Where to get help and advice

The Centre for Mental Health cannot respond to individual medical queries. If you are at all concerned about your health or the health of a friend or relative we advise you to contact your doctor or find information from one of the sources below.

Immediate help


08457 90 90 90 (local rate), 24 hours a day

email: jo@samaritans.org, web: www.samaritans.org
Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.

NHS mental health services

Find local mental health services on the NHS website.

You can also get mental health advice from NHS Direct.

Mental health help and advice

Mental Health Helplines Partnership

The MHHP is an independent registered charity that works in partnership with the providers of mental health helplines to improve the quality of services to people suffering from ill health and those caring for or treating them. The list of partner providers should be useful for those seeking particular help.

Health Talk Online

The Health Talk Online website lets you share in other people's experiences of health and illness, and has a particularly good section on psychosis.

The Mental Health Foundation

The website has lots of information


HaveIGotAProblem.com is by the Tasha Foundation and is a free resource about mental health and addiction issues. It has advice and documents on issues including depression, anxiety, self-harm, bipolar, eating disorders and coping.


InfoLine 0300 123 3393
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm
or e-mail info@mind.org.uk
Offers advice and support to service users; has a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help and assistance.

NHS Direct

0845 46 47
Web: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
Scotland - 0845 4 24 24 24 Web: www.nhs24.com

Rethink Mental Illness

National Advice Service - 0300 5000 927 or 020 7840 3188 (local rate on BT landlines)
Open 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday or e-mail advice@rethink.org
General enquiries - 0845 456 0455 / info@rethink.org
Support forum: www.rethink.org/talk
Rethink Mental Illness works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, recover a better quality of life. It provides effective services and support and campaigns for change through greater awareness and understanding. Visit www.rethink.org (Rethink was formerly called the National Schizophrenia Fellowship.).


Saneline 0845 767 8000 (local rate on BT landlines)
Open 6pm - 11pm every day or you can email sanemail@sane.org.uk
Support Forum: www.sane.org.uk/DB
SANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.

Help and advice for children and young people


Helpline 0800 1111
24 hours a day, calls free from landlines and most mobiles
Email ChildLine
Text Receive information on a specific issue by choosing a key word and texting 78101
Web: www.childline.org.uk
Message boards: ChildLine message boards
Chat: ChildLine 1-2-2 chat
Provides advice, support, topics and games to children

Get Connected

Helpline 0808 808 4994
1pm - 11pm daily, calls free from landlines and most mobiles
Text Get free advice by text by texting 80849 between 1pm and 5pm
Email Get Connected
Web: www.getconnected.org.uk
Chat: Webchat from 1pm to 11pm daily
Provides help, support and social networking to under 25s

The Lowdown

Helpline 0808 802 4444
Open 10am - 6pm Monday to Friday, calls free from landlines and most mobiles
Web: www.getthelowdown.co.uk
A confidential guide to health for teenagers, including a comprehensive guide to the 'mind'

My Personal Best

Web: www.mypersonalbest.org.uk
A young-people led, web based community focusing on promoting well-being and positive self-esteem. The website has been developed and managed by volunteers across the UK, who have conducted research, built a range of resources; leaflets and downloads, video clips and podcasts; and have created safe online services offering specific support.


HopeLine UK 0800 684141
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and 7pm-10pm; 2pm - 5pm weekends Web www.papyrus-uk.org
Supports young people (35 years and under) at risk of suicide and those concerned about them

Students Against Depression

Web: www.studentdepression.org
Blogs: Student depressions blogs
Provides information, resources, discussion and real student stories

Talk to Frank

0800 776600
24 hours a day, text 82111, or email
Web www.talktofrank.com/
Provides young people with information on drugs, including an A-Z

Young Minds

Parents Helpline 0808 802 5544
Monday-Friday 9.30-4pm, calls free from landlines and most mobiles, or e-mail parents@youngminds.org.uk
Web: www.youngminds.org.uk
Parents support forum: www.shareyourstory.org.uk
Provide information and advice service to parents with a concern about their child's emotional problems or behaviour

Youth Health Talk

01865 744209
Support forum: //myyouthhelptalk.org requires registration
Web www.youthhealthtalk.org/
Provides an A-Z of conditions and encourages talk about health and life in general

Youth 2 Youth

Helpline 020 889 3675
6.30pm - 9.30pm Monday to Friday
Email youth2Youth
Web: www.youth2youth.co.uk
Chat: Onlinechat for under nineteen year-olds
Run by Kidscape, this is a helpline service run by young people for young people, aged 11 - 19

How can I get the most out of my GP appointment?

This short film by young people for young people answers questions about what happens when you visit your doctor.

