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Support in a crisis

Last updated Tuesday, 23rd Jun 2015

Sometimes things can become too much and you may begin to feel that you are experiencing a crisis with your mental health. If you are not sure what to do, call the Mental Health Matters Helpline on 0800 107 0160 and a trained telephone adviser will support you to find help.

Your first point of contact for support will depend on when you need help, where you live and whether you are already being supported by a community mental health team.

During the day (working hours)

If you do not receive support from a community mental health team, your first point of contact should be your GP.

If you already receive support from a community mental health team, your first point of contact should be your community mental health team, unless something else has been agreed with you.

Out of hours

Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley

Contact the on-call doctor provided by your GP surgery’s out-of-hours service. The on-call doctor may refer you to the Dartford Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team.

Dartford Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team

Elizabeth Raybould Centre Greenacres, Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6PB

Tel: 01322 622129
Fax: 01322 622214

Medway and Swale

Mental Health Department
Brown Zone Medway Hospital
Windmill Road
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 5NY

Tel: 01634 830000, extension 3095

(including Ashford, Canterbury, Dover and Deal, Herne Bay, Shepway, Swale Thanet, Shepway, Whitstable, Rainham, Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester and Strood)

If you do not receive support from a community mental health team, contact the on-call doctor provided by your GP surgery’s out-of-hours service.

If you already receive support from a community mental health team, please contact the out of hours helpline on 0300 222 0123

This is a pager service, so you will need to leave your name and a contact telephone number. The team will respond within 30 minutes and agree an appropriate response with you. This may be a crisis response or referral onto your community mental health team the following day.

Medway & Swale Crisis Resolution Team

Medway

Medway Maritime Hospital Windmill Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 5NY
Tel: 01634 830 000 ext 3095

West Kent

(including the Maidstone area, Staplehurst, Headcorn, Marden, Meopham and parts of Borough Green)

Contact the Maidstone Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team for help. If you are unable to speak to a member of staff immediately, please leave your name and number. Sometimes staff may be speaking with another person, but they will call you back as soon as they are available.

West Kent Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team

Priority House Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9PH

Tel: 01622 725000
Fax: 01622 725819

What is the role of the crisis resolution home treatment team?

If your mental health has worsened, you may be referred to a crisis resolution home treatment team for assessment. These teams work with GPs, community mental health teams, police, ambulance services, accident and emergency departments and others to help people who are experiencing a crisis with their mental health.

Someone from the team will assess your needs and may recommend hospital treatment. Teams work with people to look for alternatives to hospital treatment, providing treatment within the person’s home if possible. If it is felt someone would benefit from hospital care, they are involved in arranging for that person’s admission to hospital. They are also involved in supporting people’s discharge from hospital through the provision of treatment at home.

In Kent and Medway, this service is provided by the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. There are five teams operating across Eastern and Coastal Kent, Medway and West Kent. Teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Social services out-of-hours service

Tel: 0845 762 6777
(calls are charged at local rate from wherever you are calling).
Minicom: 08458 247 905

Kent and Medway Social Services provide an Out-of-Hours Service which operates after 5pm and before 9am. The Out-of-Hours Service can offer advice, support and help to ensure that vulnerable people are not left at risk. The following information is taken from the Kent County Council website. 

What does the Out-of-Hours Service provide?

  • A responses to new and urgent social care situations that arise 'after hours' and cannot wait until the next working day.
  • Access to Kent and Medway Social Services resources outside normal office hours for those in greatest need.
  • A single point of contact by the use of a 0845 local rate number.
  • Advice and assistance to service users.
  • A service to ensure that vulnerable people who are at risk are made safe until the next working day.

Who will answer?

All calls will be taken by a trained customer service advisor who will take details and a brief message. You will then be telephoned by a trained Duty Screening Officer or Duty Social Worker depending on the nature and urgency of your call.

The Duty Screening Officer or Duty Social Worker will call you back as soon as possible. We aim to return calls within 30 minutes.

If you are calling from a public call box you should let the Customer Service Advisor know.

What sort of problems?

You can call the Out-of-Hours Service for many reasons, including:

  • Keeping vulnerable adults safe who are in need or at risk.
  • Severe problems with your children.
  • Concerns about children and young people who are at risk.

What happens next?

It can be hard to think straight when there is a crisis, especially if it is in the middle of the night. The Duty Screening Officer or Duty Social Worker can give you information and advice over the phone.

You may already have contact with someone from Social Services. If this is the case but a crisis occurs that cannot wait until they are available, the Out-of-Hours Service will try to help. They can often sort things out over the phone. However, if they think you need more help than we can offer over the phone they will come out to see you.

You can refer yourself or others to Social Services by contacting Kent Contact and Assessment Service.

If you are currently involved with Social Services, you can contact the person you are involved with directly, but if you want to make a new contact or new referral, you will need to contact the Kent Contact and Assessment Service.

How social services may be able to help

Sometimes people contact social services for assistance if:

  • Adults need protection because they are frightened or worried by something.
  • Older people need help because they are having difficulty looking after themselves and their home.
  • People with a disability need advice or support.
  • People are unable to look after themselves properly.
  • Carers need assistance with caring for a vulnerable adult.
  • Children are seriously ill or disabled.
  • Children need protection.
  • Families are under stress.

Police

The police may become involved if someone is concerned for your mental health and for your safety or the safety of others. The police have powers under mental health legislation to take a person to ‘a place of safety’ in such circumstances.

Going into hospital

Sometimes it is felt that admission to hospital is the best way for someone to be supported with their mental health. The person may agree to be admitted to hospital, but sometimes they may be required to go into hospital against their will under mental health legislation. This is sometimes known as ‘being sectioned’. There is more about this and being sectioned in the Going to hospital part of this website.


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