Advice and support in a mental health crisis
We know that many people are drawn to community faith leaders at times of distress. Following requests from many churches on how to find help when someone is suffering a mental health crisis, we offer this advice produced by Opening Minds, the former Diocesan Mental Health Strategy Group with advice from the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. and offers leaders and their colleagues the following advice:
Listening to someone in crisis can be remarkably helpful to them. Try to help them clarify the problem, the support they are receiving and if appropriate explore possible solutions. Explore risks to themselves or others which includes suicidal thoughts, aggression, impaired judgement and neglect.
Always be mindful of your safety and that of others. If in doubt, have someone else present or aware of your meeting with arrangements for them to contact you after a set time. Trust your intuition and if concerned end the meeting.
It is not uncommon for people to have suicidal thoughts but they are at greater risk if they have plans to commit suicide. Asking about suicidal thoughts and acts this will not increase the risk. If someone feels hopeless and can see no future they should be offered immediate help.
Never say that your conversation will be confidential as, if there are safeguarding issues, you will need to share information, which may be without their consent.
Who to contact
The following options are available.
Diocesan Safeguarding Team: Safeguarding@southwell.anglican.org or telephone 01636 817200.
During the day, if it is not an emergency and they are not receiving specialist care, suggest they see the GP or offer to take them. You may contact the GP to explain the situation or to seek advice.
If they are under specialist care try to find out who is supporting them and ask to speak to that person. They may bring forward the next appointment. The person may carry a crisis card with phone numbers to call. If the person is under the care of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, they may tell you which team they are under. If not call 0115 969 1300 and the switchboard will direct you to the right team.
Offer useful telephone helplines such as:
the Samaritans (24 hours) 116 123 (free)
Anxiety 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
Campaign Against Living Miserably, (CALM), for men aged 15 to 35. 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Combat stress Helpline (24 hours) 0800 1381 619.
Nottinghamshire 24 hour domestic violence helpline: 0808 8000 340 – freephone
National 24 hour domestic violence helpline: 0808 2000 247 – freephone
Advice line for men experiencing domestic violence: 0808 8010 327 – freephone
Young Minds parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Out of hours:
If they are under the care of the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust contact the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team. Contacts:
Nottingham City: 0300 300 0065 (24 hours)
Nottingham County South: 0300 123 2901 (24 hours)
Mansfield and Ashfield: 0115 956 0860 (24 hours)
Bassetlaw: 0300 123 1804 (7.30am – 9pm) or 0115 956 0860 (9pm – 7.30am)
Newark and Sherwood: 0300 3000 131 (9am-5pm, Monday – Friday) or 0115 956 0860 (5pm – 9am Monday – Friday, and weekends)
if not and you need urgent advice contact NHS Choices on 111
In an emergency, if there is a risk of violence make sure everyone is safe and call the police.
If there is a risk of serious self- harm contact 999 or, if they agree and it is safe to do so, escort them to an Emergency Department. Ideally have another person present with them in the back of the car or go by taxi.
If they have taken an overdose or harmed themselves, they should always be assessed at an Emergency Department.
Sometimes people are not aware how unwell they are and that puts their health or that of others at risk. If you are unable to contact the GP or mental health team, contact the adult social services duty team.
Mental Health Awareness Sunday – 13th October 2019
You might also find useful resources on the Mind and Soul Foundation website
Mental Health Awareness Guides: recruiting the pioneers
The suggestion of a mental health awareness guide (MHAG) linked to each parish was supported by the senior clergy of the Diocese. The project has attracted national interest and the support of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The MHAG is not expected to address the spiritual or psychological needs of individuals and their carers themselves but may help to signpost them to other sources of help.
We hope to attract participation from a variety of churches with both large and small congregations. We would like to include rural and town parishes as well as those within the city.
To ensure their effectiveness in the role, the MHAG should have the support of both their church leader and PCC.
Please see below links for further information:-
God of Compassion
You meant us to be both fragile and ordinary.
Silence the voices that say we are not good enough
Haven’t achieved enough,
Haven’t enough to show for our lives,
That we are not enough.
Help us to know that we are treasure,
We are prized,
We are cherished,
We are loved.
So be with us in our corrugations of feeling:
When our hearts are in downward freefall, be with us
When our minds race with anxiety, be with us
When our throats close in fear, be with us
When sleep will not come, be with us
When waking hurts, be with us.
In the name of Jesus,
Who knew trauma, abuse, despair and abandonment
And has nothing but love for us,
Prayer: Alison Webster, Oxford Diocese