Keeping your mind healthy and what to do if you’re struggling
All of us can experience problems with our mental health at times. This can include anxiety, depression, emotional difficulties, OCD among other things. This can be triggered by life stresses, relationships and bereavement’s among many different causes.
York Medical Group recognises the importance and value of investing in specialist mental health support as part of our care we offer to patients. We are proud to present the new mental health service which allows patients to see a mental health professional in your GP practice.
Should you require support for your mental health, or if you wish to be referred for our in house counselling service, you can request an appointment through our online service or if you are unable to use this service via the phone on 01904 439100
We can offer urgent appointments with any GP if you feel you are in crisis and in acute distress, needing same day care.
Crisis Team Numbers
Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys
Central freephone telephone number for adults and children for specialist assessment for people who need urgent mental health care.
- 0800 051 6171
We’re waiting for your call
Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help.
No judgement. No pressure. We’re here for anyone who needs someone.
- 116 123 (freephone)
Our trained volunteers are there for you 24/7 to listen and support you to get to a calmer and safe place. Shout is a free, confidential, anonymous service for anyone in the UK. It won’t appear on your phone bill.
To start a conversation, text the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258.
- 85258 (text)
- Give Us a Shout
If your life is at imminent risk, call the emergency services on 999.
The Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing in York is an excellent comprehensive guide to all the organisations available in York to support with mental health and wellbeing; you can find more information regarding local services below.
Are you feeling distressed, frightened, overwhelmed, or that things are too much for you? Don’t know where to turn to get mental health support? Are your usual sources of support closed for the night?
The Haven @ 30 Clarence Street offers out of hours mental health support to anyone aged 16 or over in York and Selby.
30 Clarence St,
- 07483 141310
- [email protected]
York Mind is a leading local provider of services supporting individuals recovering from mental ill-health to achieve outcomes that will progress them towards recovery, social inclusion and integration in mainstream activity such as learning, volunteering or employment.
- 01904 643364
- [email protected]
You may be advised to, or wish to consider self-referring to the York & Selby Talking Therapies who offer talking therapies to those struggling with psychological difficulties.
You can self-refer by ringing: 01904 556840 or by visiting https://yorkandselbytalkingtherapies.co.uk/
ASDIC – the Association of Service Drop-In Centres – represents and links veterans’ ‘drop-ins’ across the country. Sometimes called Hubs or Centres, Drop-Ins offer a variety of welfare and mental health support, together with comradeship and a sense of well-being, to the ex-military community and their families, and ASDIC helps them to enhance the service they can provide and make them more accessible. Please see their website for further details, including information on accessing local drop-in services.
Combat Stress is a dedicated mental health charity for veterans which offers support via its helpline (0800 138 1619) as well as text (07537 173683) and e-mail ([email protected]); these are 24-hour services.
Help For Heroes works with veterans to promote physical and psychological wellbeing through a range of dedicated programmes; also has financial and career recovery services, as well as a system of grants for veterans with an illness or injury related to their service.
Op Courage is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families which is available nationwide. They can help ex-service personnel transition to civilian life with dedicated mental health input, provide support around addictions, provide support to family members and otherwise work to ensure veterans get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment for their specific needs.
Salute My Job is an organisation dedicated to helping veterans secure employment after leaving the armed forces, which is often a difficult and stressful process which impacts mental health. Their website provides a variety of helpful guides to various employment-related issues as well as online training opportunities and recruitment opportunities from forces-friendly employers.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity which helps ensure long term support for bereaved military children. When a parent dies, the impact on their child is significant; when that parent served in the British Forces, the impact is even greater with children often feeling they’ve lost their connection to the military community. Scotty’s Little Soldiers prevents that with a variety of bereavement support including counselling services, outreach/activity groups and development programmes, details of which can be found on their website.
The Royal British Legion offers help, support and advice to serving members of the armed forces, veterans and their families, as well as military support services. In addition, the Legion oversees a variety of independent living, physical/mental wellbeing and financial support programmes; of particular interest may be their Crisis Support service, detailed here. Helpline (0808 802 8080) open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday.
Veterans Gateway: We put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.
