Support & Useful Links - Mental Health
If you're having mental health problems, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives.
The First Response Service
The First Response Service (FRS) puts your mental health first. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support. If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health you can now contact the FRS by dialing 111 and selecting option 2.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT)
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides integrated community and mental health, learning disability and social care services
Address: Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge, CB21 5EF
Telephone: 01223 726789 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
Psychological wellbeing service
Keep Your Head
For children’s mental health visit Keep your Head - mental health resources and local information for young people, parents/carers and professionals.
If something's troubling you, get in touch:
Telephone: 01733 312 727 (local call charges apply)
National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)
Email Samaritans: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Samaritans Peterborough, 441 Lincoln Road, Millfield, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 2PE
Usual hours open to receive callers at the door: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
0300 123 3393
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.
Stop Suicide Pledge - The Stop Suicide website has tailored information on coping with suicidal thoughts and helping someone who is suicidal.
Types of mental health issues
1. Low mood and depression
Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression. It could be relationship problems, bereavement, sleep problems, stress at work, bullying, chronic illness or pain. Sometimes it's possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason.
A low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks, but if it doesn’t it can be a sign of depression. If negative feelings don't go away, are too much for you to cope with, or are stopping you from carrying on with your normal life, you may need to make some changes and get some extra support.
2. Struggling with stress?
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.
3. Why can’t I control my anger?
Anger is a feeling that affects us all. Things that can make us feel angry include a threat to us or people close to us, a blow to our self-esteem or social standing in a group, being interrupted when we’re pursuing a goal, being treated unfairly and feeling unable to change this, being verbally or physically assaulted, or someone going against a principle we feel is important.
You can also look at what makes you angry, and how you deal with those feelings. For specific tips, you can read this article about how to control your anger. If you feel you need help controlling your anger, see your GP.
4. Why do I feel anxious?
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem. A little bit of anxiety can be helpful; for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
A little anxiety is fine, but long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). You may also be more likely to develop infections. If you’re feeling anxious all the time there are effective treatments available, so do talk to your GP.
Support and Useful Links
Keep your head
The Keep Your Head website provides a central point for reliable information and resources on children and young people’s mental health. The site has information on looking after your own wellbeing, as well as details of local services and what to do if a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis. The website is for children, young people, parents/carers, teachers and professionals.
The website includes:
- Tips for feeling good and staying healthy
- Details of apps that could help you to look after your mental wellbeing
- Information on bullying, stress and sleep
- Specific information on self-harm and suicide and where to go for support
- Information for teachers and health professionals on referral options and training.
There are also details of a range of local services that can support young people’s mental health, including the 3T’s talking therapies service, the Shelf-Help library book scheme and Kooth online counselling service.
Visit www.keep-your-head.com to find out more!
What is a mental health crisis?
You, or someone you know, might be in crisis if:
- You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option.
- Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
- You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.
Who can help in a mental health crisis?
Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The phone will be answered by a trained mental health professional who will be able to listen to your concerns and help you get the support you need. They can offer advice over the phone, put you in contact with the crisis services or even refer you to a Sanctuary - safe places run by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL Mind). The Peterborough and Cambridge Sanctuaries offer short-term practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am, seven days a week. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary.
Who can call?
If you aren't able to make the call yourself then anyone can call on your behalf, for example a friend, carer, loved one or even your GP. The service is available to anyone, of any age, currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in a mental health crisis.
For more information visit: http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/about-us/mental-health-crisis.htm
Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health
Many of us know how to look after our physical health but we are less clued up on how to do this for our mental health. Many things have an impact including our relationships, stress levels, quality of sleep, diet and our level of physical fitness.
These are a few tips to help look after your mind and body:
- The quality of our sleep is fundamental to how we cope with everyday life – there are lots of practical steps and lifestyle changes we can make to help us get a bit more sleep. Visit One You for suggestions.
- Keeping active is not only good for our physical health, but also it helps to keep our mind in shape too. Find something active that you enjoy and try to build it into your day.
- Take control of stress! Too much pressure can take its toll, so whether it is work, relationships or money worries try to take steps to look after yourself. Visit One You and NHS Choices for lots of useful information that can help you take back control.
- Make time to catch up with friends - our relationships and connections with other people are all important to keeping us well.
For further information and useful tips see the following websites:
Bullying can take many forms – verbal abuse, being physically hurt, having things stolen, being left out or online bullying are some of the ways. People might bully someone because of their religion or country they are from, their sexual identity, the way they look or how well they do in school, among other reasons. Bullying can impact on a child’s physical and emotional health, with the effects being long lasting in some cases. Bullying can also affect a child’s experience of school and ability to build relationships.
As a young person, or as an adult who is being bullied, it is important tell someone about it and ask for help. As a parent or carer these are some of the things you can do to support your child, further details of each of these points can be found on the NSPCC website:
- Talk about bullying with your child
- Make sure they know who to ask for help
- Help them relax and take time out
- Teach them how to stay safe online
- Talk to your child’s school or club
- Take further action if the bullying continues
- Report online videos of bullying.
Locally you can find more information on bullying on the Keep Your Head website.
The Kooth online counselling service and 3Ts talking therapies service both offer emotional support to young people in Peterborough and are free to access. For more information on these services visit the Keep Your Head website.
