Mental health and recovery
No mental health need is the same from one person to another. We all have a range of mental health needs during our lifetimes, as children, adults and older adults. It can include the worries and grief that we all experience as part of everyday life. It can also include serious events or diagnosed mental health conditions for which we may need to seek specialist help. Some of us are able to cope with these worries, stresses and life events without formal help. Some people might need support from friends, family or colleagues whilst others may benefit from specialist mental health input. Mental health needs can affect anyone, of any age or background and at any time of our life. Carers who support people with mental health needs like family and friends might also need support from time to time.
Below is some advice on how you can help yourself and where you can go for support.
There are things that you can do yourself, such as:
- taking exercise
- developing and sustaining friendships
- cutting down on coffee, tea, alcohol, nicotine and other addictive substances.
- asking for help if you feel distressed or upset.
You could also:
- follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing - simple things you can do in your everyday life to improve your mental wellbeing
- read 10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health from the Mental Health Foundation
- find out more about mental health from NHS Live Well
- read about anti-stigma campaign at Time to Change
- borrow books on the prescription scheme - These are self help guides. They are selected by mental health practitioners to help with common mental health problems
- contact your own GP. They may refer you for further help. This could be to a local Wellbeing Centre or to a specialist local Mental Health team who will arrange any help or care that you might need
- visit The Princess Royal Trust for Carers website for information for carers
- use the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, a simple self management tool for creating positive change in the way that you feel.
- find out about 'Mindfulness' from the NHS or the visit the Mental Health Foundation's online mindfulness course.. Mindfulness has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
- Find local and national support in our community directory
People with mental health conditions can also register as disabled with Hampshire County Council.
- iTalk provides free treatment to people suffering from common mental health problems including depression, anxiety and stress.
- The Mental Health Foundation - news, information on problems, treatments and strategies for living with mental distress.
- MIND (National Association for Mental Health) - for information on all aspects of mental health problems.
- SANE - information sheets and booklets
- Bipolar UK - self-management courses and local support groups.
- Rethink Mental Illness - expert advice and information to everyone affected by mental health problems.
- Shaw Trust - training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability or ill health.
- Together – for Mental Wellbeing
Wellbeing is about:
- feeling healthy and happy
- having the inner resources to respond to difficult circumstances
- being able to adapt and engage with other people and the world around us
The charities Mind and MCCH run wellbeing centres in Hampshire's towns and cities to provide short-term, outcome-focused support to individuals with mental health problems. They are friendly and welcoming places with an informal atmosphere.
The centres provide workshops, courses and other support on many mental health issues. These include
- self-esteem and resilience
- depression and anxiety
- stress management
- addictions and mental health
- anger management
Contact your nearest centre to find out more about their programme.
Andover wellbeing centre
Basingstoke wellbeing centre
Eastleigh wellbeing centre
Fareham and Gosport wellbeing centre
Hart and Rushmoor wellbeing centre
Havant and East Hants wellbeing centres
New Forest wellbeing centres
Winchester wellbeing centre
Community Mental Health teams
Mental Health Teams are run jointly by the Health Service and Hampshire County Council’s Adult Services. They deal with people's health and social care needs. They help people in the community, whether they have just become ill, have a short-term illness, or need on-going support.
Advice for older people
Contact your GP if you are you concerned about:
- mood swings
- memory loss or confusion
You can also contact the NHS 111 service which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can speak to a trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and direct you to the best medical care.
You may find it useful to read about dementia and the signs that could be early symptoms of dementia. Spotting the signs of dementia early means you can get the right treatment and support as soon as possible.
The Message in a Bottle service encourages people living on their own to keep their basic personal and medical details in a small plastic bottle in the fridge. If the emergency services come to your home, they can quickly find vital information about your health. Bottles are funded by local Lions Clubs and are free to users. Ask your local GP surgery or pharmacy for details.