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Requesting mental health support

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.

Details for your local services are:-

CNWL NHS has put together a short film to remind local residents in the London boroughs of Brent, Kensington and Chelsea, Harrow, Hillingdon and Westminster, how to access its talking therapies services.

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 website to find out more.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

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 website to find out more.

Mental health and medication

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.

Other information and advice

Please see the Useful Contact information page for organisations and services that support people with experience of dementia.

Last updated: 08/07/2021