Text: 81212, Call: 0808 802 1212
Kyra: We are a registered charity in York that exists to help local women make positive changes in their lives. We offer a range of courses, therapists, life skills and events for women, all from our relaxed, comfy, city centre location. The kettle is always on. Our door is always open until every women in our are feels safe, supported and able to be a person they were always meant to be.
CMC, St. Saviourgate York YO1 8NQ, 01904 632332, [email protected]
York Women’s Counselling: York Women’s Counselling (YWC) provides a counselling service for women in York and surrounding areas who are experiencing difficulties as a result of current or past emotional stress and trauma.
Telephone number: 01904 652706
Email: [email protected]
Address: 15 Priory St, York, YO1 6ET
York Age UK: We are a local charity promoting the well-being of all older people in and around York. Find out how we can help you and you can help us.
Contact us: 01904 634061 (9.30 – 3.30. Mon to Friday)
Email: [email protected]
Older citizens advocacy York: OCAY is a small local charity. We work to help people over the age of 50 by providing a free and independent advocacy service and helping you to have a voice in the issues that concern you.
The Priory Street Centre,
15 Priory Street,
Tel: 01904 676200
Email: [email protected]
Silverline Free confidential helpline offering information, friendship and advice to older people 24 hours per day
Telephone: 0800 4708090
The Forum: The Forum actively promotes awareness and understanding of LGBT people’s needs to enable full participation in society and works with many others to reduce the fear of crime and bullying, particularly in schools. It also encourages greater participation in the prevention and detection of homophobic, transphobic and biphobic discrimination.
Email: [email protected]
Phone number: 07731852533
Galop: If you’ve experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, we’re here for you. We also support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
Mind Out is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. They work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ communities and to make mental health a community concern, and offer a range of advice, information and support via their website. Of particular interest may be their online support service, available at various times via their website – please see the relevant page for details.
MindLine Trans+ (contact no. 0300 330 5468) is confidential emotional and mental health support helpline for people who identify as transgender, a-gender, gender fluid and non-binary; they also offer support to family members and friends and provide signposting to other services and resources. The service is run by Mind in Somerset but available nationwide.
Pink Therapy is the UK’s largest independent therapy organisation working with gender and sexual diversity clients. In addition to information on training and mental health resources for therapists and clients, they also have an online database of therapists who work with LGBTQ individuals from an affirmative standpoint.
Switchboard (contact no. 0800 0119 100) is an LGBT+ helpline which provides a one-stop listening service and safe space for anyone to discuss anything including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing. Switchboard also provides online messaging and e-mail support via their website.
Citizens advice bureau: Offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to help people resolve numerous issues that may be affecting your mental wellbeing, including advice on benefits, work, finance, consumer, relationship, housing, discrimination, tax, education, healthcare and legal issues.
Telephone: 03444 111 444
Welfare benefits unit: The Welfare Benefits Unit are committed to providing a range of training and talks to raise awareness and knowledge about the range of benefits available.
Tel: 01904 646058
Advice line: 01904 642512
Mark Freeman’s Beat OCD Tips is a collection of short videos detailing simple, practical ways to address, accept and overcome OCD behaviours by mental health recovery expert Mark Freeman.
Mind Information & Support – OCD explains obsessive-compulsive disorder, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
NHS Inform – OCD is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage obsessive-compulsive disorder; it explains the causes of intrusive thoughts, ‘rituals’ and other OCD issues and attempts to establish simple, practical ways to address these in order to improve quality of life.
OCD Action provide support and information to anybody affected by OCD, work to raise awareness of the disorder amongst the public and front-line healthcare workers and strive to secure a better deal for people with OCD. Their website has a range of information on obsessive-compulsive disorder and related issues; OCD Action also offer practical advice and support via their helpline (0300 636 5478).
OCD Challenge is a free, online, interactive, behavioural program designed to help people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The program was built by psychologists who are leaders in the field of behaviour therapy and have a specialization in the area of OCD, although OCD Challenge is not therapy and there is not a therapist on the other end of the computer telling you what to do. Instead, OCD Challenge is a program built to interact with the user in a way that is interesting, useful, and moves the user toward change.
