04 September 2019

Asking for help is okay. At some point in our lives we all need a bit of support to overcome a rough path or obstacles that seem overwhelming.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention 'For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected'. Supporting people in crisis is a shared responsibility and the Mental Health Crisis Lines have been set in place to ensure that speedy response is provided in critical situations.

East London NHS Crisis Lines, designed to provide 24/7 support for people in the community experiencing a mental health crisis, are active in Tower Hamlets, Newham and City and Hackney. At the other end of the phone line you will find mental health professionals that provide evaluation and signposting to relevant services, for efficient response.

If you need to talk to someone about your own mental health or you have concerns for someone close to you, by calling the crisis line you will get a friendly, non-judgmental specialist advice from mental health professionals. The Crisis Teams will ensure that mental health support is put in place in a timely manner not only to overcome the crisis, but also to give you the tools and skills you need to cope with a mental health condition.

Melanie King, Tower Hamlets Crisis Line Manager advises:

‘Is important to take care of yourself on the long run. Basic self-care such as healthy eating, staying hydrated, sleeping, exercising (going for walks, taking the stairs etc) are all important in keeping the body and mind stable and strong.

Keeping your finances in check is also important as financial problems are often the root of some people's crisis.’

The Crisis Line teams look at the broader contributors of health and liaise with services within the community to put in place the right support. 

One caller to the Crisis Line said:

‘Thank you for all your support during the early hours, when I haven’t been able to sleep and when I found it hard to cope. You all are lovely people, kind and patient. I do appreciate you all. Not one of you have been unkind or tried to rush me off the phone.’

If you have concerns for a family member or a friend, or if you could benefit from the assistance of the team, don’t hesitate to contact one of the numbers below.

For Bedfordshire - call 01234 315691

For City of London and Hackney - call 020 8432 8020

For Luton - call 01582 538631

For Newham - call 020 7540 6782

For Tower Hamlets -  call 020 7771 5807 

Calls are charged at local rates.

Related articles:

Newham Mental Health Crisis Line:  https://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/health/elft-crisis-line-1-6233657

The International Association for Suicide Prevention: https://www.iasp.info/wspd2019/