8 places to turn during a nervous breakdown

If you think you are suffering a nervous breakdown, you should seek urgent help. You should never feel like stress is something you have to suffer in silence. We explain the eight best places to turn during a stress crisis.

Stressbusting provides information about stress symptoms, causes and treatments. It is not, however, a substitute for professional medical advice and we at Stressbusting are not able to support those in need of urgent professional help.

The people and organisations listed below, however, are better placed to provide such help.

Nervous breakdown: Who can help?

1. Your GP

Your GP may not always be the best source of urgent help if you are suffering a nervous breakdown but for general clinical diagnosis, advice and treatment of stress, you should always consult your GP or other qualified health professional. Your GP can offer access to counseling or a therapist, and should be able to advise you on the best therapy to suit your symptoms and needs.

If you do not have a GP, you can visit NHS Service Directories to find your local GP practice.

2. NHS Direct

Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

NHS Direct provides a 24-hour telephone service. If you are suffering a nervous breakdown or any form of stress crisis, they can advise you on the best course of action.

The NHS Direct website is also a useful resource for general information on stress symptoms and associated mental health problems, as well as where to find your local GP and Accident and Emergency department (A&E).

3. Call 999 or Go To Accident & Emergency

If you feel that a nervous breakdown is putting you in any danger or at risk of serious harm, you should call the emergency services on 999. Alternatively, you can go to your nearest NHS hospital’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, for which you should be able to find details on the NHS Direct website.

4. Mind

Call Mind on 0300 123 3393 (9am – 6pm, weekdays only).

Mind is a charity that provides advice and support to those suffering mental health problems and nervous breakdowns. Its info-line has achieved the MHHP Quality Standard for Helplines and is often able to offer advice in a crisis.

Mind’s website also provides extensive information about a range of topics.

For non-emergencies, you can email: info@mind.org.uk

5. No Panic

Call No Panic on 0800 138 8889 
(10am-10pm, every day) and see their website.

No Panic is a charity that helps people those suffering panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, nervous breakdowns and other anxiety disorders.

Its help-line specialises in self-help through both one-to-one mentoring and also recovery groups – all done over the telephone. It’s ideal for those unable to access face-to-face support. It can also provide good short-term support and advice for alternative options.

6. Anxiety UK

Call Anxiety UK on 08444 775 774 
(Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm)

Anxiety UK is a charity that promotes the relief and rehabilitation of anyone suffering with anxiety disorders. Volunteers with personal experience of anxiety, providing first-hand support to sufferers, man their helpline.

Its website provides some information about symptoms and treatments, and they also provide a live instant messaging service with volunteers for short sessions of advice.


Call SANE on 0845 767 8000 (6pm-11pm every day).

SANE is a charity that runs a national, out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.

Its website also provides information about a number of mental health/illness issues linked with stress, and offers a support forum.

8. Samaritans

Call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90  (24 hours a day/365 days a year) or visit their website.

The Samaritans help-line provides confidential emotional support to anyone in distress, struggling to cope with a nervous breakdown or at risk of suicide. Volunteers can help talk through your problems at your own pace and in your own way, and will provide information about some of your options.

For non-emergencies, you can email: jo@samaritans.org. Samaritans also offers an advice service by post, and in local branches.

One thought on “8 places to turn during a nervous breakdown

  1. Thanks. A very helpful article, when I had a breakdown about15 years ago there was’nt much information around, so it took longer than necessary for me to recover. Advice from the the people you mentioned would have been a great help. So to anyone feeling very upset contact your GP or any of the places mentioned such as the samaritans. Take care, there are people who want to help. Also in the long term I would suggest mindfulness/meditation. Take care, Tim.

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