OCD UK is a charity which has been working for children and adults affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder since 2004. They provide advice, information, and support services for those affected by OCD both via their website and helpline (01332 588112, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 12pm); OCD UK also have a variety of forums where people affected by the condition can talk online.
Chayn is a global non-profit organisation, run by survivors and allies from around the world, creating resources to support the healing of survivors of gender-based violence. They create open, online resources and services for survivors of abuse that are trauma-informed, intersectional, multi-lingual and feminist. The Chayn website has a searchable database of practical advice, informative audio resources and therapeutic workshops on a range of subjects related to abuse and trauma.
IDAS is a specialist organisation dedicated to providing high quality support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Yorkshire. In addition to therapeutic interventions delivered 1-1 or in groups face-to-face or via email/telephone, IDAS offers support to people undergoing legal processes related to abuse via their IDVA/ISVA programmes.
IDAS also operate a national helpline (0808 2000 247) and can offer advice or support via e-mail if preferred; the contact number for their North Yorkshire office is 03000 110 110.
Karma Nirvana is the first specialist charity for victims and survivors of honour-based abuse in the UK. They are dedicated to supporting, empowering and educating those impacted, so they can live a life free of abuse. In addition to providing information and advice via their website, Karma Nirvana also offer an honour-based abuse helpline (0800 5999 247), open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline is part of the leading anti-slavery charity Unseen; they provide information, advice and guidance to potential victims, statutory services and anyone else who may be affected by modern slavery, and can be contacted on 08000 121 700. This ranges from reporting concerns or getting help to access appropriate services, to safety planning and helping people make contact with the police or another relevant agency.
NAPAC is a charity which offers help, advice and support to all survivors of childhood abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual or through neglect. In addition to resources on grounding techniques etc. accessible via their website, NAPAC also provide a support line (0808 801 0331) open 10am to 9pm on Monday to Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday.
Rape Crisis England & Wales is the umbrella body for a network of independent Rape Crisis Centres; they exist to improve services and promote the needs and rights of women and girls who have experienced sexual abuse, rape and all forms of sexual violence. In addition to their work with physical Rape Crisis Centres the RCEW also provide a helpline (0808 500 2222) open 24 hours a day every day of the year, as well as online live chat for confidential emotional support via their website.
Refuge is the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic and gender-based violence services. They offer a range of support for women and children affected by domestic violence, sexual violence, ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, FGM, human trafficking or modern slavery; these include advocacy, community support and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247) open 24-hours a day, as well as online live chat available 3pm to 10pm Monday to Friday. The Refuge website has a wide range of information and advice related to domestic abuse as well.
Respect offer advice and emotional support to men who experience domestic abuse, and signpost to other vital services that help men keep themselves (and their children) safe. They provide a helpline (0808 8010327) for one-to-one support, as well as webchat which is accessible via the Respect website on Wednesday from 10am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm. Respect have an e-mail service available on request as well.
Rights of Women is a legal charity dedicated to achieving equality, justice and safety in the law for all women. They provide free, confidential legal advice by specialist women solicitors and barristers, enable women to understand and benefit from their legal rights and campaign to ensure that women’s voices are heard and law and policy meets all women’s needs. The Rights of Women website has a range of information on various legal issues; for more specific advice, they offer helplines dealing with aspects of family law, criminal law, immigration law and sexual harassment (please see the website for full details, as contact numbers vary based on region).
Survive offers specialist counselling and support work to men and women across North Yorkshire who have experienced sexual trauma including rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse as well as grooming, sexual exploitation and the coercive sexual control often present in abusive relationships. They offer a helpline for anyone affected by sexual violence Monday to Thursday between 10am and 12pm – contact number 0808 145 1887.
SurvivorsUK are dedicated to helping sexually abused men, no matter when the abuse happened. In addition to general advice and information, they also offer an online helpline service for men who have experienced sexual abuse as well as their friends and family via their website.
The HAVOCA Forum is a space for adults affected by child abuse to speak with, advise and support each other. HAVOCA itself is an international charity run by survivors of childhood abuse which believes ‘every survivor has the right to become a thriver’; in addition to the forum, their website also offers a range of resources, links and articles to help sustain individual recovery.
