Mental Health Support, Where To Start?

When we are feeling low or anxious it can be challenging to reach out and ask for support, and then when we feel we can, who do we contact? I have put together a list of resources of places to start. Often there is not one size that fits all, but there is an abundance of supportive organisations and individuals out there who can help. Just keep going until you find the one that suits your needs. NHS First of all the NHS. Did you know the National Health Service covers all aspects of health, including mental health, so your GP is equipped to support you? They can prescribe medication, advise you of local support services and can arrange referrals when necessary. Also, if you or someone else has a mental health emergency then you can go to A&E, just as you would if you had a physical emergency. You can also call 111 if you have an urgent but non life-threatening situation, again this includes mental health. Mental Health Websites There are some brilliant websites that can offer information, support and guidance to adults, young people and parents. Take a look below you’ll be amazed at what you can find: https://www.mind.org.uk https://youngminds.org.uk http://www.sane.org.uk/home https://www.time-to-change.org.uk https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/beatstress.uk There are lots more but these are good places to start and they can signpost you to something more specific to individual needs. Employee Assisted Programme (EAP) Many employers offer an employee benefit programme that is supplied by an external company. These programmes are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that could impact their work performance and personal wellbeing. The issue could be with you or any member of your family and you can contact them confidentially for support (your employer won't be informed if you use the service). Often they offer an assessment, short term counselling and advice. Contact your HR department to see if your employer offers this benefit or often the detail are on your internal intranet.

Schools and Universities

Most schools and universities have mental health support, often in the form of in-house counselling. We are often told about these during our induction but if we don't need the service at the time we often forget and over look them. If you or your child are in education and need mental health support ask them what mental health provision they have in-house. The help you need is often on your doorstep.

Free or Low Cost Counselling Although each county has different services there are often low cost or free counselling services that are available. Your GP or local authority should be able to help you or Google what is in your area. For example these are the ones local to me: https://number22.org (A free service for all ages in Berkshire) https://www.yeswycombe.org (Low cost service for under 25yrs in South Buckinghamshire) http://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/healthyminds/ (A free service and takes self referrals in Oxfordshire) http://www.southbuckscounselling.org/ (affordable counselling for adults in South Buckinghamshire)

http://riversidecounsellingservice.co.uk (affordable counselling and psychotherapy to adults and young people from the age of 12)

There will be something similar in most regions so take a look. Private Talking Therapy Alternatively you could contact a privately practicing psychotherapist or counsellor and you will probably get an appointment within a week or two. The difference between these services are that a psychotherapist will work with more chronic complex issues and a counsellor will work on perhaps a specific issue that can be resolved in a short time period. However, the most important aspect of any talking therapy is the person you meet. If you find a therapist on line that you like then call them to discuss your needs and get a feel as to whether you can build a trusting relationship with them. Here are some other websites to find a psychotherapist or counsellor in your area: https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk https://www.bacp.co.uk

https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk Mental Health Crisis Finally if you are experiencing a mental health crisis then here are a couple of numbers to call: Samaritans 116 123 (free 24 hr helpline) Papyrus 0800 068 4141 (prevention of young suicide) And remember you can always go to A&E The stigma about mental health is changing and now there are many organisations and networks committed to the cause. One of the most important things is that you don’t suffer alone, once you have reached out things can get better and often quickly. Sitting alone with mental ill health is understandable and natural although it won't help, so get on line, pick up the phone or tell someone you trust about your struggle. This is a step towards getting you the support you need. Take action today.