Need Help? Calling a Mental Health Helpline in the UK

mental health helpline

By: eflon

Considering calling a mental health helpline here in the UK, but are feeling nervous? Don’t be.

Nowadays there are several helplines to help you, with trained listeners happy to take your call who really can help.

As well as general helplines for everyone there are special lines just for you if you are, for example, a child, older person, teenager, or male.

And if you are nervous about phone calls, you’ll find some hotlines nowadays offer support by text, email, or web chat. 

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Read on to find which mental health helpline is right for you.

Is it a mental health emergency?

If you feel you are about to hurt yourself or someone else, then you need to contact emergency services. Go to the closest hospital or A&E, or call 999.

If you are not wanting to go to a hospital but feel it’s an emergency you can also now call NHS emergency services in the UK by dialling 111. This is a phone line now open every day of the year, all day and night, and it’s free to call even if you are using your mobile.

Otherwise, call one of the following hotlines. 

**(The opening hours listed below were correct at time of publishing but are subject to change). 

Crisis helplines to call if you feel suicidal in the UK

Samaritans  (116 123 UK and ROI)  24-hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s free to call. If you hate talking on the phone or don’t have privacy you can email them at jo@samaritans.org and get a response that way.

SANEline (0300 304 7000) 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., 365 days a year. This is a national after-hours hotline run by the charity Sane. You have to be 16 to use this service (if you aren’t, call Childine, listed below). 

HOPELineUK (0800 068 41 41, or text 07786 209 967 ) 10am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm weekends and 2-5pm holidays. This is a crisis hotline just for teens and people under 35  who are feeling suicidal. It’s run by a suicide prevention charity called Papyrus. You can also email pat@papyrus-uk.org but do call or text if it’s an emergency.

Childline (0800 1111) 24 hours a day, every day of the year, emergency calls only after 1 a.m.  This hotline is for you if you are a kid or even a teen. You can call it, and the number won’t show up on the phone bill, so nobody in your family needs to know. You can also go to their site to have a online chat.

General Helplines for any Issue and for Everyone

Samaritans  (116 123 UK and ROI)  24-hours a day, 365 days a year. They don’t mind what you want to talk about, they are there for you. Again, it’s free to call, and you can email them if you don’t like talking on phones at jo@samaritans.org.

Helpline to call if you are a child 

Childline (0800 1111) – 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day, emergency only after 1 a.m. This is listed above in the emergency section, but you can call this hotline anytime, you don’t have to be suicidal. And as you’ll see above, you can also have an online chat with them.

Helpline to call if you are a teenager

Childline (0800 1111) – This hotline is also open for teens. You’ll find more info above in both the child and emergency sections. 

PAPYYRUS (0800 068 41 41) – this is actually also HOPEline, which you’ll see in the emergency section above.  If it’s not an emergency, but you are worried about your suicidal thoughts, you can still contact them. If it’s not an emergency and you prefer email, you can also reach them at pat@papyrus-uk.org.

Nightline – 6pm to 8am during term time. This is a website service run by students for students that connects you to your university or college’s night-time listening service. You’ll be talking to other students who understand what you are going through.Their website also has a web chat function. 

CALM (0800 58 58 58)  5 to midnight, all year round. The Campaign Against Living Miserably is for you if you are a young man aged 15-35 who is feeling depressed.

FRANK (0300 123 6600, SMS at 82111) 24 hrs, 365 days a year. Frank offers friendly, confidential drugs advice if you are worried about your drug use or about a friend who is using. You can also use their web chat on their site from 2-6pm daily, or email them at frank@talktofrank.com.

Helplines for Men

CALM (0800 58 58 58) 5 to midnight, all year round – a hotline for young men feeling depressed, more details are listed in the section directly above.

Men’s Advice Line (0808 801 0327) Mon-Fri 9-5pm. This is a hotline for men who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse. You can speak to advisors trained in all types of domestic abuse, including if you are hetero, gay or bi, or a front line worker. If you are asked to leave a message, someone will get back to you within 48 hours.You can also use their web chat on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4pm.

Respect (0808 802 4040) Mon-Fri 9-5pm. Are you hurting the one you love? Respect is a hotline for domestic violence perpetrators. If you are asked to leave a message, someone will get back to you within 48 hours. You can also email info@respecthponeline.org.uk. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4pm you can also go to their site an use their web chat.

Helpline for Older People

The Silver Line (0800 4 708090) 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This is a charity for older people that provides advice and friendly chats.

Helplines for family, friends, and carers of those with mental health issues

Rethink (0300 5000 927) Mon to Fri, 9:30-4. Rethink is a charity which offers advice on living with mental illness, including to those who care for people with mental illness. This can include advice on carers rights.

SANEline (0300 304 7000) 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., 365 days a year. The national after-hours hotline run by the charity Sane is also for those who have family members or loved ones with mental illness, or for carers.

Helplines for Domestic violence

National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247) 24-hour freephone helpline. For women experiencing domestic violence, as well as their family, friends, or anyone else calling on their behalf.

Respect (0808 802 4040) Mon-Fri 9-5pm.  Respect is a hotline for domestic violence perpetrators (male or female). Do call if you are hurting, or tempted to hurt, those you love. You can also email info@respecthponeline.org.uk. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4pm you can also go to their site an use their web chat.

Men’s Advice Line (0808 801 0327) Mon-Fri 9-5pm. Men experience domestic violence too, and if that is you, do call this hotline. The trained listeners are trained in all kinds of domestic abuse, whether you are a hetero, bi, or gay male, or a frontline worker. You can also email them at info@respectphoneline.org.uk. If you go to their site you can also use webchat on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4pm.

Helplines for Child Abuse 

*If you know a child is in immediate danger, call emergency services immediately at 999.

NSPCC (0800 800 5000) 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. If you suspect a child you know is being abused, this is the hotline to call. You can remain anonymous, and they will listen to your concerns, help you understand what you can do, and give you the next steps to take. You can also report your concern online. 

Childline (0800 1111) 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  If you are a child or a young teen who is being abused, please call childline. It’s free to call, the people who answer are really friendly, and the number won’t show up on the phone bill, so nobody in your family needs to know. You can also go to their site to have a online chat.

Substance and Addiction Hotlines 

FRANK (0300 123 6600, SMS at 82111) 24 hrs, 365 days a year. Frank is for anyone, not just teens. You can call them or text them for confidential drugs advice for yourself, or if you are worried about a friend or loved one. You can also use their web chat on their site from 2-6pm daily, or email them at frank@talktofrank.com.

Narcotics Anonymous (0300 999 1212) daily, 10am to midnight. Narcotics anonymous offers advice on drug use and drug addiction. They of course encourage abstinence and attending a NA meeting. If you end up with an answering machine, do leave a message, as they do call back.

Gamcare (0808 8020 133) 8am to midnight, seven days a week. This helpline offers confidential advice and support to anyone struggling with a gambling problem. The number will not show up on your phone bill. They also offer online web chat from 8pm to midnight daily. 

Ready to work with a empathic, experienced counsellor? Harley Therapy connects you with therapists across the UK and worldwide via Skype. 


Have a question about using a mental health helpline, or want to share your experience with our other readers? Use the public comment box below. 

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2 Responses to “Need Help? Calling a Mental Health Helpline in the UK”
  1. Anita Higgins
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