Information alert

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For some people, seeing a psychological practitioner for the first time can be a great relief. They think that at last they are getting help with a difficult problem, and feel hopeful.

For others seeing a psychological practitioner for the first time can raise a lot of difficult and painful thoughts and feelings that they may have tried to avoid. When this happens people can sometimes feel hopeless.

This information will help you think about what you can do and where you can turn for help.

Getting in touch with your GP

If you are in imminent crisis, you can call 999. If you feel in crisis on a day when you are not due to see your therapist, you could always call your GP or call 111.

Is there anything else you could do?

When you feel hopeless, it may be because you are stuck in a set of repeated thoughts and actions. Just doing something small to change this pattern can help. If you find yourself stuck in a loop of difficult thinking, engage in something you’ve enjoyed in the past, like taking a
short walk to get some fresh air, or listening to a favourite piece of music, just for 10 minutes or so, to see if you feel any better. Thinking about things important to you (Protective Factors) may also help such a friends/family/pets.

Can family or close friends help?

For some people, talking with friends or family can help in a crisis. If you have a close family member or a friend you get on well with, they might be the best person to turn to if you are finding yourself unable to cope.

Other sources of help


You might not want to talk to a family member or a close friend about things that are so very difficult and or personal. Also, we know that not everybody has good relationships with people they can trust. If this is the case and you are struggling, you could try one of the following helplines:

  • Samaritans: 116 123 email (24/7)
  • Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 (24/7)
  • Saneline: Call 0300 304 7000 (Open 4-10pm) for practical info, crisis care, emotional support.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline - Call: 0808 2000 247 Freephone 24/7
  • Aanchal Women's Aid: 0800 0124 924 (24-hour helpline for Asian Women)
  • No Panic: 0300 772 9844 10am-10pm (for people experiencing panic or anxiety problems)

NHS and other services

If outside of GP surgery hours, you could call or visit your GP’s out of hour’s service. Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT’s) also offer crisis assistance. You would usually need a referral from your GP or you can call the mental health support line local to your borough.