The fear, uncertainty and challenges posed by the last year have understandably had an impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing. You might be struggling for the first time, or perhaps it’s made existing issues worse. In either case and whatever the cause, it’s important you know where to get urgent help with your mental health if you need it.

If you’re struggling or in a crisis, you don’t need to cope alone – there is help available for you right now.

If you’re having thoughts about hurting yourself or ending your life – stop, take a breath, and talk to someone straight away.

Speak to an expert

The Sussex Mental Healthline is there to offer urgent help and crisis support and advise you where to get help for yourself or someone you are concerned about. Call them now on 0800 0309 500 to speak to an experienced operator. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Samaritans is a national charity that offers emotional support for people who are distressed. They are available day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure. Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: for a reply within 24 hours

If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.

Phone 999 if you’re concerned about an immediate risk of harm, either to yourself or someone else.

Help online or by text

You can get help online in a crisis, visit urgent help in a crisis for a step by step guide from the NHS on what to do.

Visit the Preventing Suicide in Sussex website for lots of advice on what to do if you’re suicidal or at crisis point. As well as telling you where to get help, the site has tips for coping right now and practical tips that have helped other people who have had suicidal thoughts: Preventing Suicide in Sussex.  If you’re worried that someone you know may be contemplating suicide, it offers useful advice on how to spot the warning signs and how to encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.

For help over text from a trained volunteer, text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line.

Talk to someone you trust

It’s really important to tell someone how you feel, if you have a trusted friend or family member then start a conversation. Telling someone else how you’re feeling can help you feel less alone and more in control.

If you don’t want to speak to someone you know, contact one of the specialist support services listed in this article. You could also call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment or call 111.

If you find it hard to talk to someone, try to still be around people so you’re not alone, even if they don’t know how you’re feeling.

Tips for coping right now

There’s lots of places you get can tips for coping right now, including Preventing Suicide in Sussex, Mind, and the NHS.

As well as making sure you talk to someone to get support and ask for help, you can try:

  • Focusing on right now or the next few minutes rather than the future, just try to get through today.
  • Get yourself to a safe place. Remove anything you could use to harm yourself or ask someone else to remove these for you.
  • Follow your safety or crisis plan if you have one.
  • Distract yourself with an activity you usually enjoy, for example, a game, reading, a walk in the park, watching TV, or spending time with a pet.

Remember, these feelings will pass. Thoughts are only thoughts and you don’t need to follow them. There’s help there for you and you aren’t alone.

You can find more information and services for people in crisis or having suicidal thoughts in our Mental Health Directory.

If you aren’t thinking of hurting yourself but you know something isn’t right, read more about how to know when to ask for help in our article How are you feeling?