Getting the right support
If you think you are experiencing mental health problems, there are many people you can talk to and lots of organisations that can offer you help and support. Remember, mental health problems are very common, so you are not alone. Below is a list of practical steps you can take to make sure you access the right support and services.
Make an appointment to see your local GP and explain to them, as fully as you can, the problems that you have been experiencing. Ask about the range of advice, treatment and support available to you and ask what support is available in your community, through voluntary sector groups and charities.
Recognising that you may have a mental health problem and taking the first steps to get the right support can be difficult. It may take time to begin to benefit from support, but there are many effective treatments for mental health problems.
If you are unhappy with your own doctor, you can ask to see another doctor at the same practice or make an appointment with a different practice in your area. If you are unsure where to find other doctor’s surgeries, visit the NHS Direct Wales website: www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/localservices/
Talk to someone you trust
Talking about your mental health and any problems you are experiencing can have an immediate positive affect on your wellbeing. If you have a partner, friend, relative or someone else that you trust, try telling them how you are feeling. More often than not, they may have been concerned about you and welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say. If you find it difficult to talk about your feelings, take a look at these 'talking tips' on the Time to Change Wales website. Taking small steps to talk about your mental health can make a big difference to how you're feeling.
Specialist mental health services
There are a number of specialist services that provide various treatments, including counselling and other talking treatments. You may also need help with other aspects of your life - for example, claiming benefits or dealing with housing problems. Often these different services are coordinated by a community mental health team (CMHT) and can be accessed through your GP.
CMHTs are usually based either at a hospital or a local community mental health centre. Some teams provide 24-hour services so that you can contact them in a crisis. If you are already in contact with a CMHT you may find it useful to keep their number by your phone in case you need it. Otherwise you should be able to contact your local CMHT via your local social services or social work team.
There is a list of CMHTs in Wales on the Mental Health Wales website.
Other kinds of community mental health team include Crisis and Home Treatment teams, which provide you with help in your own home and can come out to see you in an emergency or help you get into hospital if you need inpatient treatment.
You may also find it helpful to contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for advice about benefits, debt problems, legal issues and local services. The Citizens Advice Bureau website has a directory listing its local offices.
Talk to The Samaritans
If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know about your mental health problems, or you feel you don't have anyone who can give you that emotional support, you can ring The Samaritans . They offer emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence. Call 08457 90 90 90 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.