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The magazine raising awareness of mental health issues



A-Z contact list

for help & advice


Focus on the local

work of MIND & the

Alzheimer’s Society


How to get

help for mental

health issues

www.mhap co.uk

Our lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Dedicated to the highest standards of care

Feeling ok?

Have you been struggling with low mood or anxiety?

Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service is a free NHS

service for anyone living in Brighton and Hove.

Our friendly team will work with you to understand your

difficulties and find ways to help you, either over the

phone, in person or online.

You'll find a self-referral form on our website, or you can

get in touch by phone or email to take that first step:

For home care, supported

brightonandhovewellbeing.org living services in London,

Kent and the surrounding

0300 002 0060

areas, speak to the experts at

DMC Consulting Services Ltd.


07525 497 949




A very warm welcome to the Brighton 2023

edition of Mental Health Awareness, an

independent magazine which brings the issue

of Mental Health directly to the general public.

Our objective is to provide educational and

informative content which will raise the profile

of Mental Health issues across the local


There are many different types of Mental

Health disorders that can affect anybody

at any stage in their lives. If you or a family

member or friend have been diagnosed with

a mental health problem you might be looking

for information on your diagnosis, treatment

options and where to go for support. We

provide an important list of useful first point

contact information which can be used to get

help for varying mental health issues (pages

22 - 25).

In addition, our magazines give a vital platform

to various local mental health organisations

and volunteer groups to highlight the wide

range of support services that are available to

those who may need them.

In this edition we highlight the Alzheimer’s

Society (pages 38 and 39), a registered

charity who provide support, information

and practical guidance to anyone affected by

dementia . They believe passionately that life

doesn’t end when dementia begins and they

do everything they can to keep people with

dementia connected to their lives and the

people who matter most.

We also feature MIND in Brighton (pages 14

and 15), who work to ensure that no-one faces

a mental health problem alone. They aim to

equip people with the tools they need to work

towards positive wellbeing.

Our publication also provides helpful and

informative articles on some the following

specific Mental Health issues:

• General Addiction (page 3)

o Drugs (page 5)

o Alcohol (page 8-9)

o Gambling (page 10-11)

o Smoking (page 28)

• Dementia (pages 12-13)

• Depression (pages 16-17)

• Post Natal Depression (page 18)

• Eating Disorders (page 19)

• Self Harm (pages 20 & 21)

• Phobias (page 26)

• Counselling (page 27)

• Stress (page 29)

• Health Anxiety (page 30)

• Anxiety / Panic Attacks (page 31)

• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (page 32)

• Seasonal Affective Disorder (page 33)

• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (page 34)

• Help for Suicidal Thoughts (page 35)

• Bereavement (pages 36 & 37)

• ADHD (pages 40 & 41)

• Difficult Conversations (pages 42 & 43)

• Insomnia (page 44)

A big thank you goes out to all the local

businesses that have advertised and supported

the Brighton Mental Health Awareness

publication. If you would like to be included in

the 2023 issue of Mental Health Awareness or

wish to provide any feedback, please send an

email to Ricky at: sales@mhap.co.uk.

Mental Health Awareness

Publications Ltd


Email: sales@mhap.co.uk


Sales - Ricky Edwards

01375 402546

Mental Health Publications Limited do not make any recommendations as to the fitness of the advertisers appearing in this publication to carry out

their services and no recommendations should be deemed to have been made.

All rights reserved. No part of Mental Health Publications Limited publications may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means either wholly

or in part without prior permission of the publisher.

This magazine is published by Mental Health Publications Limited.

© Mental Health Publications Limited 2023

www.mhap.co.uk 1


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What is it?

If you have an addiction, you’re not alone. According to

the charity Action on Addiction, one in three of us are

addicted to something.

Addiction is defined as not having control over doing,

taking or using something to the point where it could

be harmful to you. Addiction is most commonly

associated with gambling, drugs, alcohol & nicotine,

but it’s possible to be addicted to just about anything,


work – workaholics are obsessed with their work

to the extent that they suffer physical exhaustion. If

your relationship, family & social life are suffering &

you never take holidays, you may be a work addict.

internet – as computer & mobile phone use

has increased, so too have computer & internet

addictions. People may spend hours each day

& night surfing the internet or gaming while

neglecting other aspects of their lives.

solvents – volatile substance abuse is when you

inhale substances such as glue, aerosols, petrol

or lighter fuel to give you a feeling of intoxication.

