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Calls to mental health crisis helpline in London almost double during lockdown

Solidarity in a Crisis, which operates an out-of-hours mental health crisis helpline in Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark has seen a dramatic rise in calls since the beginning of the lockdown.


In April, calls increased by 46% compared to February and 87% compared to January 2020. Calls to the helpline are expected to be even higher in May, representing a dramatic increase in the number of Londoners feeling overwhelmed during the pandemic.


The largest increase in calls came from those reporting anxiety with many individuals attributing this to Covid-19 and employment. Most respondents listed anxiety, depression and emotional distress at the primary reason for their call. The number of callers increased across most age bandings, with calls from individuals aged between 18-25 and 65+ representing the largest increases. There has also been a significant increase in calls from men in the last two months, although women are still four times more likely to call for help.

Alexander Robertson, who manages our Solidarity in a Crisis service, says:


“We are seeing that many more people than usual – and particularly younger people – are feeling overwhelmed by multiple issues. They are worried about housing, jobs and financial issues and they don’t know where to go for support. Our peer supporters are able to talk people through their initial crisis and then signpost them towards a range of different services. 

We operate out-of-hours – in the evenings and at weekends – as this is when people tend to feel more overwhelmed. I would urge anyone living in the areas we cover, who is feeling like they are not coping, to give us a ring. Our highly-trained peer supporters are ready to listen and bring their personal experience of mental health issues to any situations.” 

Solidarity in a Crisis helpline:
Freephone: 0300 123 1922
Text: 07889756087 or 07889756083
Opening times:
Monday to Friday: 6.00PM-12.00AM
Saturday and Sunday: 12.00PM-12.00AM