Mental Health Emergencies
Mental health crises or emergencies can happen to anyone at any time of the year, but even more so in the winter season with its shorter daylight hours, which can lead to seasonal affective disorders for some. This year, the situation is exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which is still affecting our lives. The pandemic and its resulting restrictions have hit many people hard with the associated stress, uncertainty, uncontrollability, and social distancing rules that have led to increased loneliness for many, especially vulnerable people. Work and family stress, unemployment, and difficulty dealing with big life changes—especially in a foreign country and away from your family—can all lead to psychic crises or mental health emergencies. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from a mental health crisis, there is help from various resources in the Basel region.
The Universitäre Psychiatrische Kliniken Basel (University’s Psychiatric Clinic, or UPK) provide psychiatric and psychological support for expats (in English), both for adults and for children.
- Adults: During office hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00–16:00), you can contact them by phone at 061-325-8181 or go directly to their walk-in/acute outpatient clinic for adults at Kornhausgasse 7, 4051 Basel.
For a consult after working hours or emergency psychiatric help, call 061-325-5100 (24/7) or go directly to the emergency room of the UPK (Wilhelm Klein-Str. 27).
- Children and Adolescents: Parents or children and adolescents themselves can contact the polyclinic at the Clinic for Children and Adolescents (Kornhausgasse 7, 4051 Basel) at 061-325-8200 Monday to Friday from 8:00–12:00 and 13:00–17:00.
Outside of those hours you can call the reception at UPK at 061-325-5111.
For emergencies outside of opening hours, you can also go to the University’s Children’s Hospital (UKBB) (Spitalstrasse 33) or contact them at 061-325-5100 (24/7).
You can call the Psychiatrie Baselland in Liestal (Bienentalstrasse 7, Haus C).
- Adults: For adult patients, they can be reached at 061-553-5656 (Liestal) / 061-553-5757 (Binningen) for regular admissions during office hours.
For emergencies, you can contact them at 061-553-5656 24/7.
- Children and Adolescents: For children and adolescents, they can be reached at 061-553-5858 (Liestal) / 061-553-5959 (Binningen and Laufen) during office hours.
For emergencies, you can contact them 24/7 at 061-553-5555.
You can also contact the 24-hour medical emergency hotline for Basel-Stadt, Baselland, and parts of cantons Aargau and Solothurn at 061-261-1515.
Switzerland also has 24-hour suicide hotlines for adults and children/adolescents. If the person answering cannot help you in English, they will connect you to someone who can.
- Adults: The hotline “Dargebotene Hand” (Offered Hand) can be reached by dialing the emergency number 143; they are available 24/7.
For less urgent situations, you can also contact them via their website, www.143.ch, for email or chat (10:00–22:00) contact.
- Children and Adolescents: The dedicated line for adolescents can be reached by dialing 147; they are available 24/7.
They can also be contacted through email, text message, or chats via their website, www.147.ch.