Mental health support

    Dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency

    In a medical emergency, call 999 if you are seriously ill or injured and your life is at risk. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as if you are physically hurt.

    Please seek support as soon as you can if the current situation is adversely affecting your mental health or someone you know. You could be feeling severely stressed, worried or anxious, not able to cope well or you do not feel in control.

    An assessment from a mental health professional can help to identify the best course of action to take.

    The NHS has further advice on dealing with a mental health crisis.

    If you're already in contact with a health professional

    If you have already been given a phone number from a health professional to help you during a crisis, please call it. Follow the urgent contact advice in your mental health plan if you are under the care of a mental health team.

    Getting support 

    Offering 24 hour support.
    Call: 116 123 (free to call)

    Offering free, 24 hour support.
    Text the word ‘Shout’ to 85258

    South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Mental Health Trust
    Telephone: 0800 731 2864
    24-hour helpline

    Croydon Talking Therapies
    Telephone: 0203 228 4040

    The Mental Health Crisis
    Telephone: 0800 915 4644

    Telephone: 0300 123 3393

    Anxiety UK
    Telephone: 03444 775 774
    Text: 07537 416 905

    CALM (emotional support for suicidal men)
    Telephone: 0800 58 58 58

    No Panic
    Telephone: 0844 967 4848

    South West London Health and Care Partnership
    Download their suicide prevention toolkit from the resources and support page.

    The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network is the UK’s largest independent organisation specialises in working psychologically with people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean. Their website provides a list of local and free resources and services for people of minority background who are seeking help.

    For LGBTQ+ Londoners: The Switchboard LGBT+ helpline is open daily from 10am-10pm on 0300 330 0630 or email 

    Managing difficult feelings or behaviours 

    It is important to follow government advice on helping to avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you find you are going beyond the recommendations, feeling stressed or anxious, or if you are having intrusive thoughts, here are some things that you could do to help you cope better, you can:

    • speak to someone about how you are feeling  
    • plan something to do after washing your hands, which could help distract you and change your focus
    • try to watch or read fewer news articles to reduce your anxiety 
    • do breathing and relaxation exercises can help you cope and feel more in control. There are examples on the NHS and Mind websites 
    • see Mind’s guidance to help people with an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 
    • find a safe space to go to in your home to help you relax if you are having panic attacks or flashbacks
    • try Mind’s games and puzzles to help to distract yourself
    • get some fresh air each day to manage feelings of being trapped or claustrophobia – also, try to regularly change the rooms you spend time in (if possible), which can help to give you a sense of space.

    It is quite common to experience short-lived physical symptoms when your mood is low or anxious, for example:

    • faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
    • feeling lightheaded and dizzy
    • headaches
    • chest pains or loss of appetite

    The NHS has advice on managing the physical symptoms that are triggered by stress and anxiety.

    Research has shown that being helped to sleep better really helps to reduce stress. See the Good Thinking website for advice on getting a better night’s sleep.


    If you are currently taking medication for existing conditions you should:

    • continue taking your prescribed medication and keep with any treatment and support that you are undergoing
    • order repeat prescriptions in the usual timeframe by phone, online or apps where available - there is no need to request a longer duration or larger quantities 
    • ask your pharmacy about getting your medication delivered or ask someone to collect it for you if appropriate

    You should only buy from registered pharmacies and be careful about buying medication online. You can check if a pharmacy is registered.

    Your GP practice (or clinical team) may change your prescription order to repeat dispensing arrangements so you only have to contact your pharmacy for your medicine rather than your GP.

    If you are worried about accessing your medication

    You can:

    Dealing with addictions

    You can contact:

    • Turning Point – a recovery network for drug and alcohol addition in Croydon
    • your GP for advice

    JustBe Croydon website has a host of resources to support you if you are reducing your alcohol intake or want to quit smoking.

    Managing eating disorders

    You can seek support and advice from Croydon’s eating disorder team

    The eating disorder charity BEAT has a helpline and guidance on how to support a child or young person during this time.

