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Chapter One Need urgent help?

Get help in a crisis

Things you can do to get help immediately:

  • Samaritans 'talk to us' icon

    Call Samaritans

    Call 116 123 for free – whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

  • SHOUT icon with text 'SHOUT' to '85258'

    Text Shout

    Message 85258 for confidential support if you prefer to talk to someone over text message

  • NHS logo

    Go to your nearest A&E or call 999

    In an emergency or if you’re worried that you can’t keep yourself safe

Keep yourself safe

  • Create a safety plan – it is helpful to have a plan to keep ourselves safe when going through difficult times. The Stay Alive app can help you create a safety plan.

  • Block access to gambling – there are ways to block access to gambling websites, products and online accounts.

Things you can do

Here are a few tips to support you when you’re feeling anxious, low, stressed or overwhelmed.

  • Find a safe place. Go to a safe space in your home or go see someone who can help keep you safe. Remove anything that you could use to harm yourself. If you can’t keep yourself safe, call 999 in an emergency.

  • Focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths and breathe slowly. Concentrate on the sensation of breathing in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

  • Get through the next minute. Remind yourself that you’ve coped this far. You can get through the next minute, five minutes, an hour, a day. Break time down into small chunks and focus on getting through those next few moments.

  • Avoid alcohol or drugs or gambling. You might feel that it will help right now, but it will make things harder.

  • Do something you usually enjoy. Try and distract yourself. You could watch TV, go for a walk, cook a nice meal, draw a picture, exercise, do some gardening, listen to music, call a friend, or anything else you usually enjoy.

  • Reach out to someone who can give you support when you need it. Tell a friend, family member or someone who you trust how you are feeling. 

Contact specialist gambling support

If you make a referral to specialist NHS gambling services, they should be in touch within a week.

 If you require urgent support and can’t wait a week, please reach out to the sources above.

Speak to your GP

Your GP can refer you to NHS mental health services (including the NHS gambling services) or a local crisis team. If it is out of hours, call NHS 111.