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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Professionals Mental Health Support

Mental health crisis and suicide

What is a mental health crisis?

Someone might be in crisis if:

  • They are thinking of hurting themself or suicide seems the only option
  • They have made threats to hurt you or someone else.
  • They are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.

Who can help in a mental health crisis?

Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss with you your mental health care needs – instead of you having to go to accident and emergency departments of local acute hospitals.

If you are over the age of 16 you can access the Sanctuary in Cambridge or Peterborough - People in crisis across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be able to access Sanctuary support. Staffed by mental health charity Mind in Cambridgeshire, the Sanctuary offers people practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am and is accessible by referral from the First Response Service. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary by clicking here 

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Other support available:

  • Papyrus - Provide confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person.
  • Local Guide for Professionals - Understanding and responding to children and young people at risk of self-harm and suicide 
  • www.stopsuicidepledge.org.- local website giving guidance on what to do if you are thinking about suicide, or you are concerned about someone.
  • First Response Service - If a young person is experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe, distressed or worried about their mental health you can contact the FRS on their behalf (or they can contact the service directly) to speak to a trained mental health professional. Contact FRS by dialling 111 and selecting option 2. If you are living in Wisbech call 111, select option 1 and then ask the call handler to put you through to the First Response Service. The service is available to anyone, of any age, currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in mental health crisis. The phone line is open all day, every day.
  • Suicide mitigation in Primary Care 

Support for schools and colleges following the death of a young person by suspected suicide:

A coordinated multi-agency response will be initiated following the death of a young person (under the age of 18 years). This response is outlined in the 'Supporting Schools and Colleges in responding to suicides in teenagers: A multi-agency guide for practitioners' document. If you become aware of a child death, but have not been contacted by a service to notify you of this, then please contact:

Cambridgeshire Schools:

Chris Meddle – Senior Leadership Advisor

Sara Rogers – Education Safeguarding Manager

Peterborough Schools:

Gary Perkins – Head of Service

Sharon Bishop – Capital Projects and Assets Officer

Samaritans - In addition to local services, support can be offered via the Samaritans Step By Step programme which offers practical support and guidance in the aftermath of a suspected suicide. This service is free and can be accessed by email: or phone: .

In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough families who are affected by suicide will be offered support from the post-suicide bereavement service shortly after the death.

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