The Survivors’ Trust is the largest umbrella agency for specialist rape and sexual abuse services in the UK; in addition to assisting these services directly, they provide advice and support to survivors of sexual trauma via their website and helpline (08088 010818). The Survivors’ Trust also have a comprehensive database of resources to help those struggling with many aspects of trauma available online.
We Stand are a dedicated team made up of trained volunteers, professionals and specialised therapists who provide a unique, holistic approach to supporting families impacted by child sexual abuse. They offer a national helpline (0800 980 1958), counselling for non-abusing parents and carers, legal advice and more; please see their website for further information.
Mind Information & Support – How to Cope With Anger explains anger, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. Also includes advice for friends and family.
Mind Information & Support – Stress explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you; includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support.
NHS Inform – Anger is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage anger; it explains the causes of anger issues and attempts to establish simple, practical ways to address these in order to improve quality of life.
Bipolar UK is a national charity focussing on the challenges faced by those affected by bipolar disorder. Their moderated e-community is an online space where people can share experiences and receive support and has around 20,000 registered members; they also provide 1:1 peer support by telephone/e-mail and facilitate local support groups for people with a bipolar diagnosis as well as friends or family members.
Depression UK are a charity who provide support for those affected by or at risk from depression. In addition to a newsletter and various articles available via their website, Depression UK also provide a supportive online community with private forums and a penfriend scheme to help combat feelings of isolation or loneliness.
Mind Information & Support – Bipolar Disorder explains what bipolar disorder is, what kinds of treatment are available, and how you can help yourself cope. Also provides guidance on what friends and family can do to help.
Mind Information & Support – Depression explains depression, its symptoms and possible causes, and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips on caring for yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
NHS Inform – Depression is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage symptoms of depression; it explains the basic causes and effects of the condition and attempts to establish simple, practical ways to address these in order to improve quality of life.
NHS Inform – Mind to Mind (Lift Your Mood) is a collection of videos and other resources created by NHS Scotland, primarily focussed on real people and how they have managed to recover from depression. They also have some short presentations by doctors and other experts with practical advice on recognising early warning signs and techniques to manage low mood.
NHS Inform – Self-Esteem is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage low self-esteem. The guide is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which helps you to examine how you think about your life and challenge negative automatic thoughts to free yourself from unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns.
Everymindmatters: We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, so discover what works for you.
Living life to the full: Free online courses covering low mood, stress and resilience.
Recovery College Online: Provides a range of online educational courses and resources to people with experience of mental illness.
Beating the blues: Beating the Blues will teach you to think differently about yourself and the things that happen to you. CBT for depression and anxiety.
Mood Gym: Self-help training in CBT for anxiety and depression.
Reading well: A useful website with recommended books.
Papyrus: We provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through our helpline, HOPELINEUK.0800 068 4141 [email protected]
Childline: Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. You can talk to us:- by calling 0800 1111 – by email (sign into website) – through 1-2-1 counsellor chat
Mindful: Depression and anxiety issues for young people (ages 11-17).
Young Minds: Help and support for young people and parents.
YorOk: Support for parents, carers, children, young people and anyone who works with children, young people and families.
Survive: We are a York based charity, supporting Survivors of rape, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse and any form of sexual violence or abuse.We are currently the only specialist organisation supporting both male and female Survivors in North Yorkshire.
York Survive: 01904 638813
IDAS: Helping those through domestic and sexual abuse, IDAS – 24hr Helpline 03000 110 110, Rape – Crisis 0808 802 9999, Sexual Abuse Referral Centre (SARC) – 01904 669 339
Beat are the UK’s principle eating disorder charity, working to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. They offer a range of support anyone affected, ranging from advice about treatment or managing difficult emotions to online support groups. BEAT have a telephone helpline (0808 801 0677) open from 1pm to 9pm through the week and from 5pm to 9pm on weekends and bank holidays. This is in addition to online or
telephone-based inerventions, peer support groups/workshops and an e-mail service – please see their website for full details.
Helpline: 0808 801 0677
Email: [email protected]
The Beat Youth line is open to anyone under 18.
