Where can I get support for my mental health?
An important step to take is to seek help as this will play an important part towards getting and staying well. Even if you are not sure whether or not you have a specific mental health problem, it is still okay to seek help.
The best starting point is to talk to a health care professional e.g. your Doctor or GP. Your GP can help you with:
- Making a diagnosis,
- Offering you support and treatments, and
- Refer you to a specialist service.
Don’t worry if you do not have a GP. The NHS in England offers an online tool through their website for finding a GP, either close to where you live or your place of work
If you are finding it difficult to deal with your GP e.g. if you think they are not listening to you or you disagree with what they say, you can:
- Ask to see a different doctor. Your GP surgery doesn’t have to say yes, but if they say no then they should give you a reasonable explanation (for example, if your GP surgery is very small or other doctors aren't available on the days you need).
- Ask to talk to a different type of practitioner, like a nurse, specialist mental health worker or practice counsellor.
- Ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist.
- Self-refer to another service (in some cases). If you self-refer to a psychological wellbeing service or a community mental health team (CMHT), they will normally carry out another initial assessment to see if they can support you.
Your local NHS Trust in England may also be able to offer a service referred to as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) - please do not be put off by the title. The aim of the project is to increase the provision of evidence-based treatments for common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression by primary care organisations.
If in doubt you can always contact charities such as Rethink Mental Illness, MIND, SANE for further advice and guidance on the different health care options that are open to you. More information and contact details for these charities can be found in the next steps section.
You can always decide you want to pay privately for your treatment and or therapy and this is covered in more detail in - Paying for private treatment and therapy.