Finding support: a guide to resources when you need help

Christmas is just a few days away, and we thought it was important to put together a list of organisations and helplines that are available to support anyone struggling over the Christmas period and beyond.


In times of need, it’s crucial to know where to turn for support and assistance. Whether you’re facing personal challenges, seeking professional advice, or simply looking for a supportive community, various resources are available to help you.  Reach out to anyone who you haven’t heard from in a while or who you think might be struggling at this time of year.  Your visit, call or text could make a huge difference to them!

If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment.  There are support services available for you to access, whatever you are going through.

NHS urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages.

You can call for:

  • 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for
  • help to speak to a mental health professional
  • an assessment to help decide on the best course of care

Find a local NHS urgent mental health helpline

Information: If you’ve already been given a crisis line number to use in an emergency, it’s best to call it.

If you just need to talk, any time of day or night

Free listening services offer confidential support from trained volunteers. You can talk about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how difficult:

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: [email protected] for a reply within 24 hours
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.

These services will only share your information if they are very worried about you or think you are in immediate danger.

There are many other help and text lines you can contact over the festive period including:

  • CALM — 0800 585858. This is a helpline for men, open from 5pm-midnight, seven days a week. They even have a webchat, if you feel more at ease using this service instead.
  • Switchboard — 0300 330 0630. This is a line for LGBTQ+ support, every day from 10am-10pm.
  • Beat Helpline — 0808 801 0677. For eating disorder support, this phone line is open from 24 December to 1 January.
  • Mind — 0300 123 3393. This number can be used for non-urgent information about mental health support and services that may be available to you.
  • Talk to Frank — 0300 123 6600. For help with drug addiction, Talk to Frank has a phone line, a text service (82111) and a webchat.
  • SANEline — 0300 3047000. You can call this number for advice, between 4:30pm and 10:30pm every night.
  • OCD Action — 0845 390 6232. This helpline is open from Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 8pm. You can speak to a trained volunteer if you are struggling with OCD.
  • Papyrus — 0800 068 4141. Papyrus’ volunteers help young people focus on staying safe from suicide. You can also call if you are someone who is concerned about a young person. They’re available from 8am – midnight 365 days a year.

Get advice from 111 or ask for an urgent GP appointment if:

  • you are not able to speak to your local NHS urgent mental health helpline
  • you need help urgently for your mental health, but it’s not an emergency
  • you’re not sure what to do

111 will tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone, you may be able to speak to a nurse, or mental health nurse, over the phone.  A GP can advise you about helpful treatments and also help you access mental health services. You may be able to refer yourself to some services.

Important! Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • someone’s life is at risk – for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose
  • you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone’s time.

Share and download and share our Where To Get Advice and Support information sheet with your networks and anyone you think would find it helpful.