Solvent abuse can be fatal.

shopping – shopping becomes an addiction when

you buy things you don’t need or want to achieve

a buzz. This is quickly followed by feelings of guilt,

shame or despair.

What causes addictions?

There are lots of reasons why addictions begin.

In the case of drugs, alcohol & nicotine, these

substances affect the way you feel, both physically &

mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable & create a

powerful urge to use the substances again.

Gambling may result in a similar mental “high”

after a win, followed by a strong urge to try again &

recreate that feeling. This can develop into a habit

that becomes very hard to stop.

Being addicted to something means that not

having it causes withdrawal symptoms, or a “come

down”. Because this can be unpleasant, it’s easier

to carry on having or doing what you crave, & so

the cycle continues.

Often, an addiction gets out of control because

you need more & more to satisfy a craving &

achieve the “high”.

How addictions can affect you:

The strain of managing an addiction can seriously

damage your work life & relationships. In the case

of substance abuse (for example, drugs & alcohol),

an addiction can have serious psychological &

physical effects.

Some studies suggest addiction is genetic, but

environmental factors, such as being around

other people with addictions, are also thought to

increase the risk.

An addiction can be a way of blocking out difficult

issues. Unemployment & poverty can trigger addiction,

along with stress & emotional or professional pressure.

Getting help for addictions:

Addiction is a treatable condition. Whatever the

addiction, there are lots of ways you can seek help.

You could see your GP for advice or contact an

organisation that specialises in helping people

with addictions.

Alcohol addiction services - Alcoholics Anonymous

0845 769 7555 www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Drug addiction services - Narcotics Anonymous

0300 999 1212 www.ukna.org.uk

Gambling addiction services - Gamblers

Anonymous UK www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk

Stop smoking services - SmokeFree 0300 1231044

Rehab 4 Addiction - free helpline dedicated to

assisting those suffering from drug, alcohol and

mental health problems. Tel: 0800 140 4690


To speak to someone anonymously about any kind

of addiction, you can also call the Samaritans on 116

123 – 24 hour helpline. Other helpful contacts can be

found on our Mental Health Glossary on pages

22 - 25.

www.mhap.co.uk 3

MindOut is a mental health service run by and for

lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people

We work to improve the mental

health and wellbeing of all LGBTQ

communities and to make mental

health a community concern. We

offer a range of services including

counselling, advocacy, peer support

groups, peer mentoring, telephone

befriending and online support.

Our Wellbeing Groups include

face-to-face and online groups, and

we offer both drop-ins and longer


Our services are also available

to adults who may not identify

as LGBTQ including those who

have sexual and/or romantic

relationships with LGBTQ people, or

those questioning their sexual and/

or gender identities. Please visit our

website for more information and

if you are unsure, do get in touch

with us.

Most of our services are for adults

(age 18+) living in Brighton and Hove,

with the exception of our online

support service which is open to

adults outside of this area.

We are not an emergency crisis

service and will respond to your

query as soon as we can.

Contact us:


01273 234 839

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info@mindout.org.uk 01273 234839 www.mindout.org.uk

dout.org.uk 4 to advertise 01273 in the next issue 234839 of Mental Health www.mindout.org.uk

Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Drug Addiction

If you need treatment for drug addiction, you’re

entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone

else who has a health problem. With the right help

and support, it’s possible for you to get drug free

and stay that way.

Where to get help for drugs:

Your GP is a good place to start. They can

discuss your problems with you and get you into

treatment. They may offer you treatment at the

practice or refer you to your local drug service.

If you’re not comfortable talking to your GP, you

can approach your local drug treatment service

yourself. Visit the Frank website to find local drug

treatment services or call the Frank drugs helpline

on 0300 123 6600. They can talk you through all

your options.

