Factsheet: Crisis

upload/Crisis Factsheet 2012.pdfThis factsheet is available in a downloadable PDF here. 

Table of Contents

Day Crisis Services
After Hours Crisis Services
Community Services
Other Types of Support Within the Community


Crisis can occur in people’s lives for many reasons and can affect people in different ways. It is a personal experience that has its own meaning for the person in crisis. This factsheet contains some suggestions of actions you can take and agencies that can help in times of crisis.

Day Crisis Services

Hospital based service for Midlothian are located in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. See Edinburgh Crisis Centre.

After Hours Crisis Service

Help, support and specific information is available at Midlothian’s Mental Health Early Intervention Crisis Response Service (EICRS).

The EICRS is open weekdays 4-10pm and weekends 10am-4pm. It is available 363 days per year, and is closed on Christmas and New Year’s day. To contact EICRS phone 0131 663 5533.

Community Services

Services that provide crisis support in Midlothian are community-based. Some services can work with a person in their home.  Community-based services focus on providing emotional and/or practical support to enable a person to manage a crisis in the community.

There are voluntary agencies that provide support, information and advice depending on the kind of help required. They include telephone helplines, specialist advice services such as Citizens Advice Bureaus, advocacy, mental health services, housing support services and carer services.

Often a first point of contact is a GP who provides medical treatment in the community and can refer a person to community-based statutory services such as the Community Mental Health Team. Alternatively you can access social care services.

Hospital-based services focus on medical crises and provide assessment, treatment and care. The Intensive Home Treatment Team provides care and treatment at home and has psychiatrists, nurses, a psychologist, social workers and occupational therapists in the team. If admitted to hospital there is a social work team attached to hospital wards for inpatients.

Other Types of Support Within the Community 

In times of crisis it can be difficult to know where to go for help. As well as offering immediate emotional support, The Early Intervention Crisis Response Service based with Health in Mind’s Orchard Centre Services can help a person to find information about specific local services that may be able to help in resolving the crisis and provide longer-term support. This service can also provide social support and activities.

Related Services

Below are links to Services in the Edspace database that may be of interest:

External websites related to Crisis

These web sites may be useful. Please note that we are not responsible for external sites; if you find any broken links or inappropriate content please report it to the site administrators using the feedback page.

  • Childline
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week A free, confidential helpline for children and young people to talk about any problem. The website is also full of information and links. Remember, asking for help doesn't make you weak or attention-seeking. You deserve to be taken seriously, and it might be the first step towards a solution!
  • Saneline
    Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing emotional support and information. Anyone affected by mental illness can use this line, including carers and concerned friends or family. The helpline number is 0300 304 7000. The Helpline is open outside of normal office hours, from 4.30pm - 10.30pm pm every day of the year. The person who answers the phone will be empathetic and non-judgemental, providing a space for you to talk about any aspect of your mental health, or the mental health of someone you care about. You can get emotional support to address your individual experience, as well as help to explore options and action.
  • Choose Life

    Choose Life

    In 2002, the Scottish Executive launched Choose Life, a ten year strategy and action plan to reduce suicide in Scotland.

    Choose Life sets out a framework to ensure that action is taken nationally and locally to build skills, develop training, encourage people to seek help early, improve knowledge and awareness of 'what works' to prevent suicide, and to encourage partnership working and improved co-ordination between services.

    What is Choose Life doing in Edinburgh?

    Encouraging and supporting innovative local voluntary agencies, community-based and self-help initiatives which work towards suicide prevention in local neighbourhoods and communities. Choose Life also organises training for staff from a variety of settings such as hospitals and the City of Edinburgh Council as well as voluntary organisations.

    Choose Life funds four projects in Edinburgh; The Edinburgh Self Harm Project and three school based projects in the Oxgangs area, Wester Hailes and Pilton. For more information contact the Choose Life co-ordinator – contact details below.

  • No Panic

    No Panic aims to offer relief and rehabilitation to people suffering from anxiety disorders, for example Panic, Phobias and Obsessive/Complusive Disorders.

  • Edinburgh Carers Council

    Edinburgh Carers Council aims to make sure the views of carers are included at all stages in the development of mental health services.  They offer collective advocacy to make sure this is done. 

    We also provide information to carers through having courses on a variety of topics.  These range from one day to six week courses.

  • CAPS Advocacy
  • Samaritans
    Samaritans provides confidential emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. You don't have to be suicidal to call us. We are here for you if you're worried about something, feel upset or confused, or you just want to talk to someone.
  • Breathing Space
    Breathing Space is a confidential helpline for anyone in Scotland experiencing mental ill  health. It was launched in 2002, and became a national phoneline in 2004. Breathing Space is funded by the Scottish Government's Mental Health Unit. The service is operationally managed by NHS 24 and delivered from NHS 24 contact centres in Clydebank, Cardonald and South Queensferry. Breathing Space is a COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) recognised counselling skills organisation. 
  • Edinburgh Crisis Centre
    Edinburgh Crisis Centre supports people in crisis and their carers. Their free phone number is 08088010414
    Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Advocard
    Advocard provides advocacy to individuals who are experiencing or have experienced mental ill health and who live in the community in Edinburgh. This means they support people to be heard to have a greater say in decisions made about their lives and their care and treatment.
  • NHS Lothian Site
    NHS Lothian Website

Phonelines Related to Crisis

  • Breathing Space

    0800 83 85 87

    A free, confidential phone line you can call when you're feeling down. They also have an excellent website which has loads of information and a self-help toolkit.

  • The Samaritans

    08457 90 90 90

    The Samaritans will not try to give you advice, judge you or tell you what to do, they will just listen and support you. They are there for anyone, especially those who are suicidal or in crisis.


    0845 767 8000

    A telephone helpline offering practical information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health problems. 0845 767 8000 (charged at local rates) 1pm to 11pm every day www.sane.org.uk

  • No Panic

    0808 808 0545

    No Panic Helps people who suffer from Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other related anxiety disorders including those people who are trying to give up Tranquillisers. Also provides info in ethnic languages. Phone: 0808 808 0545 Hours: 10-10pm - every day of the year - answer phone thereafter

  • Edinburgh Crisis Centre

    0808 801 0414

    Edinburgh Crisis Centre supports people in crisis and their carers. Their free phone number is 08088010414
    Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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