What shall I do in times of crisis? PDF Print E-mail

This note is aimed at users of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS system – but we hope it will be informative for others as well.

It seems almost inevitable that if your loved one suffers from BPD, then he/she will hit crisis points of some severity and need your help and intervention – whether they ask for it or not.  It always seems as if those crises are faced at evenings, weekends or holiday periods when help from the health professionals is not readily available.  As well as coping with the immediate emotional and practical issues associated with the crisis, you will need to find a way through the health system to get useful assistance.

Supporting someone who self-harms
You can give support by acknowledging the pain of someone in distress and encouraging them to seek help. Listen to them. Point out the risks but don’t criticise, ignore or blame them.

Already a mental health service user?
If your loved one is already a service user of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT – the Mental Health service for our area) then they should have a CPA Care Plan. The main elements are a care co-ordinator and a written care plan with regular reviews. For someone with a BPD diagnosis, it is reasonable to expect that care plan to address service responses at times of crisis with out of hours contact numbers. If you don’t have access to the Care Plan, but need advice then contact your local Community Health Team during office hours:

  • Cambridge 01223 533300
  • Cambridge North East 01223 533300
  • Fenland  01945 482100
  • Central (Huntingdon) 01480 415143
  • North (Peterborough)  01733 882233

Current service users and carers can also contact the CPFT “Out of Hours” service on 0800 0522252  from 17:00 to 22:00 on weekdays and 08:00 to 22:00 at weekends and bank holidays.

Not a current service user?
If your loved one is not a current service user, then your first point of contact should be your loved ones G.P. or out hours use the local On-Call G.P. service. Use NHS Direct 0845 4647 to get the appropriate contact number. Explain that you are seeking a mental health referral for your loved one.

A Complex Cases Service User?
Encourage your loved one to make use of the Open Clinic. The Open Clinic at Complex Cases (for service users) runs everyday - but only for a limited time each day and the precise timing varies each day. Telephone CCS on 01223 219130 / 219142. Carers can also telephone CCS for advice.

What should I do when there is an emergency?
In case of an emergency, don’t hesitate to contact the local A&E or dial 999.
If your loved one is a danger to themselves or someone else then it is likely that you will have to involve the police as well as the ambulance service. Don’t be afraid to involve the police – they have particular powers under the Mental Health Acts which maybe needed and in our experience are usually very sensitive and understanding.

Remember that the CPFT “Out of Hours” telephone support is available to the Trust’s service users who are experiencing a crisis and need immediate advice. It is also available to carers – 0800 0522252.

Need a “Lifeline”?
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Lifeline supports people experiencing emotional distress by providing someone to talk to, support and empathy, guidance through a crisis, liaison with other agencies, information on local and national resources and mental health issues. Lifeline is a project of Lifecraft - a self-help user-led organisation for adults who have experience of mental health difficulties in their lives.

Lifeline’s telephone line 01223 566957 is available Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 23:00.

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