    Support for older people

    Follow the government guidance for staying at home and social distancing to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

    You can take these actions to help support your mental health and wellbeing by staying connected – draw on the support of friends, family and other networks wherever possible.

    You can also contact a range of services that will offer you support during this time.

    The Silver Line – a confidential and free helpline for older people open every day and night of the year.
    Telephone: 0800 470 80 90

    If you need help but you are not sure which service to contact, get in touch with Age UK’s advice line.

    Age UK
    Telephone: 0800 678 1602
    Open every day, 8am to 7pm.

    People living with dementia

    The council is contacting people who use dementia services to talk through any support needed as dementia day centres in Croydon are currently closed. You can also call the team on 020 8726 6500.

    Alzheimer’s Society has published information on coronavirus for people affected by dementia. You can call their helpline on 0300 222 11 22 or connect with the charity’s online community Talking Point to speak with others affected by dementia.

    Dementia specialist Admiral Nurses are available on Dementia UK’s Helpline 0800 888 6687.

    Pregnancy and support after childbirth

    Guidance is available outlining the emotional support available in Croydon for pregnant women and new parents to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    There is also infant feeding (breast and bottle) information and support.

    Children and Young People’s mental health and wellbeing – advice for parents and carers 

    Look out for any changes in your child’s behaviour during the COVID-19 lockdown and support safe ways for them to maintain social interaction with their friends.

    It can help to create a daily routine for them each week that includes time for learning, playing and relaxing.

    Find out more about the support and activities in Croydon for children and young people.

    Children and young people who are accessing mental health services

    If you are concerned for your child at this time, you can get advice from the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)

    Croydon Health Services (CHS)

    CHAT Health is a confidential advice text messaging service for children and young people (aged 11-19) in Croydon provided by the school nurse service.

    You can get in touch for advice about any aspect of your physical or emotional health. They will respond within 24 hours.

    Text: 07520 615205
    Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm (excludes bank holidays)

    Palace for Life Foundation (official charity of Crystal Palace FC)

    Palace Pad Chat gives young people aged 12 to 25 with either a PS4 or Xbox a chance to receive mentoring whilst gaming with staff members, giving them a chance to express themselves and see if there is any help needed.

    Parental consent is required and will be confirmed when contact is made with the young person.

    Sign up on the Palace for Life website.

    Telephone: 020 8768 6047

    Kooth (Xenzone)

    Kooth (Xenzone) offers online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop.

    Open: Monday to Friday 12pm to 10pm, weekends 6pm to 10pm.

    Further resources to support children and young people:

    Information for people with a learning disability

    Please refer to the easy-read coronavirus (COVID-19) guide to looking after your feelings and your body.

    It’s important not to forget about any other health conditions you might have. 

    Remember to take your medication, keep your hospital appointments (unless you have been told otherwise by the hospital) and tell people if you can’t attend appointments.

    Please be advised that the Active Lives Hubs are all currently closed but the council is keeping in touch with members and their families – find more about what they are doing.

    Other useful resources for support and information:

    Autistic people

    Autistic adults, children and young people may be finding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak stressful and be worried about the changes around them, including having to stay at home. 

    They may struggle to identify any physical symptoms of COVID-19/ coronavirus, as well as having difficulty talking about the emotions that arise from the current this situation.

    The council’s autism service for adults is continuing to keep in contact with local families. 

    If you do become unwell and need medical treatment, share your hospital passport or autism diagnosis so staff know the best way to support you.

    Further information and advice is available through the Autism Helpline on 0808 800 4104.

    The National Autistic Society has guidance on managing anxiety.

    Domestic violence

    Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under. If you do not feel safe at home, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you. 

    Domestic abuse and violence advice and information.

    Financial support and advice 

    Advice for residents facing financial difficulties can be found here.

    The charity Money and Mental Health also has advice and support for people experiencing issues with mental health and money during the COVID-19 outbreak.  

    Bereavement support

    You can visit our bereavement support services for help.

    Freephone: 0808 808 1677

    Child Bereavement UK has made this video on how you can support a bereaved child.

    Further support and guidance: