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  • If you need help with your mental health today, we’re here for you

    If you need urgent support today out of hours, you can visit an NHS Recovery Café in Tooting or Wimbledon. If you are anxious, low or stressed, NHS Talking Therapies offers a range of free confidential support.

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The Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act (the Act) is the main piece of legislation guiding the compulsory inpatient admission and treatment of people with mental health problems in England and Wales.

At any one time around one in six people are experiencing symptoms of mental illness and one in four people will experience mental health problems at some time in their lives(Department of Health). The vast majority of these will be treated on an outpatient basis.

You might find that being taken to hospital against your will is stressful and upsetting. If you are detained under the Mental Health Act and wish to appeal, our staff will help you. The ward you are on will have a list of mental health solicitors who will be able to advise you. In most cases, you can get free legal representation at your tribunal or managers’ hearing under the Legal Aid scheme. You may find it useful to get support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).

The guiding principles

The Act prioritises clear communication and thorough explanation of patients’ rights and circumstances, especially where they have been detained.

There are principles which should be considered when making decisions under the Act:

  • Least restrictive option and maximising independence
  • Empowerment and involvement
  • Respect and dignity
  • Purpose and effectiveness
  • Efficiency and equity

Detention under the Act

People may be detained under the Act following (in most cases) an application by an approved mental health professional (who will usually be a specially trained social worker) based on two medical recommendations from appropriately qualified doctors.

A person can only be detained if they appear to be suffering from a mental disorder and present a risk to their own health and safety or to others.

The nearest relative

A patient who is detained under the Act will normally have an identified nearest relative. This is not the same as a person’s next of kin, but is identified by means of a strict procedure set out in the Act.

A person’s nearest relative must be consulted prior to their detention and if a nearest relative objects to the patient being placed on section 3, the detention cannot go ahead, unless the nearest relative is displaced, which can only happen if the County Court agrees that certain conditions are met.

Support in a crisis

Support in a crisis

Our Trust and the NHS have robust plans in place to respond to Covid-19 to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff. 

24/7 Mental health crisis line

If you need mental health support in a crisis you can call our 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line on 0800 028 8000.  The Mental Health Crisis Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night. It is open to everyone: both children and adults of all ages, and to people who haven’t previously accessed mental health services.

Please only attend A&E if you have an emergency with your physical health. The Mental Health Crisis Line can help and direct you to the right service for your mental health.

If you are already a patient (adult or young person under the age of 18) at our Trust, between the hours of  9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details here.  Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line.

If you are calling urgently from a partner agency and require support and direction, you are encouraged to also contact the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line.

If you need more general advice and support with your mental health, please see our Advice and support page.

If you are Deaf, you can call our Mental Health Crisis Line using Sign Live Video Relay Service (VRS): :

  • On a computer, go to and register using Facebook, Google or email
  • On phone, iPad or tablet download SignLive’s app for free and register

You will then be able to call the Trust for free.

Recovery Cafes

Are you struggling with your mental health and finding it difficult to cope?

Come along to one of our Recovery Cafés for a safe and supportive space. There’s no need for an appointment, just turn up and you’ll be met by a listening ear, and benefit from companionship and from engaging in therapeutic support. The cafes also provide:

  • Group activities
  • One- to-one support
  • Chill out space
  • Advice, information & signposting
  • Hot meals and drinks
  • Drop in from local mental health teams

Our Recovery cafes are based in Tooting, Richmond, Kingston and Wimbledon but are there to help adults (18 years+) with mental health issues from the South London boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, Richmond and Kingston. You don't need to book or have a formal referral. You just need to turn up. You can also ring ahead if you need any support around travelling to the café or would like to speak with a member of staff beforehand.

Opening Hours:  Monday to Friday 6pm - 11pm, Saturday Sunday and Bank holidays 12noon - 11pm

The Cafés will close at 11:00pm promptly each night and customers will be supported to plan their journey home during their visit to the Cafés.

Please note: The cafés do not provide accommodation and are not designed to support young people under 18 years old or those under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Tooting Recovery Cafe

966 Garratt Lane, London SW17 0ND or call 07794 394 920

Sunshine Recovery Café

296a Kingston Rd, London SW20 8LX or call 07908 436 617

Twickenham Recovery Hub

32 Hampton Road, London TW2 5QB or call 020 3137 9755

Kingston Recovery Hub

Alfriston Centre, 3 Berrylands Road, London KT5 8RB or call 020 3137 9755

Keeping well

Keeping well

We are committed to providing the best care and support for you not only for your mental health but your physical wellbeing too.

People with mental health problems and learning disabilities are at increased risk of developing physical illness, especially heart disease and diabetes. This is due to a combination of factors including the effects of medication, smoking and lack of exercise.

Physical health problems can often affect your mental health so that is why we want to ensure we offer you the right support and help in order for a speedy recovery. 

Why is physical health important?

Whether on the ward or in the community, the team need to get a good idea of how healthy you are when you first come into hospital and may need to monitor your physical health throughout your stay. This is important, as sometimes physical health conditions may be causing or contributing to your mental health symptoms. Therefore assessing your physical health is just as important as assessing your mental health.

  • It helps us to identify and treat any early signs of physical health problems you may have.
  • It helps us to prevent or treat any physical health problems associated with medicines you take for your mental health condition.
  • We may need to continue with any care and treatment you may have been getting from your family doctor or another hospital service before you came into hospital.
  • We can help by putting you in touch with a GP if you do not already have one..



Medicine information

Medicine information

Medicines are a form of treatment for many health conditions, and are one of the most common interventions across all of healthcare.