Charity and private drugs treatment - as well

as the NHS, there are charities and private drug

and alcohol treatment organisations that can

help you. Visit the Adfam website to see a list

of useful organisations. Private drug treatment

can be very expensive but sometimes people get

referrals through their local NHS.

Your first appointment:

At your first appointment for drug treatment, staff

will ask you about your drug use. They will also

ask about your work, family and housing situation.

You may be asked to provide a sample of urine

or saliva.

Staff will talk you through all of your treatment

options and agree a treatment plan with you.

They can tell you about local support groups for

drug users and their families or carers. You’ll

also be given a keyworker who will support you

throughout your treatment.

What drug treatment involves:

This depends on your personal circumstances

and also what you’re addicted to. Your keyworker

will work with you to plan the right treatment for

you. Your treatment may include:

Talking therapies – talking therapies, such as

cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), help you

to see how your thoughts and feelings affect

your behaviour.

Treatment with medicines – if you are

dependent on heroin or another opioid drug,

you may be offered a substitute drug, such as

methadone. This means you can get on with

your treatment without having to worry about

withdrawing or buying street drugs.

Detoxification (detox) – this is for people

who want to stop taking opioid drugs like

heroin completely. It helps you to cope with the

withdrawal symptoms.

Self-help – some people find support

groups like Narcotics Anonymous helpful.

Your keyworker can tell you where your nearest

group is.

Reducing harm – your drugs workers will help

you reduce the risks associated with your

drug-taking. You may be offered testing and

treatment for hepatitis or HIV, for example.

Where will you have

your treatment?

You may have your treatment while living at

home or as a hospital inpatient. If your drugrelated

problems are severe or complicated you

may be referred to a residential rehab. For more

information about residential rehab, or to find a

rehab near you, visit rehabonline.

Other contacts for help with Drug Addiction

can be found on our Mental Health Glossary on

pages 22 - 25.

www.mhap.co.uk 5


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Alcohol misuse means drinking excessively. If

someone loses control over their drinking and

has an excessive desire to drink, it’s known as

dependent drinking (alcoholism).

Alcohol consumption is measured in units.

A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol, which

is about:

half a pint of lower to normal-strength lager/

beer/cider (ABV 3.6%)

a single small shot measure (25ml)

of spirits (25ml, ABV 40%)

• a small glass (125ml) of wine contains about

1.5 units of alcohol.

Lower-risk limits

To keep your risk of alcohol-related harm low, the

NHS recommends not regularly drinking more

than 14 units of alcohol a week. If you drink as

much as 14 units a week, it’s best to spread this

evenly over 3 or more days.

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of alcohol

you drink, it’s a good idea to have several alcoholfree

days each week

Regular or frequent drinking means drinking

alcohol most weeks. The risk to your health is

increased by drinking any amount of alcohol on a

regular basis.

Risks of alcohol misuse

Alcohol misuse increases your long term risk of

serious health problems such as heart disease,

stroke, liver disease, pancreatitis and various

forms of cancer. It can also lead to social

problems, such as unemployment, divorce,

domestic abuse and homelessness.


The short-term risks of alcohol

misuse include:

accidents and injuries requiring hospital

treatment, such as a head injury

violent behaviour and being a victim of violence

unprotected sex that could potentially lead to

unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted

infections (STIs)

loss of personal possessions, such as wallets,

keys or mobile phones

alcohol poisoning – this may

lead to vomiting, seizures (fits) and

falling unconscious

People who binge drink (drink heavily over a short

period of time) are more likely to behave recklessly

and are at greater risk of being in an accident.


Persistent alcohol misuse increases your risk of

serious health conditions, including:

heart disease


liver disease

liver cancer

bowel cancer

mouth cancer

breast cancer


If someone loses control over their drinking and

has an excessive desire to drink, it’s known as

dependent drinking (alcoholism). Dependent

drinking usually affects a person’s quality of life

and relationships, but they may not always find it

easy to see or accept this.

Severely dependent drinkers are often able to

tolerate very high levels of alcohol in amounts that


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would dangerously affect or even kill some people.

A dependent drinker usually experiences physical

and psychological withdrawal symptoms if they

suddenly cut down or stop drinking, including:

hand tremors – “the shakes”


seeing things that aren’t real

(visual hallucinations)



difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

This often leads to “relief drinking” to avoid

withdrawal symptoms.

