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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Children & Young People Mental Health Support

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What is a mental health crisis?

You, or someone you know, might be in crisis if:

  • You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option
  • Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
  • You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.

Who can help in a mental health crisis?

Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss with you your mental health care needs – instead of you having to go to accident and emergency departments of local acute hospitals.

If you are over the age of 16 you can access the Sanctuary in Cambridge or Peterborough - People in crisis across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be able to access Sanctuary support. Staffed by mental health charity Mind in Cambridgeshire, the Sanctuary offers people practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am and is accessible by referral from the First Response Service. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary by clicking here 

If you are already a patient of child and adolescent mental health services (CPFT):

  • Between 9am-5pm, Monday–Friday: Contact your Care Co-ordinator or On Duty Clinician 
  • At other times call Out Of-Hours Service: A telephone support service, run by Lifeline, is available for CPFT’s service users who are experiencing a crisis in their mental health. The service is also available for carers who are concerned about the mental health of a service user. The out-of-hours telephone number is 0808 808 2121. This is available every day, including weekends, from 7pm-11pm
  • Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis.

If you are not a patient of child and adolescent mental health services (CPFT):

  • Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis.
  • Your GP: If you are in crisis and need immediate help, then please contact your GP.
  • Emergency doctor: All GP surgeries have an out-of-hours number that you can call in an emergency. The out-of-hours doctor may assess the situation over the phone, ask you to attend a clinic/service, or may come out to assess the service user. They will be able to arrange any necessary specialist assessments.
  • Local walk-in centre: Most centres are open 365 days a year and outside office hours. Some newly opened centres may offer different opening hours during their first few months.
  • A&E - call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department.
  • Police - If the person you care for is being violent, threatening or you feel at risk, you should contact the police directly by dialing 999.

the mix

The Mix website 

Our crisis messenger text service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re aged 25 or under, and are experiencing any painful emotion or type of crisis in your life, you can text THEMIX to 85258.

We know that finding the right support is important. We aim to connect every texter to a trained volunteer in less than five minutes. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.


The Samaritans offer confidential support by trained volunteers that are available all day, every day. If you need help urgently it is best to call their helpline which is free: 116 123 (Samaritans Contact Details) or the national helpline 08457 90 90 90.


MIND Stop Suicide

The Stop Suicide website has information on what to do if you are feeling suicidal or you if you are worried about someone


CALM - The Campaign Against Living Miserably is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Check out the website for further support or Click here for their helpline.


Cameo is a local service that provides specialist assessment, care and support to young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis. This is GP or self referral.

heads together

Heads together

Have launched a New crisis text service, Shout is the UK’s new 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. 

To access this support text 'Shout' to 85258.

Zero Suicide Alliance  has some FREE training on their website around talking about suicide and what to do if someone has these thoughts-the training only takes 20 minutes and could save a life.

The Anna Freud Centre has some great advice on supporting someone who might be struggling with their mental health and in crisis click HERE !  for more.


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