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Get help with mental health

​​Find out what to do if you are worried about somebody’s mental health.​​
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Symptoms of mental health difficulties

The symptoms related to a mental health crisis can affect individuals in a variety of ways.

  • When experiencing psychosis, some people feel highly agitated, anxious or in despair, have suicidal impulses or the need to self-harm, are immobilised by depression, or are frightened.
  • Others feel confused or delirious because of an infection, overdose, illicit drugs or intoxication with alcohol. Confusion may also be associated with dementia.
  • The crisis may be a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem, or a person may be experiencing mental health problems for the first time.

Crisis means they need immediate expert assessment to identify what the best care should be and prevent further worsening of their mental wellbeing.

If you are supporting someone in this situation, it is natural that some of their behaviours may worry you. It’s fine to talk about suicidal and self-harming thoughts and it does not mean they are more likely to act on them.

What to do in a crisis

If you or someone you know is in rapid decline with their mental health it’s important to seek help. In Lewisham we have a number of services that can support people facing these issues.

For non-urgent help and support:

  • contact the GP
  • if the person is known to mental health services, please contact their named coordinator or the team that is currently treating or supporting the patient
  • if the person is known to mental health services and you don’t know the care coordinator or team, please contact the assessment and liaison service on 020 3228 9200
  • call NHS 111
  • call the local mental health crisis line on 0800 731 2864.

For urgent support:

  • ask the person if they will go to Accident and Emergency at Lewisham Hospital to be assessed by the Psychiatric Liaison Service:
    University Hospital Lewisham
    Lewisham High Street
    SE13 6LH
    Tel: 020 8333 3000.
  • if you think the person is at risk of causing harm to themselves and/or others then call the police on 999.
  • call the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust at any time, every day of the year, who can point you in the right direction on 0800 731 2864.

Other useful contacts