Realising you have a problem

with alcohol

This is the first big step to getting help. You may

need help if:

you feel you should cut down on your drinking

you often feel the need to have a drink

you need a drink first thing in the morning to

steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover

other people have been criticising or warning

you about how much you’re drinking

you get into trouble because of your drinking

you think your drinking is causing you problems

you feel guilty or bad about your drinking

Someone you know may be

misusing alcohol if:

they regularly exceed the lower-risk daily limit

for alcohol

they’re sometimes unable to remember

what happened the night before because of

their drinking

they fail to do what was expected of them as a

result of their drinking – for example, missing

an appointment or work because of being drunk

or hungover

Getting help with treating

alcohol misuse

If you’re concerned about your drinking or

someone else’s, a good place to start is with your

GP. Try to be accurate and honest about how much

you drink and any problems it may be causing you.

Your level of alcohol intake may be assessed using

various tests and this will determine your type of

treatment. They’ll be able to discuss the services

and treatments available. Initially your alcohol

intake may be assessed using tests, such as the:

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test –

a widely used screening test that can help

determine whether you need to change your

drinking habits

Fast Alcohol Screening Test – a simpler test

to check whether your drinking has reached

dangerous levels

Treating alcohol misuse

Treatment options include counselling, medication

and detoxification. Detoxification involves a nurse

or doctor supporting you to safely stop drinking;

this can be done by helping you slowly cut down

over time or by giving you medicines to prevent

withdrawal symptoms.

A dependent drinker usually experiences physical

and psychological withdrawal symptoms if they

suddenly cut down or stop drinking, including

anxiety after waking, sweating, nausea and

vomiting, hallucinations, seizures or fits, hand

tremors, depression and insomnia. This often leads

to “relief drinking” to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

To stop drinking instantly could be harmful and you

should take advice from your GP to do this safely.

Cutting down or stopping drinking is usually just

the beginning, & most people will need some

degree of help or some long term plan to stay in

control or to stay completely alcohol-free. Getting

the right support can be crucial to maintaining

control in the future. Only relying on family, friends

or carers for this is often not enough.

Some people with medium or high levels of alcohol

dependence may need intensive rehabilitation

& recovery support for a period after they stop

drinking completely; either through a programme

of intensive support in their local community or by

a residential rehabilitation service. This may be in

an NHS inpatient unit, or in a medically-supported

residential service, depending on your situation and

the assessed medical need.

Further help for alcohol abuse

As well as the NHS, there are a number of charities

and support groups across the UK that provide

support and advice for people with an alcohol

misuse problem. Helpful contacts for Alcohol

Addiction can be found on our Mental Health

Glossary on pages 22 - 25.

www.mhap.co.uk 9



Being a compulsive gambler can harm your

health and relationships, and leave you in

serious debt. If you have a problem with

gambling and you’d like to stop, support

and treatment is available.

Are you a problem gambler?

Try this questionnaire:

Do you bet more than you can afford to lose?

Do you need to gamble with larger amounts

of money to get the same feeling?

Have you tried to win back money you have

lost (chasing losses)?

Have you borrowed money or sold anything

to get money to gamble?

Have you wondered whether you have

a problem with gambling?

Has your gambling caused you any

health problems, including feelings of

stress or anxiety?

Have other people criticised your betting or

told you that you had a gambling problem?

Has your gambling caused any financial

problems for you or your household?

Have you ever felt guilty about the

way you gamble or what happens

when you gamble?

For each time you answer

Score 0 “never”

Score 1 “sometimes”

Score 2 “most of the time”

Score 3 “almost always”

If your total score is 8 or higher, you may be

a problem gambler.

Help for problem gamblers

and their families’

There’s evidence that gambling can be

successfully treated in the same way as other

addictions. Cognitive behavioural therapy

usually has the best results. Treatment and

support groups are available for people who

want to stop gambling:

Gamcare - offers free information, support

and counselling for problem gamblers in the

UK and also for partners, friends and family

of people who gamble compulsively. It runs

the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020

133) and also offers face-to-face counselling.

