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Knowledge hub

Mental Health

Talking with a Professional

Talking to someone about the negative issues that are going on in your life can help start the healing process.

Sometimes your family and friends are not the right people you want to be listening to your worries, particularly if that problem concerns them. A professional mental health worker can provide us with an unbiased opinion and explore our concerns.

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If you’re experiencing symptoms such as weight loss, inability to concentrate, thoughts of suicide, struggles involving the consumption of food, excessive fluctuations in mood, intrusive thoughts, compulsions to perform certain activities, experiences of thoughts or sensual experiences not thought to be originating from oneself, please ensure you seek medical and psychological help.

Accessing professional help is a great positive step towards addressing whatever is going on. If you are having trouble with your mental health and/ or wellbeing there are trained individuals out there waiting to help. These are experienced professionals who are out there wanting to guide you towards better mental health.

Finding the right help for you:

Yourself

There are routes into counselling for free through the NHS in the UK. You can refer yourself or you can access this through a GP. For any type of counselling, always ensure they are accredited with a professional body – BACP or UKCP. This tells you that they are acknowledged to have adequate levels of training and professionalism.

Your superior

Most employers/institutes offer mental health resources or guidance. It is important that you inform someone (boss, HR, teacher, lecturer) in your workplace/place of study so that they are aware of how you are feeling. They will respect that it is not an easy thing to do but will help you get the right help and potentially provide additional measures to individually support you.

Your family doctor/general practitioner:

Your family doctor can refer you to other professionals if you were comfortable with this. You can also choose to see a different GP if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your regular one.

Counsellor

A counsellor is a professional aimed at providing non-judgemental support through whatever you are going through, They hope to provide a safe space where you both can explore possible avenues to help improve your mental health. Counselling can be accessible over the phone, in a group, via online chat services or in person.

It is important to remind yourself that there is no easy fix out there, just like a broken leg, it takes time to heal and walk again. Mental health improvement is a work in progress, but it is worth investing your time in you.

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Medication

Another common type of treatment widely used is prescription medication. This can be used for various mental health problems with the ambition to lessen the effects of symptoms.

Medication can’t cure a mental health problem, but for some people they can help get you more stable. Medication helps with the biological component of the problem, but there needs to be a holistic approach, including reviewing your social circumstances and accessing psychological support.
However, using medications makes the issue more manageable and can enable individuals to live happy, fulfilled lives. It is important to remember to take the medication that your doctor prescribes for you.
Medication aims to ease the symptoms associated with poor mental health and assists in making life more manageable and enjoyable. For the best effects of any of these medications it is good to access self-help or psychological help to assist your journey. There are a lot of misconceptions about medication so here are a few myths that need busting:
Medication is a common form of therapy, it doesn’t make you a drug user, it’s not different than physical medication. Taking medication doesn’t mean that you are weak.
Who can prescribe you medication? GP, psychiatry specialist, nurse practitioner

How to Access Mental Health Support in the UK

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Starting the Conversation

The first step to getting help for your mental health is to start the conversation. This can be difficult, but it's important to remember that you're not alone.

Millions of people in the UK struggle with mental health problems, and there are many resources available to help you.

Here are a few tips for starting the conversation

Choose the right person to talk to

This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or other trusted adult.

Be honest about how you're feeling

Don't be afraid to share your thoughts and feelings, even if they're difficult to talk about.

Ask for help

Let the person you're talking to know that you need their support.

Where to Get Help

There are many different places where you can get help for your mental health in the UK. Here are a few options:

Your GP

Your GP is a good place to start if you're not sure where to get help. They can refer you to a specialist or other mental health services.

Mental health charities

There are many mental health charities in the UK that offer support and advice. Some of these charities have online forums and chat rooms where you can connect with other people who are struggling with mental health problems.

Online resources

There are many online resources that can provide information and support for people with mental health problems. The NHS website has a good section on mental health, and there are also a number of independent websites that offer helpful information.
Remember, you're not alone.

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NHS 111

NHS 111 is a free 24/7 telephone service that can provide advice and support for people with mental health problems.
 

View website

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There are people who care about you and want to help.

There are also many resources available to you, so please don't hesitate to reach out for help.

Here are some additional tips for starting the conversation about mental health:

Choose a time when you're both relaxed and have some time to talk.
Start by talking about your general wellbeing and how you've been feeling lately.
Be specific about what you're struggling with.
Ask for the person's help and support.
Be patient and understanding. It may take some time for the person to understand what you're going through.
If you're struggling to start the conversation, here are some things you can say:

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I've been feeling down lately

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I'm having a hard time coping with stress

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I'm not sure how I'm feeling, but I need your help

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I'm worried about my mental health

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I think I need to see a therapist

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Remember

It's okay to ask for help. Your mental health is important, and you deserve to get the support you need.

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