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If you are feeling that your mental health is at breaking point, you may be experiencing a mental health crisis with some or all of the following symptoms:

•             Suicidal feelings or serious self-harming behaviour

•             Extreme panic attacks or anxiety

•             Psychotic episodes (delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or hearing voices)

•             Hypomania or mania

•             Other behaviour that feels out of control, and / or might endanger you or others.

You may have already been diagnosed with a mental health condition or you may be experiencing these difficulties for the first time.  Even if you don’t have a specific diagnosis, experiencing emotions and behaviours that are very painful or hard to manage can still lead to feelings of crisis. When you feel this way, you may need to access crisis services to help you to resolve the situation or receive specialist support until it has passed.

People experience mental health crises in different ways. You may have a feeling of steady deterioration, or a sudden event may rapidly shake your stability.

Whatever the situation, if you feel you are experiencing a mental health crisis, seek help immediately by:

During the day in office hours speaking to your Tutor, your College Nurse, calling the University Counselling Service or booking an emergency same-day appointment with your GP. 

At night or outside of office hours, going to your College Porters’ Lodge and explaining how you are feeling or calling the NHS First Response team by dialling 111 and selecting option 2.

Please also see the University Counselling website for more information and advice. 

If you would like to speak to someone out of hours during term time, you can also contact the University Nightline service (anonymously by live chat, call, email or skype).

You can also contact the Samaritans service in Cambridge (they are usually open for visitors from 10.30 am to 10 pm) and you can call them for free on 116 123 or email them. They are available at any time of the day or night, 365 days of the year.

There is a leaflet published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists designed to help people stay safe when they are feeling overwhelmed.

CALM (Campaign against living miserably) is a telephone and webchat service available from 5pm to midnight every day for men experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings.

Switchboard is a telephone helpline to providing support for anyone identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and all telephone operators identify as LGBT+.

B-eat is a charity supporting people with an eating disorder. They have a helpline providing support and information 365 days a year between 3pm and 10pm.

Cameo is a service for young people who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis.

StayAlive is a suicide prevention app you can download.

See also - concern for others