If you’re having problems because of another

person’s gambling, it’s best to be honest with

them about it. They need to know how their

behaviour is affecting you.

National Problem Gambling Clinic - If you live

in England or Wales, are aged 16 or over and

have complex problems related to gambling,

you can refer yourself to this specialist NHS

clinic for problem gamblers.

Gamblers Anonymous UK - Gamblers

Anonymous UK runs local support groups that

use the same 12-step approach to recovery

from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are also GamAnon support groups for

friends and family affected by someone else’s

gambling problem.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Self-help tips for

problem gamblers


pay important bills, such as your mortgage,

on payday before you gamble

spend more time with family and friends who

don’t gamble

deal with your debts rather than ignoring

them – visit the National Debtline for tips


view gambling as a way to make money –

try to see it as

entertainment instead

bottle up your worries about your gambling –

talk to someone

take credit cards with you when you

go gambling

Other contacts for help with Gambling

Addiction can be found on our Mental Health

Glossary on pages 22 - 25.

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www.mhap.co.uk 11

About Dementia

As you get older, you may find that memory loss

becomes a problem. It’s normal for your memory

to be affected by stress, tiredness, or certain

illnesses and medications. This can be annoying

if it happens occasionally, but if you’re becoming

increasingly forgetful, particularly if you’re over

the age of 65 and it’s affecting your daily life or is

worrying you or someone you know, it may be a

good idea to talk to your GP about the early signs

of dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia isn’t a single disease, but is a syndrome

(a group of related symptoms) associated with

an ongoing decline of brain functioning. Several

different diseases can cause dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common

type of dementia and, together with vascular

dementia, makes up the vast majority of cases.

Because both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s

disease are common – especially in older people

– they may be present together. This is often

called mixed dementia because a mix of these

two conditions is thought to be the cause of the


Many of these diseases are associated with

an abnormal build-up of proteins in the brain.

This build-up causes nerve cells to function less

well and ultimately die. As the nerve cells die,

different areas of the brain shrink.

Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood

flow to the brain. Nerve cells in the brain need

oxygen and nutrients from blood to survive. When

the blood supply to the brain is reduced, the nerve

cells function less well and eventually die.

There are many rarer diseases and conditions

that can lead to dementia, or dementia-like

symptoms. These conditions account for only

5% of dementia cases in the UK.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) isn’t a cause

of dementia. It refers to a condition in which

someone has minor problems with cognition,

or their memory and thinking, such as memory

loss, difficulty concentrating and problems with

planning and reasoning. These symptoms aren’t

severe enough to cause problems in everyday

life, so aren’t defined as dementia.

How common is dementia?

According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are

around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia.

One in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia,

and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80.

The number of people with dementia is increasing

because people are living longer. It is estimated

that by 2025, the number of people with dementia

in the UK will have increased to around 1 million.

Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia is not a natural part of the ageing

process and you need to be aware of the

symptoms of dementia, which tend to worsen

with time and can affect the way you speak, think,

feel and behave.

People with dementia can become apathetic

or uninterested in their usual activities, or may

have problems controlling their emotions. They

may also find social situations challenging

and lose interest in socialising. Aspects of

their personality may change. A person with

dementia may lose empathy (understanding and

compassion), they may see or hear things that

other people do not (hallucinations).

Because people with dementia may lose the

ability to remember events or fully understand

their environment or situations, it can seem as if

they’re not telling the truth, or are wilfully ignoring


As dementia affects a person’s mental abilities,

they may find planning and organising difficult.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Maintaining their independence may also become

a problem. A person with dementia will therefore

usually need help from friends or relatives,

including help with decision making.

Although dementia isn’t just about memory loss,

it’s one of the key symptoms. Others include:

increasing difficulty with daily tasks and activities

that require concentration and planning

changes in personality and mood

understanding - periods of mental confusion

language - difficulty finding the right words or

not being able to understand conversations

as easily

memory loss, thinking speed and

mental sharpness



Why is it important to

get a diagnosis?

Although there is no cure for dementia at

present, if it’s diagnosed in the early stages, there

are ways you can slow it down and maintain

mental function.

