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Social, emotional and mental wellbeing

Getting help in a crisis

Urgent and emergency help

If a young person or child's life is at risk and needs urgent medical assistance, you should call 999 or go to an A&E department.

Alternatively, you can contact your local police on 101 at any time.

If you're concerned about a child's wellbeing, due to emotional cruelty, neglect, physical or sexual abuse, our child protection section has advice. 

Waltham Forest CAMHS also has an emergency line which is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday: 0300 555 1247.

Outside of these hours, you can call Mental Health Direct for crisis support:  0300 5551000.

If you have concerns about a child that don't require immediate attention, contact the Waltham Forest Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team: 020 8496 2310 or email:

Specialist child and adolescent mental health services

Waltham Forest CAMHS provides specialist services for children, young people and families in need of urgent help. This includes due to or at risk of self-harm, suicidal feelings or severe psychiatric illness and psychosis.

Referrals to CAMHS are accepted from schools, GPs, social care services, youth centres, youth offending organisations and other health and social care professionals.

Exclusion from school

If a child or young person is at risk of permanent exclusion, see our school exclusions pages for help and advice.

Youth offending

Our Youth Offending Service also offers help and support to young offenders and their families.


  • The Samaritans offer a 24-hour telephone helpline for anyone in emotional distress. Call them free on 116 123 (textphone: 08457 90 91 92).
  • ChildLine is a free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people under 19. You can call them on 0800 1111, chat to a counsellor online, send an email or post on the message boards.
  • Papyrus is a national charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide
  • Harmless provides postal and email self-harm support through a counsellor and other volunteers that have personal, supportive and professional experience
  • If you're concerned about the wellbeing of a child, contact Waltham Forest safeguarding directly on: 020 8496 2310.