dominoes

When in a Mental Health Crisis

Mental health crisis can happen to anyone at any time. When it does happen it is important that we recognise it and do the right thing.

Whether it is an emergency crisis or a period of feeling like we can’t cope, the right thing to do is to ask for help. When we are in the moment of crisis the reasons that led us to it often will not be clear to us and that’s why it is important to speak to someone about it, whether that is a friend or a professional. An emergency crisis is when you feel your safety is at risk. This can be because you are experiencing thoughts that are intrusive and they can make you feel like there is no way out of the situation because your usual coping skills have stopped working.

There are services available to you in Lincoln and you can access them whether you are an undergraduate, a postgraduate and most are available even if you aren’t a student.

Single Point of Access (SPA) is a good first point of contact for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties and you can contact them to be guided through the process of getting help. The service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week you can call them on 0303 123 4000.

They will be able to decide through phone assessment what care is needed for you at the given moment and they can help you to decide whether your crisis is an emergency or non-emergency. It is the right service to contact for mild and moderate mental health problems but will not provide an urgent/emergency service. Fully qualified healthcare professionals work at SPA who are able to signpost you to right places. They work closely with home treatment teams and other organisations across all sectors. If your crisis is not an emergency they can signpost you to services that help people to get through a difficult time.

Steps2change is a professional and easily accessible service as long as you are registered with a Lincolnshire GP. It is a free service that can offers talking therapies that can be accessed if you feel that talking to professionals can help.

You can self-refer yourself to this service. It can be done online through filling a form on their website or you can request self-referral form by calling SPA on the number given above. If you prefer your GP can also refer you.

After this they will contact you and arrange the correct psychological therapies which are different based on each individuals needs. An example of what they can offer is talking therapies once a week for half an hour or courses that run in a group over a period of up to five weeks. Their aim is to equip you with the right coping skills to manage your mental health.

If your crisis is an emergency it will be usually treated first in A&E where a member from the relevant mental health team will look after you.  Mental health emergency is treated as seriously as medical health emergency so you do not need to feel worried about going to see them. Alternatively you can contact NHS 111 if you think you need medical help but it is not an emergency or 999 if it is a matter of urgency or you are at risk of harming yourself and others.

There is also the on-campus student wellbeing centre who offer drop in sessions between 12-2pm Mon-Fri and 5-7pm Thurs during term time that can help you with a wide variety of wellbeing concerns.

The staff in all of these services always do their best to make people feel at ease. They understand that reaching out for help can be difficult, especially when you are unsure of the whole process.

Remember to ask for help. It is available 24 hours a day.