Event date: 26/04/2017
News date: 21 Apr
Whatever you want to do, concerns you have or support you need, there are a wealth of organisations and charities that can help. Have a look at what's available here.
Items such as raised toilet seats, bath boards and seats, walking frames, and grab rails can make a real difference to your safety and independence.
If the safety of a person with mental health problems or those around them is at immediate risk then go to our page on Support in a crisis for advice on what to do.
If you or someone you know is concerned about your mental well-being, the first place to call should be your GP (family doctor). They will be familiar with your medical history, and can direct you to the appropriate treatment or service.
Don't feel worried about asking - your GP is there to help with your mental as well as your physical health. Every day they will see people who are feeling anxious, depressed or who are having problems coping.
Your GP may refer you to a local organisation that can help with practical problems which might be affecting your mental health - whether these are caused by work stress, relationship difficulties, poor housing, living with a chronic illness or something else. They may also prescribe you some medication or refer you on for psychological therapy (see below) to help you to manage your problems. In more complex cases they may refer you on for a more specialist assessment by your local mental health team.
You can get access to local NHS psychological services through your GP (family doctor) or practice nurse. Your local NHS psychological therapies service provides therapy and mental health services for people with mild to moderate mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, as well as feelings related to change, bereavement, and personal and family problems.
An NHS programme called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) makes it easier for people to access therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling.
Details for your local IAPT services are:-
If any of these links don't work then check the main IAPT website to see what IAPT services are available in your area.
The type of therapy you might be offered will depend on your situation. The main types here:
Counselling is a form of therapy where you can talk about any of the issues, past or present that might be difficult for you. The counsellor is trained to listen to you and to help you try to understand your thoughts and feelings. They can help you deal with some of the negative feelings that are causing your mental health problems and encourage you to try different ways of coping with these feelings.
You can go to the NHS Choices website to find out more.
CBT is a therapy which involves talking about current problems and how you react to them. You will often be asked to name a situation that bothers you and then list your thoughts and feelings in response to them. Your therapist will talk with you about how you judge the things around you and help you to look at and evaluate situations better which will then change the way you respond to problems. By changing your negative and counterproductive thinking style, your mental health problems should improve.
You can go to the NHS Choices website to find out more.
A doctor may prescribe medication to treat your mental health problems, and you may find that this can have huge benefits in getting your life back on track.
But as with any medication you may experience side-effects; you should always feel able to ask the doctor prescribing your medication for details of possible side effects so that you know what to expect, and can make an informed decision about whether the medication is right for you.
The Mind website provides information on the kinds of medication which you might be offered to treat a mental health problem.
Support groups give you the chance to talk to other people who may be experiencing similar problems. They can often suggest different ways of coping.
The local branch of the mental health charity Mind can put you in touch with a range of support groups that may be able to help you.
And if you live in Westminster then the Go 4 website, developed by local residents with mental health problems, offers useful information about the local mental health services in your area as well as information about other community activities in Westminster which you may want to take part in.
Mind is the UK's largest mental health charity. It provides information and advice to people with mental health problems, and aims to ensure that no-one with a mental health problem has to face that problem alone.And Mind also host
Time to Change are working to challenge the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems. Their website includes blogs by people who live with a mental health illness.
SANE is a UK mental health charity who work to improve quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness.
Rethink is a mental health charity which aims to challenge attitudes and change lives, helping people living with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and more to recover a better quality of life.
Different Voices is an inpatient mental health user involvement initiative at The Advocacy Project. Their aim is to help people who use mental health services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea to be involved in influencing and improving services. They have produced a directory of services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, based on their service users' experiences.
The Medical Foundation for the care of victims of torture offers emotional and physical support for those who have suffered torture.
The Refugee Support Centre offers counselling and psychotherapy services for refugees under 65. Many different languages are spoken - tel 020 7820 3606.
The Advance Advocacy Project support women who are experiencing a variety of of different issues, including mental health issues.
Age UK offer information on accessing counselling and talking therapies, and have produced a factsheet called You are not alone.
The Samaritans provide confidential non-judgemental support, 24 hours a day for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair - tel 08457 90 90 90.
The Easy Health website has gathered together various videos and easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about various aspects mental health and mental health care.
The Counselling Directory offers:-
If you live in Westminster then the Go 4 website, developed by local residents with mental health problems, offers useful information about the local mental health services in your area as well as information about other community activities in Westminster which you may want to take part in.