Specific help and advice


Web www.addandadhd.co.uk/
Advice on Attention deficit disorders

Alcoholics Anonymous

Helpline 08457 697555 (local rate on BT landlines), or e-mail help@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
Web: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
Offers advice and support on alcohol issues

Alcohol Concern

National Drink Helpline 0800 917 8282 (freephone for landlines)
Web: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk
Offers advice, information, factsheets and support on alcohol issues, plus a programme of training courses

Alzheimer's Society

helpline 0845 300 0336 Monday - Friday 8.30am to 6:30pm
Support forum: forum.alzheimers.org.uk/forum
Web: www.alzheimers.org.uk
Information about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia issues

Anxiety UK

Support forum: www.anxietyuk.org.uk/register/
Web www.anxietyuk.org.uk/
A number of resources and publications are available on the website including factsheets, plus Alcohol Concern offers a programme of training courses


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in different ways. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism.

For more information about Autism and Asperger syndrome, visit the National Autistic Society for information, advice and support. You can also find services in your area.

beat - Beating Eating Disorders

Helpline for adults (18+) - 0845 634 1414
Monday - Friday 10.30am to 8:30pm and Sat 1:00pm to 4:30pm, or e-mail help@b-eat.co.uk

beat youthline, helpline for young people (25 and under) - 0845 634 7650
Mon - Fri 4.30pm to 8:30pm and Sat 1:00pm to 4:30pm, or e-mail fyp@b-eat.co.uk
Monday - Friday 10.30am to 8:30pm and Sat 1:00pm to 4:30pm
Message boards at www.beat.co.uk/YoungPeople/MessageBoards

The Bipolar Foundation

Web www.bipolar-foundation.org/
Find out more about bipolar disorder, including the latest research, and share your experiences.

Bipolar UK

020 7931 6480 9am - 5pm weekdays
Bipolar UK supports individuals with the condition of bipolar, and their families and carers. They work to enable people affected by bipolar (also known as manic depression) to take control of their lives(previously MDF The Bipolar Organisation).

Dealing with Depression

Web www.dealingwithdepression.co.uk/
online forum (requiring registration) offering help, advice, tips and links.

Depression Alliance

Web www.depressionalliance.org/
a national network of support groups for people with depression. Provides information on symptoms, treatments and help.

Hearing Voices Network

helpline 0161 834 5768
- advice and a network of local groups available to people who hear voices, their carers and workers.

Royal British Legion

Helpline: 08457 725725

The Royal British Legion provides care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families.

Mental Health Care

Contact via email
Provides information for family members and friends of people who have psychosis. Also features helpful pages on other mental health problems.


The Mind website has information on specific conditions.

National Drinkline

0800 917 8282 (freephone for landlines)
Drinkline offers information and self-help materials, help to callers worried about their own drinking, support to the family and friends of people who are drinking and advice to callers on where to go for help.

National self harm network

0800 622 6000 (freephone for landlines) 7pm - 11pm Thursday - Saturday; 6.30pm - 10.30pm Sunday
Support forum: www.nshn.co.uk/forum requires registration
Web www.nshm.co.uk/
support network for individuals who self harm, friends, family and carers Offers information, reources and material to download from the website.

No Panic:

helpline 0808 808 0545
10am-10pm daily
offers support for people experiencing panic attacks, phobias, etc


0845 450 0212
11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm weekdays; 24-hour message service, or e-mail ask@release.org.uk
Web: www.release.org.uk
Offers advice and provide services for people using drugs and those who work with them


The Rethink website has factsheets on specific conditions that can be downloaded.
Rethink Siblings is a network for anyone whose brother or sister has experienced mental illness.

Tourettes Action

0845 458 1252
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5pm
Support forum: forum.tourettes-action.org.uk
Web: www.tourettes-action.org.uk Tourettes Action is a support and research charity for people with Tourettes Syndrome (TS) and their families.

Voice Collective

020 7625 9042
email info@voicecollective.co.uk
Web www.voicecollective.co.uk/
Runs peer support groups for young people (aged 12-18) who hear, see or sense things that other people don't.

In prison and prisoners' families

Action for prisoners' families

helpline 0808 808 2003 or visit www.actionpf.org.uk
Provides information about support services for prisoners' families and raises awareness of relevant issues surrounding prisoners families.

NACRO resettlement plus helpline

0800 0181 259 (freephone) or email helpline@nacro.org.uk
Provides information for prisoners who have been released from prison.

Prisoners families helpline

0808 808 2003 (freephone)
Monday - Friday 9am to 8pm weekdays, and 10am - 3pm weekends, or email info@offendersfamilieshelpline.org
Web: www.prisonersfamilieshelpline.org.uk Provides information for families and friends of prisoners.

