Emergency Support Numbers
I know how hard it can be to cope during difficult times and it can feel difficult to know what to do and where to turn. Unfortunately at Flourishing MK I am unable to offer 24/7 support in a crisis, or emergency situation. This is why I have decided to write a series of blog posts on self-care and things that you can to to look after your physical and mental health wellbeing during these times.
This first blog will focus on emergency support numbers and mental health services that you may be able to access for help and support. As Flourishing MK is based in Milton Keynes, this blog post will focus on local services to this region. If you live elsewhere in the UK, I can highly recommend installing the app Hope of Hope, or visiting the webpage https://hubofhope.co.uk/ which will show you a list of available mental health services in your area:
I will have a look at some of the services and support numbers in the remainder of the blog post. They are not written in any particular order of importance, or preference. I would encourage you to look at a few services local to where you live and to approach the one that you feel most comfortable with.
If possible for you and if needed, it may also be beneficial to talk to a friend, or relative about how you are feeling and to ask for their help in accessing some of these numbers, or services:
Mind BLMK Crisis Support Café
This is a service provided by Mind BLMK working in collaboration with the East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) across Luton and Bedfordshire, and Central North West London Trust (CNWL) in Milton Keynes, to provide crisis services for individuals 18 years plus in need of mental health support.
The Service runs from 5pm - 11pm each evening 365 days per year. The Crisis Cafes are safe, non-judgemental spaces that you can come to if you find yourself in crisis or mental health distress in the evenings. You will be met by a trained mental health worker who will listen and help you identify ways to address the problems you are facing.
What can you expect?
A safe, calm and relaxed atmosphere
A one-to-one session with a trained mental health worker
Support to identify positive mental health coping strategies
Advice and guidance about other support services available in your area
Do you need an appointment?
Each Crisis Café is now operating a operating a drop-in service and an appointment is not required.
Milton Keynes also has a Crisis phoneline, which can be contacted between 5.00pm – 11.00pm on: 01525 722 225.
Where are the Crisis Cafés based?
Luton Crisis Café: Luton Wellbeing Centre, 46-56 Dumfries Street, Luton, LU1 5BP
Bedford Crisis Café: Florence Ball House, Bedford Health Village, 3 Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2NX
Milton Keynes Crisis Café: 226 Queensway, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK2 2TE
Central Bedfordshire Crisis Café: Telephone support currently being offered (5.00pm – 11.00pm, each evening) on 01525 722 225
Samaritans Milton Keynes
Address: 161 Fishermead Boulevard, Fishermead Milton Keynes, Bucks. MK6 2AB.
You can phone the Samaritans at any time day, or night 365 days per year on 116123. This number is free to phone. A lot of people have mentioned concerns that they have to be suicidal in order to phone the Samaritans and this is not the case. You can phone the Samaritans with whatever issue you are going through, however big, or small and a trained listener will be available to take the call.
To my fellow introverts if you are not comfortable on the phone, or you don't have a private area in your home where you could make a call, you can also email the Samaritans on firstname.lastname@example.org and they aim to reply to you within 24 hours.
The Samaritans web site also has a self-help app where you can monitor your mood and it will suggest some self-help strategies based on how you are feeling. I had a go at some progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense a group of muscles in the body for 10 seconds and then you relax and let the muscles soften. Then you move onto the next group of muscles and slowly work along the whole body.
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust 24/7 Helpline
If you need urgent support for your mental health you can phone the mental health helpline on 0800 023 4650. This is a free number to phone and they are open seven days per week, 24 hours a day. You can also email: email@example.com.
There are trained mental health advisers and clinicians are available to take the call. Relatives, carers and other health professionals can also phone this number for help, or advice in a crisis.
Another phone number to try is 111 (option 2):
During office hours you could also phone your GP, or if needed and you feel you, or someone else is at risk of serious harm then you could present to your local A and E department for help.
Shout text service
This is a service that is free to use and available 24/7 - I think this service would be great to use if like me you struggle with talking to people on the phone.
Here is some information about the service taken from their website: https://giveusashout.org/about-us/about-shout/
Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. We launched publicly in May 2019 and we’ve had more than 750000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support. As a digital service, Shout 85258 has become increasingly critical since Covid-19, being one of the few mental health support services able to operate as normal at this time.
They have trained volunteers who will have a text conversation with you too help you get to a calmer place. These conversations are overseen by trained supervisors who can escalate texters to the emergency services if they are deemed at risk of serious harm.
The most common issues which emerge during a conversation are: suicide (34%), depression (34%), anxiety (32%), relationship (27%), loneliness (18%) and self-harm (15%).
Cruse Bereavement Care
If your mental health distress is caused by a bereavement, whether that be a recent death, or one that occurred some time ago, I can highly recommend the services of Cruse Bereavement Care.
For more details check out their website: www.cruse.org.uk
Cruse has a national helpline staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, the number is: 0808 8081677
The opening hours of the Helpline are:
Monday - Friday 9:30am - 5pm.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:30 - 8pm.
Weekends 10 - 2pm.
Please note that on the website it explains that they are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and as an alternative they offer an online chat service where you can message a bereavement counsellor about how you are feeling. This service is available 9am - 9pm Monday - Friday. This is a free service and aimed towards adults over the age of 18 years.
I hope that this blog has been useful and has given you some first numbers and services to reach out to in a mental health crisis. If there are other services available that I haven't included, please feel free to message me and I will add them on to this blog post so that it can be a useful resource to people in distress. It is always good for me to learn about what is available in the local area, so that I can signpost people to these services if they need them.
If you would like to find out more about Flourishing MK and the counselling that I offer please check out my website: www.flourishingmk.co.uk and my Facebook page Flourishing MK - Counselling and Wellbeing Service. The easiest way to get hold of me is usually via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,