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Mental health emergency department leaflet

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Your mental health

  • We all experience low points at times in our lives, and it's not unusual to feel sad, anxious, stressed, or low in mood. You may be experiencing a mental health crisis for the first time or a deterioration of an existing condition.
  • The Emergency Department is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you receive the support you need.
  • A nurse or doctor will see you initially and then, if appropriate, refer you to the mental health liaison team within the hospital.
  • This leaflet provides information on other places to receive support. Either yourself or a family member or friend can help you receive this support.
  • If you feel you are not able to keep yourself safe, and do not need immediate medical assistance, you can contact the Mental Health Rapid Response Service which is able to offer immediate support. Telephone 0300 304 0078 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week including bank holidays) (for adults).

Brighton & Hove Wellbeing

  • Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service is a free NHS service supporting people from age 4 years upward in Brighton & Hove. It offers therapeutic support through different types of talking therapies, workshops and courses as well as guided online therapy.

Health in Mind, East Sussex

  • Health in Mind is a free NHS service for adults in East Sussex experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties, such as stress, anxiety and depression. You can make an online referral to access their services at Your GP can also refer you.

Time to Talk, West Sussex

  • Time to Talk provides access to mental health therapies through an online or phone self-referral, or by your GP. It covers Adur, Arun, Bognor, Chanctonbury, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, and Worthing.

The Sussex Mental Healthline

  • The Sussex Mental Healthline is not a counselling service but the operators can help you explore ways of coping. They can advise on access to mental health services and provide details of support and voluntary groups. They can send information about mental health issues, support groups, advocacy services and complaints procedures.
  • Telephone 0800 0309 500. Call costs vary by mobile or landline network provider but will cost the same as a call to a landline number. Language and text services are also available.

Other sources of advice

  • HOPELineUK, telephone 0800 068 41 41 (text: 07786 209697) gives confidential advice and support to under 35s thinking about suicide, and anyone concerned about a young person and suicide. Open 10am until 10pm weekdays, 2pm until 10pm weekends, and 2pm until 5pm Bank Holidays.

Urgent help in a crisis

  • Samaritans provide help and support to people in a crisis 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact them by phone on 116 123 or visit
  • If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm, either to yourself or someone else, phone 999.
  • If you are in Brighton & Hove, the Brighton and Hove Mental Health Rapid Response Service offers support from a mental health professional anytime, day or night, as well as face to face appointments. Call 0300 304 0078, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • You can also go to your nearest hospital with an Emergency (A&E) Department. There are staff on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assess you and provide access to appropriate help.
  • If you are already receiving support from Sussex Partnership mental health services you should have a care plan and crisis card. These will include details of who you should contact in a crisis. If you can't find your care plan, contact your community team during the day and ask for your care coordinator or the person on duty.
  • Sussex Mental Healthline, telephone 0800 0309 500 (limited service available).

General support

For general medical advice please use the NHS website, the NHS 111 service, walk-in-centres, or your GP.

  • The NHS website provides online health information and guidance.
  • NHS 111 phone line offers medical help and advice from trained advisers supported by nurses and paramedics. Available 24 hours a day. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

This article is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

The information in this article is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

Publication Date: February 2019

Review Date: November 2022

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