Who is who? What help to seek and when? Part I. (Emergency contacts)

Mental health care is a complex system that contains multiple areas. 

And  sometimes it may be difficult to know who is who. In the following articles, we will give you an overview of the services available and describe the differences between them. Articles are translated from czech and refer to czech mental health system. It may differ from health care in different countries. 

First of all, we’d like to mention crisis centres and helplines that are appropriate for people with or without mental illness who are in a difficult life situation.  In subsequent posts we will focus on the shorter-term care of counselling psychologists and the specialised   work of school psychologists. Clinical psychology and psychiatry will be approached for clients with particularly severe difficulties and mental illness. At the end of this series, we will describe longer-term psychotherapeutic care, which is suitable as a tool for self-knowledge and self-development on the one hand, and as a treatment with psychotherapeutic tools for people with mental illness on the other.

In case of sudden or acute difficulties that life brings us, crisis lines and crisis intervention centres are the first choice. These services are usually free and operate 24 hours a day. Crisis lines or centres can be used by anyone who feels that he cannot handle his current situation. 

For example, it may be relationship difficulties, problems with a team at school or work, domestic violence, coping with crime or accidents. It also includes situations where there may be overwhelming symptoms of various psychological or even somatic problems or illnesses. Crisis lines can be contacted through day and night if you are having suicidal thoughts or plans. These contacts can also be used by people who are feeling lonely and need to sort out their thoughts.  Some crisis lines may also target a specific group of people, for example seniors or new mothers. 

In the event that you do not know which agency to contact, don’t be afraid to ask the counsellors for recommendations of other contacts to direct you!

Here we provide you with a list of crisis lines depending on the country in which they operate. 


  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours.
  • If you are under 35 years you can call 0800 068 41 41 which is an suicide prevention hotline.
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19.
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
  • Or find another crisis care here.


  • The national suicide prevention lifeline 1-800-273-8255.
  • If you prefer written communication you can use a text line – text HOME to 741741 or a chat online.
  • If you are a teenager you can use a Youthline 968-8491 or text TEEN2TEEN to 839863.



  • For a telephone crisis call 0800/ 1110111 or 0800/ 1110222.
  • Or you can contact a specialised depression hotline –  0800 3344533.
  • For children and young adults you can call 116 111 or use an online chat.

If you are looking for a crisis line in a different country, type the word “crisis line” into your internet browser and it will bring up crisis help sites that operate in your country. 



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