We're all told first and foremost, that if we're feeling low and depressed then our first port of call should be our GP. In theory this makes sense, but have you ever actually tried to get help from your GP? It's a mission.
At best you may be given a prescription for antidepressants after a half arsed appointment that probably isn't even face to face. However our local doctors have sent me away with weight loss advertising leaflets (WW and SW) as a solution to my poor mental health. I've also been told that it could be a lot worse and to basically think positive and sent on my way. It would be funny if it wasn't so desperately desperately sad. Imagine that was me on a worse day and what a big impact that would have?
Having struggled on and off for the best part of ten years, I've learnt that unless you can afford to pay for it privately, it's unlikely that anyone will care enough or do enough to help you get healthy. It's really dire out there and it scares me how many people will fall through the net with the lack of support available. Also, the sheer effort of continually having to reach out for help and getting nowhere is exhausting and if anything adds to the low feeling and lack of self esteem.
I'm kind of resigned to the fact now that nobody will help. People just don't care, and those that do are overstretched and just don't have the time, resources or appointments available. With that in mind, I thought I'd share some other things that can help you along the way, when the official methods let you down, as they most likely will - especially if you live in Lincolnshire!
If you need help right now here's some people that can help - this information is from mind.org.uk
Samaritans. To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email email@example.com or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Samaritans Welsh Language Line on 0808 164 0123 (7pm–11pm every day).
SANEline. If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK. Offers a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652 (6pm to midnight every day).
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). You can call the CALM on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) if you are struggling and need to talk. Or if you prefer not to speak on the phone, you could try the CALM webchat service.
Shout. If you would prefer not to talk but want some mental health support, you could text SHOUT to 85258. Shout offers a confidential 24/7 text service providing support if you are in crisis and need immediate help.
The Mix. If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (3pm–midnight every day), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.
Papyrus HOPELINEUK. If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07786 209 697.
Nightline. If you're a student, you can look on the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.
Switchboard. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email email@example.com or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
C.A.L.L. If you live in Wales, you can call the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L.) on 0800 132 737 (open 24/7) or you can text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.
Helplines Partnership. For more options, visit the Helplines Partnership website for a directory of UK helplines. Mind's Infoline can also help you find services that can support you. If you're outside the UK, the Befrienders Worldwide website has a tool to search by country for emotional support helplines around the world.
Urgent mental health helpline
If you live in England, you can call a local NHS urgent mental health helpline for support during a mental health crisis. Anyone can call these helplines, at any time.
These helplines offer similar support to a crisis team. The NHS website has more information on urgent mental health helplines, including how to find your local helpline.
In Wales, you can contact NHS 111 and select option 2. This will put you through to an NHS helpline offering 24/7 urgent mental health support. Visit the NHS 111 Wales website to find out more about this service.
Look to local charities
You may be able to find face to face, phone or online help from local charities and quite often these can feel far easier to access and more personal being local. A simple Google search should help.
Talk to people
It's cliche but talking does help. Whether it's a friend, a professional or support group, emptying your head can really help you feel less trapped and overwhelmed with life. If you don't want to talk to another human, write it down. You don't have to share it with anyone or even keep it, but just getting those words and thoughts out of your head any way you can is helpful.
Be kind to yourself. If you need sleep, sleep. If you need to cry, cry. Whatever you feel you need to feel better or get some relief, as long as it's healthy for you then go ahead. You could also try get some therapy, go for a massage, do some relaxation with meditation or music.
If you're struggling right now please don't let it carry on, do anything positive however small right now!