Having a crisis?

Follow this link for help and advice... 

What is a mental health crisis?

The term mental health crisis means that a person is in a mental / emotional state where they need urgent help. Mental health crises may take the following forms:

  • suicidal behaviour or intention
  • panic attacks/extreme anxiety
  • psychotic episodes (loss of sense of reality, hallucinations, hearing voices)
  • other behaviour that seems out of control or irrational and that is likely to endanger the self or others. 

What is the crisis team?

Often also called crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) teams, they're made up of mental health professionals from various backgrounds, such as mental health nurses and occupational therapists.

The teams are available at short notice to help someone to resolve a mental health crisis, or to support them while it is happening. Their role is to provide more intensive support to people experiencing mental health problems which otherwise might previously have led to the need to consider an admission to hospital.

The crisis teams can be accessed by people who are already receiving services from us or by people who have never been in touch with mental health services before. 

How the crisis team can help you

Simply talking your problems over in more depth might clarify the way ahead for you. Members of the crisis team may be able to signpost you to sources of help which may assist you.

Another role for the crisis team is to offer a real alternative to hospital admission, particularly for patients experiencing more severe and enduring mental health problems.

We will always take an individual's needs and choices into account during the assessment. The only time a person can be treated against their expressed wishes is if they are sectioned under certain parts of the Mental Health Act.

The crisis team will work closely with you over a short period of time in order to help you with the problems you are currently experiencing. You can expect to meet a number of members of the team. They may visit you more than once a day and link up to various other professionals who have been supporting you, or who may be able to help you in the future. 

How does the crisis team work?

There are two different strands to the work we do.

Assessment

Quite often all that is needed from us is an assessment. This will be wide ranging and comprehensive. We will discuss with you in detail the problems which led up to the crisis. We will obviously talk through our conclusions with you and where we can, suggest a way ahead.

Home treatment

If your problems seem overwhelming, we may offer to work with you over the next few days to try and support you in dealing with the problems. 

Finally it is important to identify the problems we can not easily sort. We do not offer an accommodation service nor can we offer financial support. And it might be more appropriate to look to other specialist organisations for help with certain problems. 

How you can see our crisis team

If you're already receiving mental health services from our trust, your care coordinator or the main member of staff who looks after you will give you the phone number for your local crisis team.

Otherwise, you would need to see your GP or another health professional to get a referral to our crisis service.

We respond to all referrals where it seems that an individual is experiencing a crisis which is having a significant impact on their mental health.We aim to meet you to carry out an assessment within 2 hours of receiving a referral, although this can be affected by high demands on the service. 

Other sources of help

For some people who are facing a mental health crisis, and only if there has been self-injury or another physical health problem, the first point of contact with medical or support services should be the emergency department of their local hospital.

Our crisis team staff work closely with emergency departments to make sure that people can also be treated for a mental health illness where needed.

In many hospitals we also have liaison psychiatry teams, who work with emergency departments to improve services for people with mental health problems.