Coping with Bereavement
It is devastating when you lose someone close to you. Everyone’s experience of grief is unique, but there are some common things that lots of us will feel. You might feel numb, angry, exhausted or guilty for something you did or didn’t do or say. Your mind will be distracted so you may also find it hard to concentrate as well as you would do normally. These feelings are normal and will pass, but it can take time.
Speaking to someone can help, and you may get all the support you need from family and friends. If you don’t feel able to open up to people that you know, or you feel you are struggling, then there are organisations and sources of support that can help. These include:
- Cruse Bereavement Care - Offers face-to- face, telephone (0808 808 1677) and email (email@example.com) support.
- Help is at Hand – A booklet specifically written for those bereaved by suicide by those who have also been affected by suicide. The booklet gives practical information as well as details of further support.
- Samaritans – Provide a safe place for you to talk. They will listen and try to understand what you’re going through and help you make your own decisions that are right for you. You can get in contact with them via telephone (116 123 [free 24 hour helpline]), email, letter or face-to- face.
Sometimes it isn’t just your own grief that you have to deal with, but that of your children. Children need time to grieve too, and it’s important to try and talk to them about their feelings as well as your own. Try to encourage them not to hide their feelings, but instead talk about them. As much as possible try to keep to the routine that your family had before the death to give a bit more stability, as hard as this may be.
These services provide specific support for young people and their families who are bereaved:
- Hope Again - Provides advice for young people after the death of someone close to them including personal stories of other young people who have been bereaved.
- Child Bereavement UK – supports families and educates professionals when a child or baby of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
For more information on bereavement and dealing with grief please visit the NHS Choices bereavement webpage.
Spotting the warning signs
Not everyone who thinks about suicide will tell someone and there are some people who give no indication at all of their intention. However, there are warning signs that we can all look out for. These include if a person is:
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
- Actively looking for ways to kill themselves.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs.
- Suddenly very much ‘recovered’ after a period of depression.
- Visiting or calling people unexpectedly to say goodbye either directly or indirectly.
- Making arrangements; setting their affairs in order.
- Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
The STOP Suicide website has lots of information on what to do if you are worried about someone or you need help yourself.
Get on Top of Stress
If you are feeling stressed, you're not alone. Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, and pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or difficult, but too much stress can take its toll.
There are things you can do, and people or services that can help you to get on top of what is causing you to worry. Try some of these top tips:
Talk to Someone
Sharing how you feel can really help. Start by telling a friend, family member or someone else you can trust just how you feel. If you've tried self-help techniques and they aren't working, you could speak to a health professional who will be able to give you more guidance and suggest other sources of support.
Take Control of Money Worries
A common root of many people’s worries is money problems. There are lots of organisations that can help you manage your situation, so don’t feel alone. Visit the NHS Choices website for information on charities that can help.
Stopping smoking is not only beneficial to your physical health, but can also improve your mental health and relieve stress. It’s a myth that smoking helps people to relax, it actually can increase anxiety and stress. There is lots of help available to support you. As a first step call the local Stop Smoking service on free phone 0800 376 56 55.
Being physically active can boost your mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reduce your risk of stress. Often the easiest way to build activity into your day is through walking or cycling instead of taking the car. Visit the One You websitefor more information on ways to get active
Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep allows your mind to unwind and de-stress. It also helps your brain to make sense of the day, and enables your body to fight illnesses better. Sleep and mood effect each other, so try and boost how much good quality sleep you are getting each night.
A few tips to help you sleep well:
Try making a list of the things you need to do tomorrow before you go to bed so that they aren’t on your mind when you are trying to sleep.
If you can’t sleep, then don’t lie in bed worrying about it, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy before returning to bed.
Moderate exercise (that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster and feel warmer) on a regular basis can help to relieve tension and aid sleep.
Cut down on caffeine, particularly in the evenings, as it can interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try switching to a warm milky drink or herbal tea instead.
Try to have a regular routine for your sleep – going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day can really help.
For more tips and advice on sleep visit the One You and NHS Choices websites:
Protect your mind
Being active is really good for your mind as well as your body. Getting some physical activity each day can help prevent you getting depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
Moving more can also help you get a good night's sleep, which helps your brain to rest and recharge. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, being active every day can help to ease the symptoms. Physical activity can also help with stress by helping to clear your thoughts so you can deal with any problems more calmly.
How exercise helps your mental wellbeing
Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways. Physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.
How you can get more active
If you want to get active, think about physical activity in the broadest sense. It can help to read the physical activity guidelines for adults. Adults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as fast walking or cycling – a week.
Find activities that you enjoy, then make them a part of your life. There's lots of information and advice on NHS Choices to help you get active:
Feel happier and enjoy life more with these five evidence-based steps for improving your mental wellbeing.
Stopping smoking is good for your mental health
Being smoke-free helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression and gives you a more positive outlook on life. These benefits apply to all smokers, not just those with pre-existing mental health problems.
It’s a myth that smoking improves mood
Why do smokers (with and without mental health problems) falsely believe smoking improves their mood? Scientists think it’s because they confuse the ability of cigarettes to abolish nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on their mental health. Smokers tend to feel irritable, anxious and down when they haven’t smoked for a while and these unpleasant feelings are temporarily reversed when they light up a cigarette. That creates the impression that it’s the smoking that has improved their mood, when in fact it’s smoking that caused the psychological disturbances in the first place.
The mental health benefits of quitting smoking
Studies show that people's anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower after they stop smoking when compared with those who carry on smoking and that their quality of life and mood improves.
Want to quit smoking?
Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice?