A helpline or hotline is a telephone service which offers expert advice or help with problems. Many helplines exist in mental health, usually for information and advice provision and listening support. Services are usually provided by charities and often tend to both sufferers and carers.

Individuals have reported on the significance of helplines in improving their conditions and lives, although it should be noted that when calls are confidential and anonymous it is not usually possible for helplines to offer a counselling service.

While some helplines train workers to respond to callers who call in crisis, in a crisis situation you are always recommended to call the NHS on 111 (if you need urgent medical help but it is not an emergency) or 999 (if it is an emergency), SANEline on 0300 305 7000 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

If you are able to move, you may alternatively see your GP or visit your local A&E.

For more information about where to turn in a crisis, please visit out Crisis page.

The table below summarises some main mental health helplines which you may find useful. However, you may find a comprehensive list of most UK helplines on or visit the NHS website.

Name Opening hours Telephone number Description
b-eat Helpline Mon-Wed
0345 634 1414 For adults above age 18 affected by eating disorders. Workers are experienced in listening and talking.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) 7 days a week
0800 585 858
0808 802 5858
Exists primarily to prevent male suicide.
Frank 7 days a week
24 hours
0300 123 6600 Call for friendly and confidential advice about drugs.
Mind Infoline Mon-Fri
0300 123 3393 Offers information on mental health topics; will help look for details of support in your area.
Nightline 7 days a week (term time only)
01904 323735 Listening service for students in distress.
No Panic Helpline 7 days a week
0844 967 4848 For those who want help with anxiety disorders. A panic message is played throughout the night after hours.
No Panic Youth Helpline Mon-Fri
01753 840393 For those aged between 13 and 20 years old who want help with anxiety disorders.
OCD-UK Advice Line Mon-Fri
0845 120 3778 Information, advice and support to both adults and children affected by OCD (incl. family and carers).
Rethink Mental Illness – Advice & Information Service Mon-Fri
0300 5000 927 Wide range of information for those affected by severe mental illness, including carers.
Samaritans 7 days a week, 24 hours 116 123
(01904 655 888)
(08457 90 90 90)
Listening service. Speak about anything, any time in your own way and off the record.
SANEline 7 days a week, 6pm-11pm 0300 304 7000 Deals with all mental illness incl. anxiety and depression, eating disorders, self-harm, psychosis and suicide. Including crisis support.
Self Injury Support Mon-Fri, 7pm-10pm 0808 800 8088 Run by women offering emotional support, listening and signposting for women affected by self injury.
The Sanctuary Mental Health Crisis Line 7 days a week, 24 hours 0300 003 7029 For people experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression and suicidal thoughts, and who are in crisis.
YoungMinds Parents Helpline Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm 0808 802 5544 Information and advice for any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25


The above helplines are all confidential, but might share some information if they have your permission or believe someone else is at serious risk of harm, if they are told about terrorism, or if you are under 18. To prevent your telephone number from being shown, it is recommended that you withhold your caller ID on your phone before calling.

Some network charges may apply, so it is recommended that you have a look at their websites before calling.