It is estimated that up to 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues at some point in their life.  Mental health issues can affect daily life, work, relationships and physical health.

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health conditions that currently affect people in the UK.  All of us can have our emotional and mental wellbeing affected by the stresses of everyday life, by the impact of grief, or because of a range of factors, including having a life-altering physical health condition.

Don't feel that you are alone with your mental health issues

It's important to remember that you are not alone, support is available.  So if you are feeling stressed, anxious, tense or depressed and find that these feelings are impacting on your relationships, work, or life generally - try talking to your GP.  GP's don't just prescribe medication.  There are therapies and other treatments which can help.   Ask your GP about Social Prescribing.

If you do not have a doctor, NHS 111 can put you in touch with one and provide further information or advice.

Promoting wellbeing  It is important to seek help and support from your GP or from other mental health professionals if you are experiencing problems with your emotional and mental health.  There are also steps you can take to support and maintain your mental wellbeing.

Five ways to wellbeing:-

1.  Connect - connect with the people around you:  your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.  Spend time developing these relationships.

2.  Be active - you don't have to go to the gym.  Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football.  Find the activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

3.  Keep learning - learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence.  So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?

4.  Give to others - even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word.  Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

5.  Be mindful - be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you.  Some people call this awareness "mindfulness", and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

For more information about mental health conditions

British Psychological Society - A to Z of mental health conditions

Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust (AWP) - advice on range of mental health conditions

Information and support locally

The Hope Guide provides information about local activities and support

PALS provide supoprt and advice if you are already receiving mental health services from AWP.

For a wide list of support groups check out AWP's website information:-

Children & Young People

Specialist Mental Services for children and young people are provided through CAMHS.

Children and young people's mental health services CAMHS

Promoting emotional well-being and positive mental health of children and young people

Best start in life - Promoting good emotional well-being and mental health for children and young people:  Local Government Association

Promoting children and young people's emotional health and well-being :  A whole school and college approach

Young Minds -

Mental Health Support for Veterans

Other Resources

MIND - mental health information and support

Rething Mental Illness - mental health information and support, including helplines

Depression Alliance

Who to contact about a mental health crisis

If you are in crisis you can contact:-

  • the Samaritans phone 116 123 (this is a free call)
  • your doctor (or out of hours service)
  • the Intensive Support Team (this is only if you are currently being supported by Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Trust phone 0117 378 4250)
  • Emergency Duty Team for advice on a crisis situation 01454 615165

If you are concerned that you or someone else is in immediate danger contact the Police or ambulance service on 101 or 999

If you consider that an assessment under the Mental Health Act is necessary contact B&NES AMHP Service 01225 362778.  If after 5pm or during the weekend or a Bank Holiday contact the Emergency Duty team 01454 615165.

Anyone can request a Mental Health Act  assessment for someone who they believe needs to be detained in a psychiatric hospital for the purposes of assessment and treatment.  However, it is advisable to discuss this first with a health or social care professional to see if there is any alternative way of ensuring someone's safety and well-being.

If you are interested in finding out more about mental health in the UK:

No Health without Mental Health 2011