Emergency Support

If you or someone around you is in crisis, and poses a risk of hurting themselves or others, it's crucial that you get help now.

If you are helping someone else:

Try to remain calm, take the person to a place where they feel safe, and encourage them to seek one of the following sources of help. Gently ask them how they're feeling and listen carefully to what they're saying, reassuring them. 

Porters and Tutors

Porters' lodges are staffed 24 hours a day - and there is always a duty tutor on call in case of emergency.

Call NHS 111 (Option 2)

NHS First Response Service is 24 hours and they can:

  • Help people talk things through and understand whats going on

  • Help people access appropriate help

  • Refer people to a mental health crisis team who can visit them wherever they're living

  • Refer people to Mind's safe houses

  • Refer people for assessment for inpatient treatment. 

Go to A&E

If you or someone else is experiencing a mental health emergency, and especially if you/they are feeling suicidal, go to the A&E department at Addenbrooke's Hospital (Hill's Road, CB2 0QQ). It's absolutely vital to take a mental health emergency as seriously as you would a physical health emergency. 

What to do if you need to calm down

If you feel like you're in crisis and are having trouble staying calm, try these techniques:

  • Call a hotline - Helplines are run by trained volunteers and professionals who are there to talk to you about whatever is on your mind. See our list of helplines below.

  • Contact a friend or loved one.

  • Take slow, deep, breaths in and out, and focus on regulating your breathing gently and slowly. 

  • Lie down, close your eyes, and count backwards from ten - it sounds simple, but it can help to refocus your mind and calm you down.

  • Run cold water over your wrists; cooling your wrists can help calm your whole body.

  • Take a shower, have a snack, or take a nap - often doing small things for your physical wellbeing can also improve your mental wellbeing.

  • Write it down - Putting thoughts into words can often help organise your thoughts.

  • Get some fresh air -  sometimes just opening the window or going for a walk can have a significant calming effect.


  • NHS 111 - option 2 for mental health support

  • PAPYRUS HOPELineUK: 0800 068 41 41 - helpline particularly for young people having suicidal thoughts

  • Samaritans: 116 123 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Switchboard LGBT+: 0300 330 0630 - support for LGBT+ people. 

About us

Student Minds Cambridge campaigns for better mental health provision and understanding at university.


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Contact us

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© 2017, Student Minds Cambridge.

Student Minds is registered with Companies House, 07493445
Student Minds is a Charity registered in England and Wales, 1142783

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