Samaritans prison work

Samaritans works in prison throughout the UK. They operate Listener schemes by training prisoners to offer confidential emotional support to their fellow inmates and sometimes Samaritans volunteers visit the prison to offer face to face support. Prisoners can also contact Samaritans by telephone or in writing. Find out more here.

Help and advice for carers

Carers UK

Helpline - 0808 808 7777
Open Wednesday and Thursday, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm
Information, advocacy and network of local groups for carers of all kinds
Web: www.carersuk.org
Support forum: forum.carers.org

Carer Watch

Web www.carerwatch.com/
a campaign group for carers that proves up to date information on the welfare reform programme

Family Lives (previously Parentline Plus)

Helpline 0808 8002222
24 hours a day, calls free from landlines and most mobiles
Email: Family Lives email support
Web: familylives.org.uk
Chat: familylives.org.uk/chat
Provides help and support for parents and and carers

Money advice


A national network of local branches for people with mental health conditions.

Money advice service

An independent, government-funded service to help people manage their money better.

National debtline

Free advice on managing your debts.

StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange is the UK's leading debt advice charity, offering free, impartial debt advice to anyone in the UK experiencing financial problems.

Helping to raise financial awareness, StepChange provides specialist budgeting advice, help with bankruptcy, assistance with IVAs and professional debt solutions like free debt management plans. They also have a free online debt advice service called Debt Remedy.

Tax credit helpline

Helpline 0845 300 0900
Everyday, 8am to 8pm

Turn 2 Us

Turn 2 Us is a charitable service which helps people access their money available to them - through welfare benefits, grants and other help.
Website: www.turn2us.org.uk

Local support and advocacy groups


The Mind website features a useful and informative section on keeping on top of your personal finances www.mind.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness

runs local services, mainly support for carers

Depression Alliance

has a national network of support groups for people with depression


runs a range of services including advocacy, community support, day support, employment and work-training schemes and services for carers


029 2069 2891, or email info@journeysonline.org.uk
Web: www.journeysonline.org.uk
- supporting people affected by depression in Wales, and their family and friends

All Wales Mental Health Promotion Network

Useful information and contacts.

Action on Depression

Helpline 0808 802 2020, 11am - 1pm, 2pm - 4pm Monday - Thursday, (free for landlines and mobiles) Email info@actionondepression.org
Web www.actionondepression.org
Provides information and support, including an online cognitive behavioural therapy-based course (Previously known as Depression Alliance Scotland)

Breathing Space Scotland

Helpline 0800 838587, 6pm - 2am Monday - Thursday, 6pm Friday - 6am Monday
Web www.breathingspacescotland.co.uk
phoneline service offering advice, online self-help advice and support group directory

Support in Mind Scotland

0131 662 4359, or email info@supportinmindscotland.org.uk
- provides information, advice and support

Scottish Association for Mental Health

0800 917 3466 Monday - Friday 2pm - 4.30pm, or email info@samh.org.uk
- information on community-based services, contacts, etc.

Counselling and therapy

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy
- can help you find a therapist: search the directory on their website at www.bacp.co.uk

Visit Mind's website for more information about talking therapies.

Legal advice

Community Legal Advice
helpline 0845 345 4345, from 4p/min (or they can call you back)or email help@communitylegaladviceorg.uk
Web: www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk
Community Legal Advice is a free and confidential advice service paid for by legal aid. They can help with problems with debt, housing, employment, education and benefits and tax credits.

Rethink Mental Illness
The Rethink Mental Illness website provides basic information about legislation and rights that affect people with mental health, which have been established through the courts.

Other sources

Plus in most places people may be able to get assistance from:

  • The PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) which should now be available in every NHS trust in England to deal with any concerns or complaints for service users, relatives and carers;
  • Citizens' Advice Bureaux: to offer advice and information on issues such as benefits, health services, housing, consumer/employment rights, etc.

Complaints about the NHS

Serious concerns about NHS care can be directed to:

  • The complaints service at the NHS trust concerned (in the first instance: details should be available locally);
  • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman: initial enquiries can be made to 0345 015 4033 or 020 7217 4051; complaints must be in writing (for serious cases or complaints that have not been addressed properly);
  • Their local MP (via constituency surgery or by phone: details locally) or council member.

Positive Steps for mental health

walking the dog image

Positive Steps is a set of tips to keep you mentally healthy.

Getting back to work

If you have a mental health condition, here's where to start.

BBC Health

Headroom was the BBC's campaign to encourage you to look after your mental wellbeing.

Although it has now closed, the BBC Health site features lots of useful information and resources.

Talking therapies explained

Talking therapies explained booklet cover imageThe Mental Health Foundation has published a guide for anyone who wants to know more about different kinds of talking therapies.

You can get it on their website.