Youth line: 0808 801 0711
Email: [email protected]
The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation aims to advance education and understanding of BDD. They support research into BDD and its treatments, and offer a variety of advice, information and active support via their website including support groups, outreach via e-mail and assistance in locating local resources which may be beneficial.
Mind Information & Support – Eating Problems explains eating problems, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
SEED is a support network in the East Riding of Yorkshire formed by a group of ordinary people with first-hand experience of eating disorders. They offer a range of workshops, support groups and resources designed to promote and sustain recovery, including two online courses focussing on practical ways to address depression or anxiety and use mindfulness techniques to help manage disordered eating patterns.
Talk-ED are a national charity dedicated to providing emotional support and practical advice to anyone affected by an eating disorder in the UK – those struggling personally as well as parents, families and friends. They offer befriending, nutritional coaching and various other services; please see their website for full details.
CRUSE: Helping those through bereavement.
To contact York Cruse please call: 01904 481162 or Email: [email protected] or you can send us a message through our Facebook page via Messenger.
Sudden: Our vision is that people bereaved suddenly get help at a time of darkness to move to a brighter day.
Grief Encounter support bereaved children and their families to alleviate the pain caused by the death of someone close. In addition to their helpline (contact no. 0808 802 0111) available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, they also offer a variety of other support via their website.
NHS Inform – Bereavement and Grief is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage their emotions following the loss of someone close. The guide uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to help cope with the experience of grief; there are also tips taken from other kinds of therapy, including interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and different types of grief therapy.
SANDS is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK, and work to reduce the number of babies dying and ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it.
Sands provides bereavement support services both nationally through its freephone helpline (0808 164 3332; available Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings 6pm to 9pm), mobile app, online community and resources, and locally through a UK-wide network of around 100 regional support groups.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide provides support to those who have been bereaved by a suicide, and seeks to help people understand, adjust and grieve by reducing feelings of isolation and vulnerability. SoBS provide a helpline (0300 111 5065) as well offering a variety of other services and resources (including details for local or online support groups) via their website.
The Compassionate Friends is a charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other similarly bereaved family members who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age and from any cause. They provide support via their helpline (03451 232 304), online and through local support groups.
The Good Grief Trust is an organisation run by and for people who have experienced bereavement; it exists to help all those affected by grief in the UK. Their vision is to help those bereaved from day one, acknowledge their grief and provide reassurance, a virtual hand of friendship and ongoing support. They offer a variety of helpful resources accessible via their website, including specific advice relating to the loss of friends, partners, siblings etc.
Changing Lives: Helping those with Alcohol/ Substance and drug addictions
You are now able to self refer to the service www.changing-lives.org.uk
3 Blossom Street, York, YO24 1AU
Telephone: 01904 464680
GamCare: GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling. We operate the National Gambling Helpline, provide treatment for problem gamblers and their families, create awareness about responsible gambling and treatment, and encourage an effective approach to responsible gambling within the gambling industry.
Call us on Freephone 0808 8020 133
Adfam provide help, support and advice to family members and health professionals affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Their website has a variety of useful links and information, including video support sessions for families of people struggle with drink or drug problems; they also offer a range of direct support in York and North Yorkshire including 1-2-1 sessions, workshops and peer support groups.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a nationwide service concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to them for help. Alcoholics Anonymous primary work through local support groups – details on these are accessible via their website.
DrugFAM is a not-for-profit charity run by the Nicholas Mills Foundation; they provide a lifeline of safe and caring support to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s drug, alcohol or gambling problems. In addition to one-to-one and group support offered online, DrugFAM also have a dedicated helpline (0300 888 3853) open 9am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday.
FRANK is a national anti-drug advisory service jointly established by the Department of Health and Home Office. It is intended to reduce the use of both legal and illegal drugs by educating teenagers and adolescents about the potential effects of drugs; the website has a range of information and advice, as well as details about treatment or other support available locally.
Narcotics Anonymous UK is a non-profit fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs, carried out through support groups; please see their website for full details. They also offer a helpline (0300 999 1212), which is open from 10am to midnight.
