Accessing services

Accessing mental health services – traditionally the GP (your Doctor) has always been the gatekeeper to accessing services. Other health professionals can sometimes refer to mental health services and recently, here in Berkshire, the mental health trust has been looking at other ways to access services as a result of feedback from service users. Your GP will be able to prescribe any medicines that are needed to help with your symptoms and refer you to talking therapies. Please remember your GP is guided by what you tell him/her so if you think you may not remember everything you want to say, write everything down including a history of symptoms and take someone with you that you trust. If you start to feel worse, go back -never feel you are bothering them. If you start to feel worse, repeat visits are the only way the Doctor can see you are getting worse.


If you have already used local mental health services, you may have a crisis card with a contact number for you to use in this situation. If you can feel yourself getting suddenly worse, ring the number you have been given.

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust -rom 15 November 2011, all enquiries about our services and all people who are newly referred to our services should call 0300 365 0300. Everyone else, contact  number given by your care co-ordinator.

NHS Direct (now linked to NHS choices) NHS CHOICES.

Telephone: 0845 46 47

SANE has a guide on where to go in a crisis:

MIND also has a guide on what to do in a crisis


24-hour helpline for suicidal people or those concerned about someone
08457 90 90 90 (local rate), 24 hours a day
Email: , web:


SELF CARE See our self care page-good mental health and good physical health are inter-dependent. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and a good sleep pattern will all help. Talk to others and try not to isolate yourself. Make time to do things you like doing! Search online or ask at your local library for more information.
GENERAL INFORMATION Pharmacists have information on medicines and can signpost you to local services.NHS Direct (see NHS Choices) can provide information too, as can your practise nurse and GP.
NEED HELP NOW See the Doctor at your surgery or local walk-in centre. Or ring the out of hours service local to you. Alternatively you can ring or email NHS Direct as they are a 24-hour service. If you want to talk to someone, call the Samaritans-they are non-judgemental and will really listen.
DANGER TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS? You can still use the services above but you can also go to your local Accident and Emergency department. Mental health Trusts vary in different parts of the country but if you search for mental health services in your local area, you should find a guide to Access teams and out of hours Crisis teams.