary are Health Professionals
    • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
    • Mindsmatter Services
    • Community Restart Team/Social Inclusion
    • Carer of Patient relative
    • Other Professionals (e.g., Health Visitors, Social Workers)
    • Other agencies (e.g., Probation Services)
    • Third party and voluntary organisations.

    Where the START service is provided and how to contact us



    West Paddock,



    PR25 1HR

    Tel: 01772 676173

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm


    West Strand House,

    West Strand,


    PR1 8UY

    Tel:  01772 647024

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm


    Bickerstaffe House,

    Ormskirk Hospital,

    Wigan Road,


    L39 2JW

    Tel: 01695 684161

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Sunday 7.30am – 9.00pm

    FYLDE & WYRE (excluding Blackpool)

    Mountcroft Resource Centre,


    Albert Street,


    FY7 6AH

    Tel: 01253 955944

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm


    Daisyfield Mill

    Daisyfield Business Centre

    Appleyby Street


    BB1 3BL

    Tel: 01254 226430

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm


    The Mount,

    253 Whalley Road,


    BB5 5DE

    Tel: 01254 226006

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm


    Pendle House,


    BB9 9TH

    Tel: 01282 628455

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm



    East Barn,

    Pathfinder Drive,


    LA1 4JJ

    Tel: 01524 550550

    Opening Hours

    Monday – Sunday 9.00am – 9.00pm



    Whitegate Manor,

    Whitegate Drive,


    FY3 9IL

    Tel: 01253 951225

    *Note: Operated by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Contact NHS 111

    You can call NHS 111 if you or someone you know requires urgent care, but it is not life-threatening. For example:

    • if you have an existing mental health problem and your symptoms get worse
    • if you experience a mental health problem for the first time
    • if someone has self-harmed but it does not appear to be life-threatening, or is talking about wanting to self-harm
    • if a person shows signs of onset dementia
    • if a person is experiencing domestic abuse, you can:
      • talk to your doctor, health visitor or midwife
      • women can call 0808 2000 247, the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge
      • men can call the Men's Advice Line free on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or ManKind on 01823 334 244
      • in an emergency, call 999

    Book an emergency GP appointment

    Alternatively, contact your GP practice and ask for an emergency appointment. Your practice should be able to offer you an appointment in a crisis with the first available doctor.

    For more information, see:

    When to contact social services?

    If you have urgent concerns about someone's social circumstances, such as children and young people, vulnerable adults or people with learning difficulties, it may be more appropriate to call social services. Local government services such as housing services and social care services often run out-of-hours duty provision.

    Search for your local council to find out how your social care service deals with emergencies out of office hours.

    Emergency Services Access Line

    Mental Health Access Line - 01772 867668 For use by Police and Ambulance Service only!