Mental Health

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. The NHS website has a self-assessment tool which you can use if you think you may be suffering from depression.

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.

Helping yourself

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
  • Use an NHS approved 'app' to help you manage your mental health 
  • 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 (select 'Specific needs' and then 'Mental health')

People with mental health conditions can also register as disabled with Hampshire County Council.

People who are severely mentally impaired aren’t included when working out Council Tax. Find out how to apply for a council tax discount.

Support organisations

Local to you:
  • iTalk is a free service for patients with depression, anxiety or stress which is delivered in partnership between Solent Mind and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. It is for patients aged 16 and over who are registered with a GP in the following areas of Hampshire: Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Bordon, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, the New Forest, Petersfield, Romsey and Winchester. 
  • TalkPlus offers a range of treatments to people who are experiencing symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, low mood, panic, phobias or OCD. It is available to people who are registered with a GP in the following areas of Hampshire: Yateley, Fleet, Farnborough, Blackwater, Aldershot or Farnham. It is free to anyone who accesses it. 

You can also search the Community directory and filter by your area for mental health services accessible to residents in that area (select 'Specific needs' and then 'Mental health').

  • 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
  • CALM (Campaign  Against Living Miserably) is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. They offer support, information and signposting to men anywhere in the UK through their helpline and web chat service.  
  • 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 centres

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

Mind runs 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
Romsey wellbeing centre
Winchester wellbeing centre

Mental Health teams

Adults' Health and Care Mental Health and Substance Misuse Teams work together with the Health Service's Community Mental Health Teams and deal with people's social care needs alongside their health needs. They help people in the community, whether they have just become ill, have a short-term illness, or need on-going support. Further information and contact details for teams.

Advice for older people

Contact your GP if you are you concerned about:

  • mood swings
  • agitation
  • memory loss or confusion
  • withdrawal

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.

Last reviewed: 21/04/2016