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The University of Southampton
Enabling ServicesPart of Student Services

Support for crisis situations

Published: 27 April 2020
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The NHS states that “a mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone’s time.” Please be reassured that support is still available to you for crisis situations, even during the Covid-19 outbreak, as many services are adapting to offer remote support for people in crisis situations.

If you feel that your life is immediately at risk from yourself or someone else, and that you cannot keep yourself safe, please call 999 straight away. If you are unable to speak, the Silent Solution system is in place - dial 999, and after an automated message you will be prompted to press 55 which will transfer you to the police.

If you need help urgently for your mental health, but it’s not an emergency, call NHS 111 or use their online service so that NHS staff can help you to access the most appropriate support.

The Samaritans are available to speak to in confidence, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are free to call on 116 123. If you aren’t in an environment where you feel comfortable talking out loud, you could text SHOUT on 85258 for free; by texting this number you will begin a text exchange with a volunteer who can support you.

Based in Southampton? Contact the Lighthouse Shirley: those in mental health crisis or emotional distress in Southampton can text ‘lighthouse’ and their postcode (for example LIGHTHOUSE SO14 0YG) to the Mind text line number (07451276010) between 4:30pm and 12am. The Lighthouse staff will then contact you via telephone, email, webchat or text.

The Lighthouse is an informal, non-judgmental, out-of-hours mental health service for anyone over the age of 18 who requires short-term support in times of great difficulty or is struggling with poor mental health.


There are also lots of self-help resources available if you feel like you can keep yourself safe but would like to try some techniques to support yourself.

• The Samaritans have some practical ways you can help yourself cope online.
• You could create a Safety Plan that you can refer back to in times of crisis.
• Mind have online tools to help you cope such as making a plan for the next few hours and relaxing exercises, and distraction tools such as practical activities and games.
• Enabling Services have a range of self-help resources including depression and self-harm.

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