Some medicines are only available from pharmacies, some medicines can be purchased from other stores including supermarkets, others need a prescription from your GP or another healthcare professional.

Our Trust specialises in mental health medicines and can help you make the best use of your medicines by providing you with information, education and expert advice.

Positive Messages Around Medicines to Support Recovery

The Trust teamed up with a group of members with lived experience to identify experiences around medicines, both positive and negative. Through these conversations this resource has been created to share what positive messages our patients would like to hear around medicines and recovery, what messages healthcare professionals should avoid and how this can be achieved. 

Medicine Resources

There are a variety of resources available that can help you make informed choices about your treatment and medicines. The resources below contain reliable information about medicines, which we would recommend that you use.

The Choice and Medication website includes patient information leaflets, handy charts and fact sheets on mental health conditions and medicines. These are useful to help you make a decision about which is the right medicine for you.

The best use of medicines in pregnancy (BUMPs) website provides information leaflets on the use of individual medicines in pregnancy. Information on the use of valproate in pregnancy is also available:

Alternative formats of information

Extra-large print The Choice and Medication website includes extra-large print leaflets, called BILL-XL.

Braille and audio CD The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Medicine Leaflet Line can provide various medicine information leaflets. You will need to provide the name of the medicine and the product code number. This is usually found on the medicine packaging or package insert, e.g. PL xxxxx/xxxx or EU x/xx/xxx/xxx. You may need to ask a sighted person to help you find this information. Tel: 0800 198 5000

Easy read and audio leaflets for patients with learning disabilities, their carer’s and younger people can be found at the following websites:

Medicine information leaflets for children can be found at the following websites:

  • Headmeds (mental health medication information)

Information for parents about their child’s medicines and how to give them:

Other medicine resources and websites that you may find helpful:

For general information:

For help taking your medicines:

For information on drugs and alcohol:


Medicines Helpline

Medicines Helpline

The aim of the Medicines Helpline is to support our patients (and their carers) with medicines related questions following outpatient attendance or discharge from hospital.

Patients (and carers) can call the Medicines Helpline on 020 3513 6829 and speak to one of our pharmacists about their medicines.

The helpline can be contacted Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (outside of these hours please leave a message and we will call you back). You can also email the helpline on:

If your query is urgent, you can do one of the following outside the Medicines Helpline hours:

  • Contact NHS 111
  • Go to see your local community pharmacist
  • Attend your local Walk-In Centre or A&E department
  • Contact your GP



The Department of Health is dedicated to ensuring that patients and service users have access to recommended medicines and medical devices. These are collected into lists, called formularies, by local NHS organisations. The formularies must be published online so that patients and service users can understand the treatments available on the NHS

NICE technology appraisals

NICE technology appraisals

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises the NHS regarding the treatments that should be made available. NICE is asked to review particular medicines and treatments when their availability varies across the country. These reviews are called NICE technology appraisals (TAs).

Read more about technology appraisals on the NICE website.

Following the review, NICE makes a recommendation as to whether the medicine or treatment should be made available across the whole of the NHS. Once NICE has recommended a medicine or treatment, the NHS is then legally obliged to fund and resource it.

Under the NHS Constitution, patients have the right to receive medicines and treatments that are recommended in NICE TAs if their doctor thinks that they are right for them. When NICE recommends a treatment, the Trust must make it available within three months of that recommendation.

Our formulary

Our formulary

Medicines that have been approved for use within the Trust are collected into a list, or formulary. Formularies are important to help ensure the safe and effective use of medicines. The Trust Drugs and Therapeutics Committee is responsible for reviewing requests for the introduction of new medicines to the formulary where a NICE TA does not exist. It also ensures that NICE TAs are incorporated into the formulary within three months of their recommendation.

All NHS organisations must publish information setting out which NICE TAs are included in their local formularies. Ours and our neighboring Trusts’ are set out below:

Reporting side effects of medicines

Reporting side effects of medicines

Members of the public are encouraged to report side effects to medicines that they have. You can do this by contacting the Medicines Helpline (see above), telling your GP, psychiatrist or care co-ordinator, or you can report it yourself the rough the MHRAs Yellow Card Scheme.

Reporting medicine incidents

Reporting medicine incidents

Patient and carers are encouraged to let a healthcare professional know if they think that a medicine incident has occurred. This is so that it can be investigated properly and those people who contributed to the incident and the wider healthcare team can learn from it to prevent future errors. If you are involved in a medicine incident you may also need further follow up by a healthcare professional.

Examples of medicine incidents might include:
  • Being given an incorrect prescription by a community or hospital pharmacy
  • Taking or being given the wrong medicine or the wrong dose, or having a medicine at the wrong time. This could happen at home or whilst in hospital
  • Taking too much of your medicine
If you would like to report a medicines incident you can speak to your GP, community pharmacy, your psychiatrist, your care coordinator or ring our Medicines Helpline, depending on where you think the error occurred.

Obtaining medicines out of hours

Obtaining medicines out of hours

It is important not to run out of medicines by ensuring you order a further supply in advance of running out. In normal opening times you should contact your GP for further supply. If your GP is closed then you can sometimes get an emergency supply from your regular community pharmacy.

If you do not have a prescription then you can ring NHS 111 for support. See the NHS 111 leaflet uploaded below under related documents for further information on how they can help.

For bank holiday pharmacy opening times in London you can download a London wide spreadsheet by borough to see which pharmacies are open, on the NHS England website.

Feeling physically unwell? Visit your local pharmacist

Feeling physically unwell? Visit your local pharmacist

If you are feeling unwell and need advice you can visit your pharmacy. Information about where to find a community pharmacy can be found here or by calling NHS 111, the 24 hour health helpline.



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