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Getting support for children and young people in a mental health crisis or emergency

We want to make sure that local children and young people, alongside their parents and carers, know where to go for help and support during a mental health crisis or emergency.

Getting support for children and young people in a mental health crisis or emergency

A mental health crisis is where a person is currently unharmed but needs urgent mental health support as they may be:

  • Feeling like they may seriously harm or injure themselves or other people
  • Feeling suicidal or like they want to die
  • No longer feeling able to cope or be in control of their situation
  • In extreme distress or showing extreme changes in behaviour.

The below information can help you know what to do, and where you can go for help in a mental health crisis:

  • If a child or young person is already getting mental health support from the NHS or another care organisation, please contact the service that provides this. A care or safety plan may already be in place, which will tell you who to contact during a crisis
  • Book an emergency appointment with your GP practice. Outside of normal hours you can still phone your GP, but you will usually be sent to an out-of-hours service
  • Contact Night OWLS; a support service available 8pm–8am every day for children, young people, parents and carers across West Yorkshire. Call free on 0300 2003900, text on 07984 392700 or go to the website to use the online chat function: wynightowls.org.uk
  • Call NHS 111, a 24-hour helpline for help and advice
  • If a child or young person doesn’t currently use mental health services, you can contact our Single Point of Access (SPA) teams. They are here to help with urgent concerns regarding a child or young person who needs immediate support from a mental health professional:
    • Barnsley: 01226 644829
    • Calderdale: 01422 300001
    • Kirklees: 0300 304 5555
    • Wakefield: 01977 735865

Charities can also help children and young people in a mental health crisis too, alongside parents and carers who are worried about a child or young person:

  • Childline: Free, confidential support, available any time. Call 0800 1111
  • Papyrus: Contact the HOPELINEUK, 9am to midnight every day on 0800 068 4141. Or text 07860039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org
  • Samaritans: Free to call, 24/7, 365 days a year. Call them on 116 123
  • Shout: Text SHOUT to 85258 for free, confidential, 24/7 support
  • The Mix: Text THEMIX to 85258 for free, 24/7 crisis support
  • YoungMinds: Text YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support if you need urgent help

If you or someone else is seriously harmed or injured, always call 999 or go to your nearest A&E. Serious harm or injury can include taking an overdose of drugs, alcohol or medication or bleeding heavily e.g., from a cut or wound.

You can also download this poster which can be shared and displayed in community places to help us share the support available.