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If you're worried about a friend, colleague or relative, ask them how they are. The act of listening is the most beneficial thing you can do for someone in crisis.

You don't have to be able to solve their problems or even understand them, and you are not there to provide all the answers, just let the person know they can talk to someone.

Empathise with them, ask questions, and avoid making judgements about their behaviour or thoughts.

Questions like "How did it start?" or "What made you choose that?" will make the the person examine the problems they're experiencing, unlike "I know how you feel" or "Try not to worry about it" which can quickly end a conversation.

Getting professional help

We've included some useful contact details below if you feel that talking to a counsellor or receiving practical help would be beneficical.

Help and resources

  • Samaritans

    24-hour telephone helpline offering emotional support to people experiencing distress or despair.
    Telephone: 08457 90 90 90
  • Emergency Services

    You can ask to stay on the line while you wait for help to arrive.
    Telephone: 999 - calls to this number are free
  • HOPELineUK

    Non-judgmental support, practical advice and information for children, teenagers and young people. Monday to Friday 10am - 10pm, Saturday & Sunday 2pm - 5pm.
    Telephone: 0800 068 41 41 or Text: 07786 209697
  • Mind Infoline

    Help and advice line for people with mental health problems. Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm.
    Telephone: 0300 123 3393
  • Tyneside Mind

    Online Enquiries: Fill in our short form
    Telephone: 0191 477 4545
  • NHS 111 service

    24-hour information and advice on any health problem or service.
    Telephone: 111
  • Eating Disorders Support

    Support helpline in the UK for eating disorders. Website contains information about eating disorders, as well as what to do if you are worried somebody you know may be affected by an eating disorder.
    Telephone: Helpline: 01494 793223
  • ABC

    A national organisation run for anyone who is suffering because of eating disorders: sufferers, their families, carers and professionals
    Telephone: 03000 11 12 13 (option 1-parent helpline option 2-sufferer helpline, option 3-self harm helpline)

Notices and promotions

  • Warning Signs

    Everyone is different but someone you know may be experiencing mental health difficulties if they:

    • Are anxious, irritable or nervous
    • Become moody or withdrawn
    • Can't cope with their problems
    • Change eating or drinking habits
    • Become unusually clumsy
    • Lose interest in their appearance
    • Constantly put themselves down
  • Don't be afraid to ask

    If you are worried that someone is suicidal, ask them. It could save their life.

    • ask the person what’s troubling them
    • listen carefully to what they have to say
    • let them know you care

Real stories…

  • I'm dealing with problems instead of pushing them aside.

  • I now have a daily routine – something to focus on.

  • I'm a different person to 6 months ago.

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Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4QL. Telephone: 0191 477 4545  Email: admin@tynesidemind.org.uk 
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Registered office: Tyneside Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gatheshead NE8 4QL. Company Number: 7552434. Charity Number: 1140856.