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What to do in a crisis

Sources of help and support if you are in an emergency situation and need immediate assistance.

Helpline opening hours vary. We have noted ones which are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7).

Emergency support


For EMERGENCY calls to police, ambulance, fire brigade and rescue services.

Use this number when you need urgent attendance by the emergency services. For example, when someone is seriously ill or injured, or a crime is in progress.

Calls are free, and 999 can be dialled from a locked mobile phone.


Freephone: 116 123 (24 hour)

Someone to talk to, without judgement, 24/7.

National Domestic Abuse helpline

Freephone: 0808 2000 247 (24 hour)

Support for women, children and men experiencing domestic violence.

General support

Support in your area

Find services in your area delivered by your council or local charities. If you are in a crisis situation with housing or food, start here.

Warm hubs

Free, warm, welcoming and friendly spaces across the UK during the winter months.

Food banks

Food banks can help if you can’t afford the food you need. Many are run by the Trussell Trust, others by churches or other community groups. Some are accessed by referral, some without.

Non Emergency Contacts

101 – the police

Call 101 (rather than 999) when it’s not an emergency and an immediate response is not necessary. For example, when your car has been stolen, your property has been damaged, or home broken into.

101 can also be used to give information about a crime committed, or to contact the police with a general enquiry. Calls are charged at a flat rate of 15 pence per call.

111 – medical issues

Advice for illnesses and minor injuries where life isn’t threatened but you need advice on what to do next. Calls are free.

Person on their phone



Freephone: 0300 123 3393
Text: 86463

Confidential information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. Search for links to local branches of Mind for help in your area.


Text: 85258

The UK’s first 24/7 text service for anyone in a crisis anytime, anywhere, free on all major mobile networks.


Freephone: 0800 470 8090 (24 hour)

Free, confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people.


Freephone: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209697

PAPYRUS is dedicated to the prevention of young suicide.

Breathing Space – Scotland

Freephone: 0800 83 85 87

A free, confidential phone and web-based service for people in Scotland experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety.

Lifeline – Northern Ireland

Freephone: 0808 808 8000 (24 hour)
Textphone: 18001 0808 808 8000

Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair.

C.A.L.L. – Wales

Freephone: 0800 132737 (24 hour)
Text: 81066 (text “help” followed by the information you require)

Emotional support and information on mental health and related matters for people in Wales. Searchable database of specialist agencies.

Support from us

Take a look at our health and wellbeing information and the support we offer on a range of topics.



England  / Scotland: 0808 800 4444
Wales: 08000 495 495

Advice about homelessness, rights, and other housing issues.

Housing Advice NI

Phone: 028 9024 5640
Textphone: 028 9026 9927

Independent housing advice in Northern Ireland.


National Debtline

Helpline: 0808 808 4000

Advice and information, including factsheets and template letters, to help you deal with debt.

Advice NI

Freephone: 0808 802 0020

Information, advice, advocacy and representation on a variety of financial issues for people in Northern Ireland.

Citizens Advice

Helpline: 03444 111 444

Advice and information on a range of issues including money, debt and benefits. Find your local Citizens Advice location, contact details and opening hours.

Specialist money support

Explore our list of organisations offering specialist support around debt, pensions and benefits.

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