St Nicks: Nicks is the green heart of York: a centre for nature and green living, with an ambitious vision for York. With the help of volunteers we maintain the land around the centreEnvironment Centre, Rawdon Avenue, York YO10 3ST. Tel: 01904 411821Volunteering queries – [email protected]
Victim support: As an independent charity, we work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve. We help people feel safer and find the strength to move beyond crime. Our support is free, confidential and tailored to your needs. Number : 08081 689111.
Reflect: For support with Pregnancy choices, Post abortion , Miscarriage and Stillbirth.
Call – York: 01904 67 67 10
Text – York: 07517 624750
Email: [email protected]
Reflect, The Gateway Centre,
If you would like to improve your sleep or are struggling to get good quality sleep the following may be useful sources.
- Sleep council.org.uk
- The life saving benefits of good sleep – British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (bslm.org.uk)
NHS Digital have created a library of useful health apps. We have put together some that will be useful with this condition.
- Action For Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. Their website offers a range of simple, practical resources to help you increase your meaningful activity, build positive connections with others and generally feel better about yourself.
- Be Mindful Online is an online Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course and is approved by the NHS. The Be Mindful pathway reduces levels of stress, depression and anxiety, and was designed by experts so you can learn to practise mindfulness at a speed you are comfortable with – the 4-week programme of mindfulness training is completed at your own pace. Leading mindfulness teachers guide you through instructional videos, interactive sessions, and mindfulness assignments supported by motivational e-mails. Please note that there is an associated charge for the Be Mindful Online service. There is a free introduction available via the Be Mindful Online website.
- Breathing and Relaxation Exercises for Stress is a collection of resources put together by NHS Scotland you can do to relieve stress and relax your body and mind. They are designed to be simple and can be done at home, at work or out and about. For some of them it helps to lie down, or sit, but they will still work if you aren’t able to do those things; the exercises include playlists you can listen to as well as short films to ‘follow along’.
- Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm, and aims to help users to channel the urge to self-harm in more constructive ways.
- Catch It is an app developed by the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester, to help users better understand their moods through use of an ongoing diary. It was designed to illustrate some of the key principles of psychological approaches to mental health and well-being, and specifically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
- Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and uses the evidence-based treatment CBT to focus on learning to reduce the physical responses to anxiety by learning to breathe, relax and be mindful as well as changing thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions.
- Crisis Tools was co-produced by the NHS, Young Minds, 42nd Street and YPAS; it’s a collection of online guides, tools and resources designed to improve your confidence, knowledge and skills in supporting young people in crisis. Everything on the site is free and was created by young people working in partnership with mental health experts.
- DadPad is an app which provides on-the-go advice to help fathers enjoy their babies, feel more confident and support their mental and emotional wellbeing. It offers fathers with practical tips on things like feeding, sleeping and bonding with your baby as well as information to help dads adjust to their new roles and cope with the physical and emotional strains having a baby can place on individuals and relationships. DadPad is available free to new and expectant fathers in County Durham and Darlington, Teeside, North Yorkshire and York under contract by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) focuses on teaching people strategies to help them live their best and most productive life, with an emphasis on mindfulness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. DBT is often used to help people with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorders, addictions, eating disorder, and PTSD – the website above offers several short courses designed to teach the fundamentals of DBT and provide some helpful strategies for managing difficult emotions.
- MindEd is a free educational resource on children, young people, adults and older people’s mental health created by NHS Health Education England. The website has a collection of e-learning packages applicable across the health, social care, education, criminal justice and community settings, and is aimed at anyone from beginner through to specialist.
- My Possible Self was developed to provide an easily-accessible toolkit to help manage anxiety, low mood and a range of other mental health issues. The app contains various resources, including ways to monitor your mood, visual and audio exercises to help manage difficult emotions or aid sleep and a tag/tracking system to establish when people, places and events influence your mental health.
- NHS Mental Wellbeing Audio Guides serve as brief, informative introductions to a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress; they were created by healthcare professionals working for the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. There are also a selection of transcripts from these audio guides available online here, which can be translated into other languages by clicking the ‘Recite Me’ bar at the top of the screen and using the ‘Change Language’ option there.
