Urgent Mental Health Support

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health issue and needs help urgently, there are a number of options available to you. 

  • NHS Devon Partnership Trust provides support for people with urgent mental health needs via it's First Response Service (FRS). Use their 24/7 helpline on 0808 196 8708 to contact them for yourself or on behalf of someone else. When you call, the phone will be answered by a mental health practitioner who will listen to your concerns, offer professional advice and help you or your loved one get the care and support needed. The service is available to anyone aged 18 and above living in Devon (excluding Plymouth). 
    The following are all things the FRS could help you with:
    • Changes to your mood
    • Withdrawing from people (close family, friends or work colleagues)
    • Not taking care of yourself like you usually would 
    • Having increased thoughts about your life not being worth living 
    • Excessive worry 
    • Feeling out of control or unable to cope 
    • Feeling anxious about leaving the house
    • Hearing voices or seeing things that others can’t 
    • Thinking about harming yourself

To find out more information about the First Response Service, please click here.


  • The Devon Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are available to those under 18 who are experiencing a mental health crisis. They accept self-referrals from children, young people, parents and carers; to contact them regarding urgent support, phone 0808 196 8708. To visit their website and find out more, please click here.


  • The charity Mental Health Matters provides a 24/7 helpline on 0800 4700 317. The helpline staff are highly trained and can help you with a number of things, such as: 
    • Feeling low, anxious or stressed and feeling that talking to another person might help you
    • In extreme emotional distress and feeling that there is nowhere else to turn
    • Caring for another person and finding it difficult to cope
    • Needing advice about how to get more support with an issue that's affecting your mental wellbeing
    • Feeling socially isolated and just needing a chat
    If English is not your first language, the staff are able to dial in an interpreter from Language Line.  If you are hard of hearing, you may wish to use the online webchat function instead of calling, or use the BT Relay UK service (click here to access more information about this service). More information about the Mental Health Matters helpline and webchat can be found here.

As well as the above helpline, Mental Health Matters provide telephone and in person support at their three centres, The Moorings, based in Exeter, Barnstaple and Torquay. The Moorings off operate in a safe, non-judgmental, and non-clinical environment, helping those experiencing a mental health crisis or feeling that they are heading towards a crisis situation. You can visit just for a chat or to access one-to-one support from trained professionals. You do not need to be referred and there is no need for an appointment. For more information, please click here.


  • If you or someone you know has a physical injury due to their mental health, such as wounds resulting from self-harm, please attend the nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department or call 999. You can find your nearest A&E department by clicking here.


  • The charity Samaritans are available 24/7, offering support on a range of mental health issues. Call them for free on 116 123 at any time; you can read more about their helpline here. You can also contact them using other channels including email, as detailed here.


  • The website Staying Safe is a resource focused on mental health supoort, which has been developed by a range of groups, including academics, people with lived experience, suicide prevention experts, mental health practitioners, GPs, and public health experts. Therough a range of powerful videos made by people with lived experience of mental health crises, it offers ways to help keep people safe from thoughts of harm and suicide, seek support and discover hope of recovery. The site also provides Safety Plan guidance tools jointly funded by NHS England, with printable and online templates and video tutorials available. These are designed to help people through the process of writing their own Safety Plan, a tool for helping someone navigate and reduce suicidal feelings and urges. These tools can help to identify actions and strategies to resist suicidal thoughts, develop positive ways to cope with emotional distress, and keep them safe in times of crisis. The Staying Safe website can be accessed here.


Mental health crisis support information