Panic Attacks image

Panic Attacks

Everyone knows what panic is, and it is common to feel panicky from time to time such as:

  • A sense that you are being followed on your way home from a party, late at night. 
  • You discover you have had your wallet stolen. 
  • You are sitting an exam. 

It would be normal in any of these situations to feel a sense of panic.  The feeling would be understandable and would pass fairly quickly.  A panic attack is a bit like ‘normal’ panic, but different in a number of ways: 

  • The feelings are a lot stronger.  
  • The feelings seem to come ‘out of the blue’ and are not usually related to the sort of frightening situation described above. 
  • The feelings often last longer than a few minutes.  As the feelings are unexpected, strong and often very physical, they can feel extremely frightening.  

Panic attacks affect people in many different ways, but there is usually a sudden frightening feeling that something really awful is about to happen, with strong physical symptoms. 

This can cause people to feel that something more serious, such as a heart attack is happening.

How we can help with Panic Attacks:

Looking after your wellbeing

Self-help guides

The NHS have produced a range of self-help guides that can be viewed as a PDF or an audio version. To view the guides please visit the self-help guides bookshelf (opens in new window).

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College

Courses and workshops to give people the tools, skills and understanding that they need to support their mental health and wellbeing. Visit the Recovery College website to find out more. 

Relaxation techniques

Exploring relaxation can help you look after yourself when you're feeling stressed or worried. Why not try these relaxation routines and see how relaxation can fit into your daily life? Listen to the audio guides here. 

SilverCloud online therapy

SilverCloud courses are designed to help you improve and maintain your wellbeing by changing the way you think and feel about things. There are several free courses to pick from including positive body image, panic, depression, anxiety, stress and many more. Find out more about SilverCloud.

Every Mind Matters

Expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Visit the Every Mind Matters website. 

Worcestershire Community Services Directory (if you live in Worcestershire)

The Worcestershire Community Services Directory sets out all of the local information, advice, tools, guidance and local support available for people in Worcestershire.

Talk Community (if you live in Herefordshire)

Talk Community is a website detailing the services, groups, community hubs, events, and information available to people in Herefordshire.


Podcasts can be a really good way of relaxing the mind, listen to features, interviews and a number of people involved in mental health, including people have experience mental health difficulties, campaigners and mental health experts. To find out more visit the podcast resources page.

Access local mental health and wellbeing support

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Talking Therapies

The NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Talking Therapies team are trained and experienced in supporting a wide range of more common mental health issues. Mostly this involves ‘talking therapy’ approaches. Talking therapy could involve group discussion, or more traditional 1:1 sessions. We also provide online courses and employment support which the team can guide you through. To find out more about the service and self-refer visit the service webpage.


Visit your GP practice team to discuss the best options for you, including access to specialist services.

Urgent mental health support and advice in a crisis

Whether you experience a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or are experiencing problems for the first time, you may need immediate expert support to identify the best course of action to help you.

If you are already being supported by Mental Health Services in Herefordshire or Worcestershire, you should try and speak to your usual team before contacting the urgent helpline, unless it’s outside of core hours, a weekend or bank holiday.

If you are not currently in contact with any mental health services you can phone the mental health helpline for urgent advice.

0808 196 9127

(free phone 24 hrs a day 365 days a year)

If you are  deaf or hard of hearing and experiencing a mental health crisis  you can access support from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire 24 hour mental health service by contacting  NHS 111 via Relay UK.

The team will offer advice, support and, if required, an assessment to understand how you are feeling. When calling the number, you can expect to speak to Mental Health Advisors and/or trained Mental Health Clinicians who will be able to listen to your concerns and help make appropriate plans with you to support you.

If you are unsure what to do, staff on this number will be able to guide you to the appropriate choice.

Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • Yours or someone’s life is at risk – for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose
  • You do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe

If you just need to talk, any time of day or night

These services offer confidential advice from trained volunteers. You can talk about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult:

Alternative local support

  • Worcestershire Safe Haven provides telephone support and face-to-face appointments to Worcestershire residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 01905 600400 any day of the week between 6pm and midnight for support and signposting.
  • Herefordshire Mind Safe Haven if you find yourself in crisis or need urgent support with your mental health, the Safe Haven is a safe and friendly place that you can come and access mental health support and advice.The Safe Haven telephone and email support service is available every evening, 7 days a week, from 5pm to 10pm; call 01432 372407 or email

National support

  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK offers a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652 (open 24/7).
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). You can call the CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) if you are struggling and need to talk. Or if you prefer not to speak on the phone, you could try the CALM webchat service.
  • Papyrus HOPELINEUK if you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email or text 07786 209 697.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing and experiencing a mental health crisis contact the SignHealth Text Crisis service, by texting DEAF to 85258 for free and immediate support. If yours, or someone else’s life is in immediate danger for example, they have seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose, or you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe you can contact 999 by using the Relay UK service . The service is provided for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired as an alternative option for contacting an emergency service.

Other support

Mental health and wellbeing

  • Herefordshire Mind — Herefordshire Mind provides a range of support and interventions for people experiencing mental health difficulties, this includes the Safe Haven crisis service, counselling, community activities, link workers and community support. Find out more about their services and how to access support on their website.
  • South Warwickshire and Worcestershire Mind — South Warwickshire and Worcestershire Mind provides a range of mental health services across the region. These range from an crisis and regular telephone support, to outdoor gardening activities and group sessions for better mental health. For more information, visit their website.
  • The CLD Trust (Herefordshire) — Provides counselling and other talking therapies to children, young people (from the age of 9) and some adults. Find out more on their website.
  • The Cart Shed (Herefordshire) — Activities such as woodwork, coppicing, gardening and cooking can all support wellbeing and emotional health. A non-clinical setting helping individuals address and overcome issues they may be finding difficult to self-manage. To find out more visit the Cart Shed website.
  • Men’s Sheds — Men's Sheds are local spaces for men to connect, make friends and enjoy activities. There are groups across Worcestershire. Please visit  Men’s Sheds website to find out more. 
  • Simply Limitless (Worcestershire) — The charity provides support to people of all ages in the community with their mental, social and physical health. Visit their website to view their latest courses and workshops.
  • Active — An independent organisation providing sports and activities designed to support the wellbeing of people across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Visit their website to see whats available in your local area.
  • Farming Community Network - A national helpline for farmers that offers a chance to talk to someone who understands the challenges. Call 03000 111 999 between 7am and 11pm daily for help with stress, depression, alcohol or drug dependency, isolation or other worries. Find out more on the Farming Community Network website.

Families and relationships

  • Onside Advocacy — Onside provides a range of support and services to ensure fairness and equality for adults who may be vulnerable, disadvantaged or discriminated against. This includes mental and physical ill health, sensory impairment, learning disability, drug and alcohol misuse, older people, and carers.  
  • West Mercia Women’s Aid — WMWA offers a range of specialist support including refuge, services for children, young people and men and tailored recovery programmes for people experiencing domestic abuse. For more information visit their website .
  • Relate — Relate provides relationship counselling for couples, families and young people in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. To access support visit their website.
  • Worcestershire Association of Carers — WAC provides a range of services for carers and families of people in Worcestershire. This includes person-centred support for carers, training and information sessions and emergency planning and Carers Emergency Cards. For information on how to access support from WAC, visit their website.

Substance misuse and gambling

  • NHS West Midlands Gambling Harms Clinic — Aalso known as the Midlands Gambling Clinic provides free, specialist addiction therapies, treatment and recovery to those affected by gambling addiction and gambling problems. Visit the NHS West Midlands Gambling Harms Clinic website for more information.
  • Cranstoun (Worcestershire) — Works to support those over 18 that are struggling with their alcohol or drug intake. The service also offers advice, support and guidance for family members and friends to cope with someone else’s substance use through the Family Support Service.
  • Turning Point (Herefordshire) — Turning Point is an integrated substance misuse service providing free and confidential support for adults and young people around their use of alcohol and other drugs. Turning Point also offers support to families and carers affected by the alcohol or drug use of someone else.

National support

  • Silver Line — The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and support to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 
  • Hub of Hope — The UK’s leading mental health support database. It is provided by national mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma, and brings local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS mental health support and services together in one place for the first time. 
  • DadPad — As a new dad you will feel excited, but you may also feel left out, unsure or overwhelmed. The DadPad can help by giving you the knowledge and practical skills that you need.  The resource will support you and your partner to give your baby the best possible start in life.