Free UK mental health resources

If you are struggling and need emotional support during lockdown, here are 10 free mental health services that you can access without leaving home.

Whether you have existing mental health issues or are facing new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vitally important to look after your mental wellbeing.

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If at any point you feel like you need mental health support, reach out as soon as possible. And don’t worry about the current social distancing measures in place. There are many support services available that don’t require face to face contact.

Whether you feel you’ve reached a crisis and you can’t cope, or want to seek help before things get to that point, the following 10 mental health resources are available free in the UK.

1. Samaritans

The Samaritans charity offers emotional support to people in distress and those who are struggling to cope. Whatever you’re going through, Samaritans is available to listen 24 hours a day. You can call them from any phone for free on 116 123.

Sometimes writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you understand them better. If this is the case for you, or if you feel you may get too upset talking on the phone, you can email [email protected] and a Samaritans volunteer will respond within 24 hours.

2. Mind

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Mind is one of the UK's leading charities dedicated to supporting and promoting the needs of people with mental health problems. Its website is packed with information on mental wellbeing, from guides to common mental illnesses to advice on how to deal with them.

For support you can call their Infoline on 0300 123 3393, email [email protected] or text 86463. Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

3. Elefriends

Elefriends is an online community offering peer support and a safe place to talk about what is troubling you. It’s a safe place to share experiences and to listen to and support others.

The project is funded by Mind and is overseen by trained moderators, who are available from 10am to midnight.

4. Young Minds

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Young Minds is a specialist mental health service dedicated to improving children and adolescents’ mental health. Its website has a plethora of resources to help you support the young people in your life.

The charity also offers a Parents Helpline (call 0808 802 5544 or use the contact form). There’s also a YoungMinds Crisis Messenger service for young people, which is accessed by texting YM to 85258.

5. Every Mind Matters

This campaign is run by the NHS and offers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental wellbeing.

There’s lots of advice available, including practical guides to help you manage stress and anxiety. You can also answer a short quiz on your mental health and you’ll be sent a personalised plan to help you deal with what’s going on.

6. Mental Health Foundation

If you are looking for information on mental illness, the Mental Health Foundation offers many resources to help you understand your own mental wellbeing or that of others.

On the foundation’s website you’ll find articles, videos and even podcasts discussing and advising on all aspects of mental health.

7. CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) was created to combat suicides in the UK.

CALM’s helpline (0800 58 58 58) is open 5pm-midnight every single day and a webchat service is open the same hours.

8. Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.

Cruse has put together resources to illustrate how bereavement and grief may be affected by the pandemic. The resources cover some of the different situations and emotions bereaved people may have to deal with and offers advice on how to cope with these issues.

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9. Shout

Shout is the UK's first text-based crisis service, available every day including weekends and bank holidays.

If you are feeling anxious, worried or stressed to a point where you can't cope, text Shout to 85258 and one of a team of trained Crisis Volunteers will help you to work through your feelings and identify ways to feel better.

10. Support for domestic abuse

If you feel at risk of abuse, it’s important to know that there is help available to you. You should also know that government guidelines advise leaving your home if you are experiencing or worried you may experience domestic abuse.

Charity Refuge supports women and children suffering from domestic abuse and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247).

Respect is another domestic abuse charity and has a special helpline for male victims: the Men’s Advice Line (0808 801 0327).

If you feel you need something more…

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Online resources, chatrooms and helplines are all fantastic resources. But if you are regularly having issues with your mental health, you might well benefit from counselling or other talking therapies.

Many mental health professionals are currently offering virtual sessions, so don’t feel you have to wait until lockdown is lifted to start seeking help.

Speak to your GP about services available to you on the NHS, or search online for therapists in your area.

To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337

or make an online enquiry.

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