999 – The main emergency number
This is the emergency number for police, ambulance, fire brigade, coastguard, cliff rescue, mountain rescue, cave rescue, etc. Note the important word ‘EMERGENCY’. This number should be used only when urgent attendance by the emergency services is required – for example someone is seriously ill or injured, or a crime is in progress.
Calls are free, and 999 can be dialled from a locked mobile phone
112 – Another emergency number
This operates exactly the same as 999 and directs you to exactly the same emergency call centre. The important thing about 112 is that it will work on a mobile phone anywhere in the world. So on your next foreign holiday, you don’t need to make a note of the emergency number for the country you visit; you just need 112. Incidentally, a EU requirement is that emergency call centres must provide a translations service.
101 – The non-emergency number for the police
Use 101 when you want to contact the police, but it’s not an emergency – i.e. an immediate response is not necessary and/or will not be serve any purpose.
111 – The non-emergency medical number
This is available nationwide and replaced and expanded on the former NHS Direct service. Use this for illnesses and minor injuries where life isn’t threatened, but you would like some advice on what to do next.
Calls are free.
What if I need multiple emergency services?
If you need more than one emergency service, you only have to call one – and ask them to contact the others (they may ask you “do you require other services” and, depending on the incident, other services may be sent anyway).
Mental Health Helplines
Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice.
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Men’s Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.
Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge
Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.
Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)
Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.
Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)
0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)
National Gambling Helpline
Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)
Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)
Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.
Phone: 0333 150 3456 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12pm to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm)
Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)
Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)
Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.
Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.
Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm)
The UK’s largest provider of relationship support.