- NHS Inform – Problem-Solving Guide is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people develop the skills and resilience required to identify and constructively engage with challenging issues or situations. The guide is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and uses a variety of techniques derived from this approach.
- NHS Inform – PTSD and CPTSD is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage mild to moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Based on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Therapy, this resource attempts to establish simple, practical ways to address negative symptoms of PTSD in order to improve quality of life. Please be aware that this is not intended as a replacement for proper trauma-focussed psychological interventions.
- NHS (TEWV) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a particular way of paying attention to the present moment. When we’re tuned in to the present moment, the mind is less likely to get caught up in unhelpful patterns of thinking and feeling; mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts and emotions and relate to them in a different way. Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust offer full courses intended to help develop these skills in combination with elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy – the team provide brief initial sessions designed to introduce people to the basic principles of mindful practice with an associated full course for those who are interested in further developing these skills. Please contact the team at [email protected] if you are interested in attending.
- PTSD Coach is an app developed by the US department of Veteran’s Affairs for those who have, or may have, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The app provides you with education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support (note that some of these are local to the US) and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD. Tools range from relaxation skills and positive self-talk to anger management and other common self-help strategies. You can customize tools based on your preferences and integrate your own contacts, photos, and music.
- Recovery College Online is a free online mental health resource designed by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. The Recovery College provides a range of online educational courses to people with experience of mental illness, from service users to their family to friends and staff.
- Recovery Record is a free app developed as a personalised eating disorder management companion. If you are struggling with body, shape or weight concerns, Recovery Record can help you build and maintain your recovery with goals, coping tactics and customised monitoring tools.
- Safe Places is a nationwide scheme intended to provide safe, supportive environments for vulnerable people if they feel scared or at risk while they are out and about in the community. Their free-to-use Safe Places apps show all the Safe Places in districts that have decided to make the apps available. The apps have a function called ‘Get me to my nearest Safe Place Now’ (panic button) which immediately directs you to the nearest open Safe Place. If no Safe Place is located within a 15-minute walk it will automatically offer to call the non-emergency 101 number to get help over the phone.
- SafeSpot is an app designed to help young people improve their coping skills which gives you your own personalized coping plan, useful strategies and tools to help and directions to local resources. The SafeSpot website also has a collection of workbooks to help understand, cope with and reduce stress which you might find helpful.
- Samaritans Self-Help is an app designed to provide a type of support that you can use without having to discuss your feelings with someone else. It will help you learn safe, memorable techniques for coping with things that are troubling you, through a range of interactive features. It can also help you make a plan to stay safe in a crisis, and keep track of things you can do away from the app to help yourself feel better.
- Sleepio is a 6 week online program designed by sleep experts and based on cognitive and behavioural techniques; it has been reviewed and approved by the NHS. Each week during your Sleepio course you will ‘Visit The Prof’ to receive your weekly session. Each session is automated, yet the content is tailored to your particular problems (based on the Sleep Test questionnaire you complete before the course), your week-to-week progress in improving your sleep and the choices you make during the session. Please note that Sleepio is not currently free to NHS clients in North or East Yorkshire; current charges are listed on the app website.
- Stay Alive is a suicide prevention resource for the UK provided by the Grassroots suicide prevention charity, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. In addition to the resources, the app includes a safety plan, customisable reasons for living, and a LifeBox. Here you can store photos and memories that are important to you.
- The Medito App is intended for people who have never meditated before or want to deepen their meditation practice; it’s completely free, containing no ads, no spam and with no need to sign up or pay. The app includes a beginner and intermediate course, sleep sounds & meditations, breathing exercises, a stress & anxiety pack, and much more.
- Qwell is free, safe and an anonymous online mental health and wellbeing service, available to all adults aged 19+ in the Vale of York area. This has been commissioned by Vale of York CCG. Adults can access optional support from BACP accredited counsellors and qualified emotional wellbeing practitioners, alongside the chance to access support from peers via moderated discussion forums and self-help through reading and submitting content. There are no waiting lists, no referrals and no thresholds required to access the service and it is available 24/7, 365 days of the year; please see their website for registration details.
