A mental health crisis is when you feel at breaking point, and you need urgent help.
You may be feeling extremely anxious; feeling suicidal, or self-harming; you may also be hearing voices, or feeling very paranoid.
If you or someone you know experiences a mental health crisis this Winter, or needs urgent mental health support, there are a number of mental health crisis services across Greater Manchester that you can turn to. They can be really valuable alternatives to attending A&E departments, which can become very busy over the Winter period.
NHS 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Helpline
The NHS 24/7 mental health crisis helpline is for people of all ages who need urgent mental health support for themselves or someone they know. They are available free of charge, day or night, 365 days per year.
Run by experienced mental health professionals, they will:
- Listen to you and help you work through immediate problems
- Work with you to find ways to move forward or suggest ways of working
- Give you information about, or refer you on to, other services that may be helpful.
If you live in Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Manchester, or Wigan, call 0800 953 0285.
If you live in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport or Tameside, call 0800 014 9995.
These services offer confidential support from trained volunteers.
Crisis Cafés – Bolton, Manchester, Salford, Trafford, and Wigan
Community spaces known as ‘Crisis Cafés’ or ‘Listening Lounges’ offer a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment for anyone over the age of 18, who is feeling low, anxious, struggling with negative thoughts, or just wants to talk to someone during evenings or weekends.
The spaces offer support and advice from trained mental health workers in a relaxed environment.
They are delivered by voluntary community and social enterprise partners, supported by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH).
An individual who previously accessed support at one of the Crisis Cafés said, the team were “calming and reassuring” and finding the service was “just what I needed at just the right time.”
Locations, opening times, and contact details for the Crisis Cafés and Listening Lounges in Greater Manchester are as follows:
Bolton Listening Lounge
YMCA Bolton, 125 Deansgate, Bolton BL1 1HA
Open: Monday to Sunday, 3pm to 10pm
Harpurhey – No.93 Crisis Café
No.93 Harpurhey Wellbeing Centre, 93 Church Lane, Manchester M9 5BG
Open: Monday to Friday, 8pm to 1am, Saturday and Sunday, 3pm to 1am
Contact: Please phone ahead of dropping in, call 07778012838 or 0161 271 0339, or email GMMHCrisisCafe@gmmh.nhs.uk
Manchester City Centre – Recovery Lounge, in partnership with Turning Point
Open: Monday to Friday, 5pm to 12am, Saturday and Sunday, 3pm to 12am
Contact: Call 0161 238 5249 from midday onwards until 12am, every day.
Salford Listening Lounge
Open: 24-hours a day, every day, and referrals for Salford residents can be made by health care professionals. More details here.
Trafford – Bluesci at Night Crisis Café, in partnership with Bluesci
Old Trafford Resource Centre, 54-56 Seymour Grove, Manchester M16 0LN
Open: Monday to Friday, 7pm to 2am, Saturday and Sunday, 5pm to 2am
Contact: Text or call 07933 882743, or email email@example.com
Wigan – Mental Health Support Hub
Lea Baker Café at Atherleigh Park, Atherleigh Way, Leigh WN7 1YN
Open: Monday to Sunday, 4.30pm until 11pm
Contact: If you are a Wigan service user, please contact your care co-ordinator or call Atherleigh Park reception on 01942 636 300 to check availability.
Other local services – Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport and Tameside
Bury - BIG in Mental Health is an independent charity run by, and for people with experience of mental and emotional distress. They help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Their groups are free to attend and don't require a referral.
- Tameside, Oldham and Glossop (TOG) Mind provide a variety of services to help with mental wellbeing; counselling, guided wellbeing services, Tameside Wellbeing Hub, peer support, low-level drop-in sessions for anxiety management.
- Listening Space (provided by Mind) is a walk-in service for any adult in Oldham experiencing mental health difficulties. You can receive help and advice from peer support workers, or just have a calm space to attend to feel safe.
Rochdale - Listening Lounge (provided by Mind) is a walk-in service for any adult in Rochdale experiencing mental health difficulties. You can receive help and advice from peer support workers, or just have a calm space to attend to feel safe.
Stockport - Making Space/Open Door is a service for people aged 18+ in Stockport. They offer you support via telephone, video calling and face to face at their safe haven in the town centre. There is also an Open Door 24/7 helpline which provides emotional support whenever you need it. Call 0800 138 7276.
Tameside - SAFE Tameside is a service for those looking for urgent face-to-face mental health support. You can get help and advice and meet others with lived experience of mental health in a safe, relaxed and friendly environment.
Practical advice for anyone who may be feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope.
Dr Miranda Budd, associate network director for psychological therapies at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Ask for help, share the dilemma. Whether this is from someone within your personal life or a professional, talking to someone about how you are feeling is a really important step towards feeling better.
“Don’t be by yourself. Sometimes when we don’t feel so good, this can be hard. It may feel like you want to avoid others, places and people. However, even if you don’t feel like it, often being with someone else can help to lift your mood.
“A change of scenery can also help. Go outside for a walk, the change in temperature, some fresh air and a bit of exercise can be beneficial.
“When you are feeling calmer, it’s a good idea to make a plan for if, and/ or when there is a next time you aren’t feeling so great. Sharing this plan, or even creating this plan with an important other in your life can also be a good idea- so they know how to help when you are struggling.”
Dr Zainib Khan, Trainee Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said:
“If you feel that you are struggling with your mental health, make sure you tell somebody. These things can make you feel so lonely, and can compound upon your mental health worsening; and it’s in sharing our problems that we feel we’re not so isolated. So speak to somebody, whether that’s a family member, a friend, or a colleague, because it will really help.
“Society as a whole puts pressure on us to be very productive and be the best in what we do, in terms of exercise, what we eat, what our house looks like and what our job looks like. But it’s also so important to rest. If you’ve got a broken leg, you rest. If you’ve had a heart attack, you rest. And if you’re struggling with your mental health, you need to rest. It’s about putting yourself first, and making sure you’re eating and sleeping well, and taking that time to reset.”
If you have seriously injured yourself, or feel that you can’t keep yourself safe, call 999 or go to A&E.