mental health

How to ask for help: where you can get mental health advice in the UK

Mental health is so important, but it can also be really hard to look after. Especially when you’re at university and it’s your first time on your own. It may feel like it isn’t alright to ask for help – but it really is. As Demi Lovato once said, It’s OK Not To Be OK. If you need help, ask for it! We’ve got a list here of where you can get mental health advice in the UK.

Emergency Help

mental health crisis
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

1. Samaritans

Call 116 123 to talk to the charity Samaritans and hear advice from trained volunteers. You can talk about anything, and they will help or guide you to services that can provide even further support.

2. Shout Crisis Text Line

Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Text Line, or “YM” if you’re under 19.

3. 999

Call the ambulance service on 999 if you feel that you are not safe

4. 111

If you don’t feel that you want to call 999 and can keep yourself safe for a little while, call or visit the online 111 service.

5. NHS urgent mental health helpline 

Only available in England, these mental health helplines are available to anyone for 24hr support from mental health professionals and assessments to help you decide on the best course of care.

Support

mental health support
Source: Dublin City University

1. Samaritans

Not only can you call Samaritans, but you can email jo@samaritans.org too, or visit their website for resources, support and guidance. They provide non-judgemental support for those in distress.

2. Mind

Call Mind on 0300 123 3393 9pm to 6am, or text 86463. Mind provides support and confidential information services to anyone in need.

3. Student Support Services

Every university has a student support team, even if they aren’t easy to find. Always know who your support team are from the first day of first year so that if you ever need them, you know who to contact.

Information

mental health support
Source: Business Insider

If you’re looking for some activities, information or resources to help you get through a crisis, or even just day to day life, there is plenty out there online. Some of the best resources and information can be found at:

1. Mind 

Mind has a whole section of their website dedicated to tips for everyday living. On it, you will find support for carers, information regarding food, insurance, LGBT mental health, loneliness, mindfulness, money and mental health, nature and mental health, online mental health, relaxation, physical activity, sleep, stress, student life and wellbeing.

2. Living Life to the Full 

Living Life to the Full have lots of different online self-help courses that are well-reviewed and recommended by medical professionals. They cover things like negative thoughts, guilt, sadness, etc.

3. Mental Health UK 

Mental Health UK has a wide range of printable, downloadable resources to help you manage your mental health. You can work through their Wellbeing Plan and Stress Buckett, or you can read through their guidance booklets.

Reaching out

mental health crisis

If you just need a chat, but you aren’t sure how to approach the topic with family or friends, try some of these suggestions.

  • Find a way or talking that works for you. This might not be face to face, it might even just be over text. But make sure you feel comfortable, as otherwise the conversation will be that much harder.
  • Find a suitable time and place. Don’t call your friend up on their lunch break, or on yours. Find a period of time when you’ve got the spare time to go into detail and talk through how you’re feeling.
  • Practice what you’re going to say. Maybe even write it down. If you know that you’re likely to get overwhelmed, this will definitely help.
  • Offer information and examples. If you know that whoever you’re chatting to isn’t hugely familiar or knowledgeable about the issues you’re discussing, make sure you’ve got useful stuff to back you up.
  • Suggest ways they could help. Give them a couple of things that won’t be asking too much that can help you. If you suffer with anxiety and schedules are a must for you, ask them to try harder to be on time, for example.

The most important thing to remember when you’re suffering with mental health is that you are not alone. All of these services and the people in your life are happy to be there for you and are there to help you through what you’re dealing with.

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