As many as one in four people will experience some form of mental illness at some point in their lives. Mental health problems range from reactions to normal life events, such as bereavement and relationship breakdowns and depression, to more complex conditions such as schizophrenia.
If you are experiencing mental health problems it is important to know that you are not alone and there is plenty of help out there to improve your mental well-being.
The first place to get help is your GP. They are best placed to offer you initial advice on how to deal with your symptoms and talk to you about available treatments and support services in your area.
If you are already a service user and you have a mental health crisis during office hours, your first point of contact should be the person that you usually see (your care coordinator, or named lead professional).
If you, or a friend or relative are experiencing mental health problems for the first time and need emergency treatment or advice during office hours, then you should contact your general practitioner (GP). They will be able to refer you to the most appropriate mental health service in your area.
In an emergency, if your GP surgery is closed, go to a hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E) desk or call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
Our of hours emergencies (5pm-9am, Monday to Friday; and Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays)
In a serious mental health crisis out of hours call Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (the main provider of mental health care in Kensington and Chelsea and Queen’s Park and Paddington) out of hours urgent advice line on 0800 0234 650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Single Point of Access offers mental health triage for routine, urgent and emergency referrals, information and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days per year.
NHS mood self-assessment quiz
This quiz uses questions that GPs often use to assess whether someone is anxious or depressed. It also includes links to useful information and advice on mental wellbeing.
There are 18 questions altogether. With each one, you’ll need to think about how you’ve been feeling over the past 2 weeks.
You can monitor any ups and downs of your mood by revisiting this self-assessment quiz at any time.
Coping with mental health
If you have concerns about your health and wellbeing, you’ll find lots of tips and advice on dealing with stress, anxiety and depression in the Moodzone.
CAMHS for children and young people
CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and treats young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
CAMHS support covers depression, problems with food, self-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar, schizophrenia and anxiety, to name a few.
There are local NHS CAMHS services around the UK, with teams made up of nurses, therapists, psychologists, support workers and social workers, as well as other professionals.
For more information click here.
To find out more about mental health and for a range of useful tools to help with your mental wellbeing, visit the NHS Choices website.
There are also a number of charities that provide support and advice to people with mental health illnesses. The links below take you to their websites: