You are here:

Sources of support

If you are experiencing mental health issues it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

The earlier you get treatment and support, the easier it will be to deal with.

If you know someone else who is having such difficulties, talk to them about it. People are more likely to seek help if someone close to them suggests it.

Medical help

If you are experiencing symptoms of mental ill-health your GP can:

  • Check for a possible physical cause
  • Explain the illness and possible treatments
  • Prescribe medication if necessary
  • Refer the person to professional help or other support

In most cases you need a referral from your GP to access NHS mental health services. Some allow you to self-refer, particularly those aimed at people with alcohol and drug problems.

Other sources of support may be focused on a specific condition or designed as self-help or peer support groups. The NHS Choices website, lists an A-Z of conditions, each with a ‘useful links’ section.

Help for children

Child and Young People's Mental Health Services (CYPMHS)

The NHS Child and Young People's Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) focuses on children and young people having difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.

Young Minds

Parent's Helpline: 0808 802 5544

Young Minds provides resources and information on emotional wellbeing and mental health issues affecting young people. It also has a helpline for parents open 9:30am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Support from those you know

When mental health problems make everyday matters more difficult to cope with; family, friends and colleagues can be an important source of support. Good relationships are important for wellbeing and help recovery from mental ill-health.

MIND also has listings of support services.

Support within your community

Involvement in community and voluntary organisations can also help wellbeing and recovery – from a gardening club to an art group, a walking group to a sports club – anything that helps you connect and develop supportive relationships. Follow the link to the Five Ways to Wellbeing section of our website.

Chat rooms and forums

A lot of people find it helpful to be in contact with others who have experienced similar situations or who have the same medical condition. A few things to consider are:

  • Who runs the site, and what are the rules, for example the use of offensive language?
  • Is there a system of moderation in cases where rules seem to have been broken?
  • What happens to any information you share?
  • If the site encourages local support groups to develop, what is done to ensure everyone’s physical and emotional safety?