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by | 28th March 2024 | News

There is now a single phone number if you or a loved one ever need urgent support in a mental health crisis – call NHS111 and select the mental health option.   

You will be connected to the corresponding local service based on your location. The First Response Service for Plymouth is provided by Livewell Southwest, however NHS111 can be used anywhere across England and Wales if you are away from the ocean city.  

What happens when you call?

The phone will be answered by a trained mental health call handler who will be able to listen to your concerns and help you get the support you need. With your permission, they can also access your electronic patient records to better meet your needs and to avoid you repeatedly having to tell us your situation. They can offer advice over the phone and offer a crisis assessment if this is required.

Who can call?

You can call for yourself, or someone else. NHS 111 is for all ages, including children and young people and those with neurodevelopmental needs.

If you are deaf or have hearing loss, please use the following link to be connected to local crisis service – NHS 111 – SignVideo : SignVideo

If you aren’t able to make the call yourself, then anyone can call on your behalf – for example a friend, carer, loved one or even your GP. You can also access NHS 111 online via

The service is available to anyone in England and facing a mental health crisis, which could include:

  • Changes to your mood
  • Withdrawing from people (close family, friends, or work colleagues)
  • Not taking care of yourself like you usually would
  • Having increased thoughts about your life not being worth living
  • Excessive worry
  • Feeling out of control or unable to cope
  • Feeling anxious about leaving the house
  • Hearing voices or seeing things that others can’t
  • Thinking about harming yourself

By calling NHS 111, and selecting the mental health option, we can help to get you the urgent support you need for your mental health.

In emergency situations where there is an immediate risk to life, you should continue to contact 999 or go to A&E.

First Response is a 24/7 crisis line supported by a team of call handlers and mental health professionals at Livewell Southwest in Plymouth.

Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner Jason said: “It is a free space, with no judgement, led by you and what the crisis means for you. We talk to you about what might be going on in your life, what you may want out of your life and try to work out what that picture looks like for you, where you want to be and how we get you there.”

Man wearing blue waistcoat smiling

Mental Health Crisis Telecoach Patricia said: “I would always advise people to reach out for help. I know the first step can be difficult to pick up the phone and calling, but it can save lives.”

Woman wearing striped jumper sat at desk

Mental Health Crisis Telecoach Kerry said: “If things aren’t feeling quite right for you, now may be the time to reach out to us. Just pick up the phone. There is a lovely team of people waiting to take your call and make you feel at ease. The good thing about our service is we are open day and night, so it can be whenever suits you.”

Woman smiling in office

Senior Mental Health Practitioner Ruth said: “We can understand it can take a long time to have the courage to call. It’s a big thing to reach out to somebody that you don’t know. Sometimes just talking about your problems and sharing what is going on can mean a weight is released off your shoulders. Just knowing that you’re not alone. I see amazing abilities and strengths of people to get through all sorts of situations.”

Woman smiling in office

Team Manager Lee Stone said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be the manager of such a wonderful, motivated team of professionals and of a service that prides itself in seeking the best outcomes for our service users. The Livewell First Response service is fully committed to delivering the best quality of care achievable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2024, we have taken, on average, more than 2700 calls a month – evidencing the critical need for a round the clock service.

“As we now move to the national 111 number, it will be easier than ever to get access to crucial mental health crisis support throughout England. You just need to dial 111 and upon selecting the mental health option, you will connect to the local 24/7 mental crisis service within that area.”

Experiencing a mental health crisis? Call 111 select the mental health option.