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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

New information leaflet for people ‘feeling on the edge’

Embargoed until 01 March 2012

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has produced a new leaflet for people who are admitted to Emergency Departments and who are ‘feeling on the edge’. Health professionals can give the leaflet to people who are in a state of distress, and who they believe may be at risk of harming themselves.


The leaflet provides reassurance that there are people who want to listen, understand and help. It explains clearly and simply what will happen if a person goes to see a specialist mental health service, and how to get support. It also provides a detailed list of support organisations for people who are distressed, who self-harm or are experiencing suicidal thoughts.


Dr Alys Cole-King, a consultant liaison psychiatrist who authored the leaflet, said: "Many people in emotional distress are not aware of all the excellent support that is available and accessible. This leaflet is intended to instil hope in, and compassionately engage with, people who attend the Emergency Department following self harm or with suicidal thoughts, and encourages them to stay in hospital to complete their healthcare journey. It also explains the help that different support organisations can provide."


The leaflet, Feeling on the edge? Helping you get through it, has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Samaritans and CALL Helpline (Wales).


Feeling on the edge? Helping you get through it can be downloaded for free from the College website.  

Single copies of the leaflet are available free of charge on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 17 Belgrave Square, London SW1A 8PG. A small charge applies for bulk orders. Contact the Leaflets Department on 020 7235 2351 or email

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


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