This page is for anyone experiencing a welfare or mental health crisis (or who is supporting someone going through a crisis). Download this flowchart to find all the sources of support available to Catz students.

In an emergency: 999

In an emergency, if you or someone else is in danger of significant harm, don't hesitate to dial 999 (or the equivalent, if you are not in the UK).  

  • If you are in College and you need to dial 999 for yourself of someone else, please also call the porters (01223 338300) so they can direct the emergency services to you. 

The aim of emergency help is to keep everyone safe until ongoing support can be put in place. 

Advice and help in a crisis

If you're not sure whether your situation is an emergency, or need help working out what you need, you can call (in Cambridgeshire) NHS 111 option 2 for urgent mental health advice and assessment, 24/7. All UK health authorities have an equivalent service, but the numbers vary. 

The porters (01223 338300) can contact the Welfare Team and tutors urgently if needed (including out of hours, in an emergency), who can help work out how to keep everyone safe until ongoing support can be put in place.


If you or someone you are supporting is in the midst of a crisis, having someone listen and calm you down can help tide you over until you are able to access ongoing support or the feelings of crisis ease a bit. These helplines operate 24/7 and offer listening and support for those in crisis:

  • The Samaritans (call 116123) is a 24/7 listening service especially for those in distress.
  • Shout ( text 85258)is a text based crisis line for those struggling to cope and who need immediate help. It is a free service for all of the UK major mobile phone networks, available 24/7. 

These helplines have more limited hours:

  • Lifeline (call 0808 808 2121) is a free, confidential and anonymous telephone helpline service that is available from 7.00–11.00pm to people in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area. The line provides listening support and information to someone experiencing mental distress or if you are supporting someone in distress.
  • Papyrus (call 0800 068 41 41 or text 07786 209697) is a national charity for the prevention of young suicide. Their HOPELineUK telephone service (numbers above) is staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information (Mon-Fri: 10am–10pm, weekends: 2pm–10pm & bank holidays: 2pm–5pm)
  • CALM (call 0808 585858) or the Campaign Against Living Miserably offers a confidential, anonymous and free helpline and webchat for anyone who is feeling down or who has hit a wall. The trained staff can listen, support, inform and signpost via the helpline and webchat (between 5pm and midnight daily).
  • Sane (call 0300 304 7000) provides emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. The services are confidential and offer non-judgemental and compassionate support. Their out of hours mental health helpline is open every day from 4.30pm–10.30pm.
  • Nightline is a termtime confidential listening service run by students, for students.    01223 744 444

Helplines and support for specific issues (not 24/7)

  • Domestic Violence UK provide information, support, and three helplines (including one especially for men and one dedicated to LGBT+).
    (Most countries will have a national organisation that provides a helpline such as this one in the USA)
  • Women's Aid offers information and support to women in the UK who are experiencing domestic abuse, including through a new webchat service. 
  • BEAT is a UK eating disorders support organisation providing coronavirus-specific information and support.
  • OCDAction is the UK national OCD charity offering advice and support
  • Cruse Bereavement Care offers support in bereavement, including grieving in isolation. Additional sources of support are signposted here

Please note that, while we have checked all links at the time of posting, the College is not responsible for the content of external websites.