Action on Postpartum Psychosis is a collaborative project run by women who have experienced postpartum psychosis, specialist health professionals and academic experts from Birmingham and Cardiff Universities. They provide up-to-date information to women who have experienced postpartum psychosis and their families, facilitate research into all aspects of the condition and advocate for improved services for women and their families; APP also run a range of peer support programmes from online forums to 1:1 support, with full details available via their website.
Maternal OCD is a charity co-founded by two mothers, Maria Bavetta and Diana Wilson, who have experienced and recovered from extreme perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). They offer a variety of help, advice and information regarding maternal OCD via their website.
Out of the Blue is a series of short educational films that was designed to address and support parents who may be experiencing a wide range of mental health problems: from generalised low mood and anxiety to severe depression and postpartum psychosis. The films are accessible via a free app – full details are available on the Out of the Blue website.
PANDAS support and advise any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness; they also inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering. Support is available via their helpline (0808 1961 776), e-mail ([email protected]), WhatsApp (see website for details) and online groups.
The Association for Postpartum Illness (APNI) works with people affected by any form of postpartum illness, both mothers and their families, with a focus on postnatal depression. Their website offers a range of information and advice; it is also possible to contact them via telephone (0207 386 0868) or e-mail ([email protected]). Women suffering from postnatal depression can access a countrywide network of phone, e-mail and postal volunteers managed by APNI who have had, and recovered from, post-natal illness who will contact them at regular intervals throughout their illness and the recovery period. They also provide a similar service for the partners and families of affected women – full details are available online (https://apni.org/our-function/).
The Birth Trauma Association is a charity that supports women who suffer birth trauma – a shorthand term for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – after birth. Their website has a range of information related to birth trauma and related subjects.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists offers a comprehensive guide to some of the more prevalent questions related to mental health during and after pregnancy.
Tommy’s are a childbirth support charity with a range of online resources on mental health and pregnancy.
Anxiety UK is a dedicated, friendly and approachable charity that believes that anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression are treatable and manageable. They offer a range of innovative and high quality services delivered by professionals, supported by staff and volunteers with personal experience of anxiety, stress, and anxiety based depression. These include basic information and advice on their website and via their Infoline; self-help groups; and talking therapy in person, over the telephone or via webcam.
Please note that some of Anxiety UK’s services are only available to members, and can have charges associated with them. Full details available via the Anxiety UK website.
Mark Freeman’s Health Anxiety Recovery Tips is a collection of short videos detailing simple, practical ways to address, accept and overcome health anxiety behaviours by mental health recovery expert Mark Freeman. Also, there are a few sections of this playlist which should be helpful for people struggling with any form of anxiety disorder – specifically those relating to intrusive thoughts and how compulsions form.
NHS Inform – Anxiety is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage symptoms of anxiety; it explains the causes of anxious thoughts/behaviour and attempts to establish simple, practical ways to address these in order to improve quality of life.
NHS Inform – Mind to Mind (Anxiety or Panic) and Mind to Mind (Stress) are collections of videos and other resources created by NHS Scotland, primarily focused on real people and how they have successfully managed to improve their mental health. They also have some short presentations by doctors and other experts to provide background on why anxiety or stress can feel so overwhelming.
NHS Inform – Panic is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage panic and extreme anxiety; it can be used a standalone guide or in conjunction with other NHS Inform courses on anxiety.
NHS Inform – Social Anxiety is an interactive online resource created by NHS Scotland to help people understand and manage symptoms of social anxiety; it explains the causes of anxious thoughts/behaviour and attempts to establish simple, practical ways to address these in order to improve quality of life.
No Panic is a registered charity which helps people who suffer from panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders and other related anxiety disorders including those people who are trying to give up tranquillizers. They offer a variety of free resources about all aspects of anxiety disorders on their website, as well as telephone/online support (contact no. 0300 772 9844), a befriending group service and access to their Contact Book peer support programme.
Please note that some of No Panic’s services are only available to members, and can have charges associated with them. Full details available via the No Panic website.
Mind Information & Support – Anxiety and Panic Attacks explains anxiety and panic attacks, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.