Our mental health is just as important as our physical health – that’s why it’s so important that we look after it, especially during stressful and challenging times such as the COVID-19 crisis, and ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10th October. You are never alone when it comes to coping with your mental health, and there are lots of resources available through free schemes and helplines in the UK. If you yourself are seeking help, or you know a loved one who is struggling, the below organisations could lend a helping hand and a listening ear.
Suitable for: finding out where you can get help and treatment options
Mind’s helpful Infoline offers callers confidential help on mental health issues, by providing information and advice. You can ask them about where to get help near you, plus treatment options that are available and suitable for you.
Call: 0300 123 3393
Suitable for: 24 hour a day emergency calls if you’re feeling distress or despair
Available 24 hours a day, the Samaritans helpline is there to help you with whatever you’re going through, in a non-judgemental environment. Samaritans is a leading suicide reduction charity, and this helpline is free to call from the UK.
Call: 116 123
Suitable for: anyone who needs crisis support or immediate assistance
Shout offers a confidential crisis text support system (free on all major mobile networks), which you can access 24/7 if you need immediate or emergency assistance. They can help take you from crisis to calm.
Text: “SHOUT” to 85258
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Suitable for: men who are struggling or in crisis
Working to prevent male suicide, CALM offers support services for any man who is struggling or in crisis and may need to talk or find further mental health support. The helpline is open 5pm-midnight daily and is free, anonymous, and confidential.
Call: 0800 58 58 58
Suitable for: parents or carers concerned about the mental health or emotional well-being of a child or young person
If you are a parent or carer, this service will give you advice about a child or young person under 25. They can help to answer questions surrounding a child’s behaviour, emotional wellbeing, or mental health condition.
Call: 0808 802 5544
The World From My Window
Suitable for: those looking for an outlet for their emotions
The World From My Window initiative was set up by two friends during lockdown in a bid to encourage people to write and share their stories and feelings to process their emotions. Celebrities such as Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall and Graham Norton have backed the initiative. Anyone, anywhere can upload their own story through the medium of writing.
Suitable for: children and young people in need of help
This counselling service is available for all children and young people, and you can contact ChildLine about any problem – big or small. If you’re feeling scared or just want to talk to someone then this service is available to help.
Call: 0800 11 11
Suitable for: those who suffer with anxiety
Feelings of anxiety may be heightened during lockdown, and if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition you can access extra support via Anxiety UK. Operated by a team of volunteers and staff (many of whom have personally experienced anxiety), this helpline can offer practical advice on support services that are available.
Call: 03444 775 774
Suitable for: women or children dealing with domestic abuse, as well as concerned friends, family and professionals
The team at Refuge will provide a listening ear if you need to chat about yours or a loved one's experiences with domestic abuse. The charity can also help you to access refuge accommodation, or other specialist domestic violence services, if you need them.
Call: 0808 2000 247
Suitable for: anyone affected by bereavement
Cruse offers the Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline which is manned by trained bereavement volunteers who will offer emotional support if you have been affected by bereavement – both in the COVID-19 period and beyond.
Call: 0808 808 1677
NHS apps library
Suitable for: everyone
The NHS has compiled a wide range of both free and paid-for apps that can you can download at home to help you cope with your mental health. From stress management courses to sleep improvement programmes, it's worthwhile checking out what apps might be suitable for you.
Suitable for: teenagers
Built specfically for teenagers, stem4 is a charity that promotes positive mental health and has launched pioneering mental health apps that you can download for free if you need extra support.
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