We all have mental health.
In the UK we feel much more comfortable about speaking about our physical fitness yet face stigma when discussing our mental fitness. There are many methods to support wellbeing and mental wellbeing and you can choose some that work for you.
- Eat well – British Nutrition foundation have lots of advice and support. and Public Health England have developed an eat well guide.
- Physical activity – for more on this please look at the Sport England page. For some ideas about what you can do please look at the NHS website. Please see an interesting article from the Huff Post about the benefits of a good walk. Please see this great video about Distress Tolerance and Tipp that discusses practical activities you can do to slow down your breathing if you are distressed.
- Be aware of your breath and develop mindful techniques and meditation. There are lots of classes online and in your local community. Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced mindfulness to the western world, his (and all mindfulness) practices are based on Vipassana, a type of Buddhist meditation. You can see Jon Kabat-Zinn introduce mindfulness here. Please see here an article about the habits of mindful people.
- Learn new skills: can be found online at places such as with the Open University and Coursera.
- Connect with others socially and to give and get support – you can also find groups on What’s in my area and on Meetup.
- Help others – this can provide a sense of pride and connection: volunteer opportunities can often be found on specific organisations’ websites and through spaces such as Do.it.org. Choose an organisation you feel passionately about, get involved and give back!
- Seek support from professionals – please see some below the details of organisations and if you would like more please get in touch with the Information Service.
- Self-care test and guide is an interactive flow chart for people who struggle with self-care, executive dysfunction, and/or who have trouble reading internal signals.
Places to go for help and support
Here are some organisations who call support you around your own wellbeing:
MindLine Trans+ 0300 330 5468 Nationwide, is a confidential emotional, mental health support helpline for people who identify as transgender, agender, gender fluid and non-binary.
Mindout – MindOut Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer Mental Health Service – 01273234839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or directly through their Online Support service, dates and times on the website.
Samaritans offer a safe place to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. 24hr FREE phone calls from landline or mobile 116 123 / Email: email@example.com
B-eat – for those struggling from eating disorders; they provide a help line and an online support group.
Finding your own therapist
BAATN – the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network: has both a psychological therapy network and a complimentary therapy network.
Pink Therapy are the UKs largest independent therapy organisation working with gender and sexual diversity clients. You can search and find therapists on their site. Provide a directory by geographical location- you will have to find out yourself what the cost is.
Gendered Intelligence Network for Therapists and Counsellors aims to support therapists and counsellors to enable a positive experience in a therapy setting for trans people (and their families). Here’s the PDF version.
Free Psychotherapy network provide a directory of therapists by geographical location.
READ LGBT WELLBEING GUIDE
READ BOOK OF PRIDE
Cygnus Support have been provide mental health and well-being services to people in Northumberland including counselling, psychotherapy, education and training. They have a centre in Ashington but also work from hubs across the county in Hexham, Berwick, Alnwick or Blyth
Contact Cygnus Support by calling 01670 853977 or visit them online here.
Mesmac North East
MESMAC is a gay/bisexual men’s health project offering free HIV tests, advice and information on many different health issues including PEP (exposure to HIV treatment), counselling, sexual health services, sexually transmitted infections and much more. They also provide services such as group helplines and a drop-in service.
Contact Mesmac by calling 0191 233 1333 or visit them online here.
Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. They exist to ensure that people are at the heart of care, listening to what people like about services or what could be improved and share their views with those with the power to make change happen. They also help people find the information they need about services in their area. Find out more online here.
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust