Emergency Help and Helplines

In a medical emergency, such as an overdose, call 999. 
For a traffic light system to help you judge how urgently you should seek help click here


  • If your child has self-harmed and you are concerned that the cuts are very deep or there is serious blood loss, call your GP, or go to Casualty, or call 999. If you are not worried about your child’s physical health (in other words, the cuts are shallow and no longer bleeding), the first thing to do is keep calm and have a look at the section on self-harm to help you decide what to do next and how to talk to your child about what has happened.

Suicidal thoughts

  • If your child, teen or young adult is expressing suicidal thoughts, they should also see a doctor as soon as possible. Many people express suicidal thoughts because they are feeling overwhelmed and may not really want to act on them, but it is still very frightening for them and frightening for you. Other worrying symptoms might include hearing voices, feelings of unreality, becoming very angry or violent, showing signs of an eating disorder or becoming very withdrawn. As a parent it can be really difficult to judge the seriousness of a problem, so don’t hesitate to seek advice.


As well as the helplines below you will find other helplines listed under specific topics e.g. for panic or eating disorders.

For Parents

  • YoungMinds  Parent line is open Monday-Friday 9.30-4pm. Outside of these hours you can also e-mail for advice on their contact form.
  • Family Lives   Telephone line staffed by trained therapists can offer emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. There is also the option of live chat and e-mail if you are unable to get through on askus@familylives.org.uk.

For Young People

  • Childline  Not just for young children, Childline offers a helpline, online chat and e-mail advice for anyone up to the age of 19 years.
  • Shout Crisis textline Text for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisisAll texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
  • The Mix for under 25’s  also offer on-line chat and text messaging.
  • Kooth  A really good website which also offers online counselling and support by text, e-mail or by chatting on the forum for ages 10-18 years.


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