In a crisis

Upset girl

Living with a child with disabilities can be difficult and there will be times when you need help and support quickly.

This page includes some useful contact details to help you navigate the system.

Healthcare Emergencies

The NHS has information on when you should call 999:

When to call 999

and when to use other urgent and emergency care services such as NHS 111 and local Urgent Care Centres.  Find out more on the NHS website.

Mental Health crisis

First Response Service (FRS)

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) have a First Response Service (FRS) for people of any age who are distressed, worried about their mental health or experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support.   

Find out more about the First Response Service. 

Suicide - help for individuals and families

STOP Suicide is an award-winning suicide prevention campaign which reaches across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It is led by the charitiesMindand Lifecraft in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Fenland

Whatever the mental or physical health diagnosis, if the person you care for has talked about suicide it’s important you take them seriously. In a crisis, help is available 24/7 from the Samaritans on 116 123. In an emergency, call 999.

The Zero Suicide Alliance offers free onlinesuicide prevention training which takes just 20 minutes to complete. Offering the right type of support to someone who is feeling suicidal is crucial.

Grassroots is a suicide prevention charity. 

CALM Helplineis dedicated to preventing male suicide and offers confidential emotional support for men through their helpline. Telephone: 0800 58 58 58. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles. Webchat (5pm-midnight).

Papyrus Hope line UK is a national confidential helpline for young people at risk of suicide. Telephone: 0800 068 41 41 

Maytree Sanctuary is open to anyone in a suicidal crisis for a one-off short stay in a safe place. The service is free, and it is open to anyone in the UK. It offers a quiet place to reflect and time to talk in confidence. Telephone: 0207 263 7070

LivingWorks, a leading provider of suicide-alertness training, advises following the acronym TALK: 


Someone who is feeling suicidal will be telling you how they feel but perhaps not very directly so be aware of the signs and learn to read them. Do not dismiss them or trivialise them 

A – ASK 

If you think someone is considering suicide always ask them. You can’t give them the idea of suicide simply by asking, and it is important that you do ask. If they say ‘no’ you haven’t lost anything, and if they say ‘yes’ you have a chance to help. 


Don’t rush them or judge. Tell them ‘this is important’. Don’t try to offer solutions, just listen. Listening stops people feeling alone, gives hope and provides emotional release. 


Don't promise secrecy, but don’t leave someone feeling suicidal on their own. Keep yourself and them safe. 

Most people who feel suicidal simply want to end their pain, not their life. Many people who have had suicidal thoughts and/or made a suicide attempt look back later and say they are glad to have survived and that the right intervention at the right moment made all the difference. There is nothing inevitable about suicide. It is often a question of knowing how to help and supporting someone through a crisis. 

Carer Emergency (for over 18 year olds only)

Emergency Support for Carers

When you are a carer, knowing that if an emergency happens you already have a plan for how you will manage the situation can help to provide peace of mind and remove one of the many sources of stress.  Not only are we able to give advice on planning, if the person you look after is over 18 in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough you can register a 'What if? Plan' with us.

The What if? service operates 24-hours a day throughout the year.

It can provide urgent support to the person you care for, in the event of you being unable to care.

Find out more about emergency planning and the What if? Plan

Safeguarding children and young people

If you are concerned about a child or young person, you can find out what to do on Cambridgeshire County Council's Safeguarding Children page.

Social Care emergencies

If you need to contact Children's Social Care out of hours the telephone number is 01733 234724.

Cost of living support
Domestic Abuse and Violence

Related Pages

  1. Safeguarding Children
  2. Reducing Parental Conflict
  3. Special Educational Needs Support

External Links

  1. Safeguarding children and young people
  2. NHS Urgent and Emergency Care Services
  3. Mental Health First Response service


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