Don’t be afraid to ask for help – World Mental Health Day (10th October)

According to the Office for National Statistics, suicide rates in the UK have increased to their highest level since 2002. Alarmingly, a total of 6,507 suicides were registered in the United Kingdom last year – an 11.8% increase from 2017.

In May, we offered some advice on how to look after your mental health. However, it’s not always possible to do it alone; sometimes we need a little support. And, with suicides at a record high, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness of the services that are available. 

Hub of Hope

The Hub of Hope is a great site where you can quickly find nearby mental health services in your area. All you need to do is enter your postcode and you’ll see a list of services, contact details and opening times. 

The Recovery College 

The Recovery College is designed to give people who are struggling with their mental health the tools to cope and succeed in life.

The college helps people become experts in their own self-care. What’s more, it enables family, friends, carers and staff to better understand mental health. Importantly, courses are co-produced with carers, professionals and service users. “The college made me understand I wasn’t alone,” said Carole, a recovery coach at the college.

“Now I’m a volunteer and I know I make a difference to the student I speak to because I understand in a way that a professional might not,” she said.

For more information about the college call: 0121 543 4061 or 07800 534162. Alternatively, you can complete their expression of interest form here.

Mental Health apps

There are several mental health apps that have been assessed against a range of NHS standards for quality. Although there are lots of options, these are some of the best ones that you can access for free:

Stay Alive

The Stay Alive app is a suicide prevention resource that’s full of useful features. It includes a safety plan, customisable reasons for living and a LifeBox where you can store photos and memories.

Big White Wall

Big White Wall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or low. It has a forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or one-to-one therapy.

Calm Harm

Based on the principles of dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), Calm Harm is designed to help people manage the urges to self harm. However, it’s important to note that this app is an aid to treatment – not a replacement.

Catch It

Catch It allows you to record your mood in three easy steps:

  • ‘Catch It’ records and rates your mood
  • ‘Check It’ asks you to reflect on what you’re thinking about
  • ‘Change It’ asks you to think of an alternative way of dealing with the problem

Although the app uses tried and tested cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques, this is not a substitute for professional mental health care. 

Mental health websites and helplines

Moodscope is a handy website that lets you measure your mood. It tracks your ups and downs on a graph and encourages you to share it with family and friends. Alternatively, the NHS has a list of mental health helplines if you need to speak to someone on the phone. 

Our personal alarm service can provide reassurance if you’re living alone. We provide 24-hour support and there’s always someone available in case of an emergency. To find out more, give us a call: 0300 333 6511 or email [email protected]