A diagnosis can help people with dementia get the

right treatment and support, and help those close

to them to prepare and plan for the future.

With treatment and support, many people are

able to lead active, fulfilled lives.

Dementia is diagnosed by doctors ruling out

other conditions that could cause the symptoms,

as well as completing a thorough assessment.

A GP, or a doctor specialising in memory

problems, will run a series of tests and

assessments to see if there is an alternative

explanation for the problems. The doctor will

also want to discuss how the problems being

experienced have developed over time.

If the diagnosis is dementia

A dementia diagnosis can come as a shock,

but over time some people come to view it in a

positive way. This is because a diagnosis is the

first step towards getting the information, help

and support needed to manage the symptoms.

A diagnosis of dementia can help people

with these symptoms, and their families and

friends, take control, make plans and prepare

for the future.

Further help and information

Other contacts for help with Dementia can be found

on our Mental Health Glossary on pages 22-25.

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www.mhap.co.uk 13

Local Community Focus

judgements on your situation but work with

you to make the information we provide

relevant to you and the help you are looking


We offer a wide range of mental health

services operating across Brighton and

Hove. Services include a variety of advice,

support, training, peer support and

advocacy services.

No matter what your mental health

problems may be, there’s always someone

there to support you.

Mental Health Advice

Accessing information can be an important

step in looking after your mental health in

Brighton and Hove. We provide a range of

advice and information to anyone affected

by mental health issues. This includes

those wanting support for their own mental

health, and family members or carers who

want to discuss concerns over someone

they care for. We can also provide advice

and information to other organisations

who want information for clients they are


1-to-1 Advice

One of the Advice Team will contact you

to initially discuss your concerns, and

then, depending on your enquiry provide

information or help identify options for

you. This could include help researching

information, making referrals or planning

actions with you.

We won’t tell you what to do or make

How we can help

Our Advice Service is based at our offices

at New England Street and is open to

anyone living in Brighton and Hove. We can

also provide some signposting information

to those living in West or East Sussex. The

service offers advice by telephone, email,

online and in person. We also provide

advice at a range of outreach venues and

deliver workshops/information talks which

we promote in our news section on the


For telephone Advice or to book an

appointment please contact us on 01273

66 69 50 or email us .

Email: info@mindcharity.co.uk

Peer Support

Accessing support is an important step in

looking after your own mental health and

helping you to feel better able to manage

your recovery.

Lighthouse Recovery Support

at the Allen Centre

The Lighthouse is a specialist service for

people living in Brighton and Hove who

are experiencing Personality Disorder and


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Local Community Focus

Emotional Intensity. The service provides

a range of therapeutic interventions

from psychologically informed clinical

interventions, therapeutic groups and

occupational therapy to general support

and activity groups both at the centre and

in the community.

Southdown provides the service in

partnership with the Sussex Partnership

NHS Foundation Trust and Mind in

Brighton and Hove. The Lighthouse is part

of the UOK Brighton & Hove network of

mental health support.

We lead on the peer support and volunteer

co-ordination in the centre and support

members to be involved in co-production in

developing and delivering the service. This


Co – facilitating peer support groups and

running skills training

Supporting members to actively be involved in

service co-production

Enabling member feedback and evaluation of

the services provided at the centre.

Developing & designing the peer support

opportunities with members

Developing a volunteer training programme with

members co facilitating

Supporting focus groups to evaluate member’s

experiences of accessing the centre’s

therapeutic and learning opportunities


Our Advocacy services offer free,

independent, professional and confidential

support. We offer free, independent,

professional and confidential support.

Advocacy is taking action to help you

secure your rights, make your views and

wishes heard, and support you to obtain

the services that you need. Our advocates

can also help to ensure that you have all

the information that you need and to make

sure you understand information provided,

so that you can make decisions about the

things that affect you. The service can be

accessed by telephone, online, email and

in person.

Employment Advice

Our Employment Advice service provides

a range of support, advice and information

to help people manage their work and

learning needs. The service supports

people currently working or who are

off sick from work who may want help

to manage their health issues in the

workplace. We also support people who

are interested in starting work or who want

to identify opportunities for volunteer, or

undertaking taking up learning or skills

based activities. The service can also link

people to the most relevant and helpful

organisations to help them resolve their

difficulties and move forward with a work

and learning plan of action.

How to contact the service

The Employment Advice Service is

available for clients receiving treatment

and care within the Brighton and Hove

Wellbeing Service.

To access the Wellbeing Service please

contact your GP or you can self-refer

directly online via the Wellbeing Service

website. For more information please call

0300 002 0060.

Find Us: 51 New England Street, Brighton


Opening hours:

Mon- Fri 9am – 5pm

Mind in Brighton and Hove – Registered

Charity No: 1071434

www.mhap.co.uk 15



Depression is more than simply feeling

unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people

go through periods of feeling down, but when

you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for

weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

Some people think depression is trivial and not

a genuine health condition. They’re wrong – it

is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression

isn’t a sign of weakness or something you can

“snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”. The

good news is that with the right treatment and

support, most people with depression can

make a full recovery.


Depression affects people in different ways and

can cause a wide variety of symptoms. But as

a general rule, if you’re depressed, you feel sad,

hopeless, anxious, tearful and lose interest in

things you used to enjoy. There can be physical

symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired,

sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive,

and various aches and pains. The symptoms

of depression may persist for weeks or months

and are bad enough to interfere with your work,

social life and family life. There are many other

symptoms of depression and you’re unlikely to

have all of those listed below.

Psychological symptoms:

continuous low mood or sadness / feeling

hopeless and helpless / having low self-esteem

feeling tearful / feeling anxious or worried

feeling irritable and intolerant of others /

feeling guilt-ridden

having no motivation or interest in things

/ not getting any enjoyment out of life

finding it difficult to make decisions

having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of

harming yourself

Physical symptoms:

moving or speaking more slowly than usual

changes in appetite or weight (usually

decreased, but sometimes increased) /


unexplained aches and pains

lack of energy / low sex drive (loss of libido) /

changes to your menstrual cycle

disturbed sleep / finding it difficult to fall asleep

at night / waking up very early in the morning

Social symptoms:

not doing well at work

avoiding contact with friends and taking part in

fewer social activities

neglecting your hobbies and interests

having difficulties in your home and family life

Severities of depression

Doctors categorize the symptoms of depression

from mild to severe:

mild depression – has some impact on your

daily life and you may simply feel persistently

low in spirit

moderate depression – has a significant impact

on your daily life

severe depression – makes it almost

impossible to get through daily life; a few people

with severe depression may have psychotic

symptoms and it can make you feel suicidal

and that life is no longer worth living.

How to tell if you have

depression and when

to see a doctor

Most people experience feelings of stress,

unhappiness or anxiety during difficult times.

A low mood may improve after a short period

of time, rather than being a sign of depression.

However, it’s important to seek help from your


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

of depression, with talking therapies and

antidepressant medicines.

Bipolar Disorder (also known as manic

depression) - there are spells of both

depression and excessively high mood (mania);

the depression symptoms are similar to clinical

depression, but the bouts of mania can include

harmful behaviour, such as gambling, going on

spending sprees and having unsafe sex.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – also

known as “winter depression”, SAD is a type

of depression with a seasonal pattern usually

related to winter.

GP if you think you may be depressed. Don’t wait

before seeking help for depression, the sooner

you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the

way to recovery.

Depression can often come on gradually, so it

can be difficult to notice something is wrong.

Many people try to cope with their symptoms

without realising they’re unwell. It can

sometimes take a friend or family member to

suggest something is wrong.

What causes depression?

Depression is fairly common, affecting about 1 in

10 people at some point during their life. It affects

men and women, young and old. Studies have

shown that about 4% of children aged five to 16 in

the UK are anxious or depressed.

Sometimes there’s a trigger for depression. Lifechanging

events, such as bereavement, losing your

job or even having a baby, can bring it on. People

with a family history of depression are more likely

to experience it themselves. But you can also

become depressed for no obvious reason.

Grief - it can be difficult to distinguish between

grief and depression. They share many of the

same characteristics, but there are important

differences between them. Grief is an entirely

natural response to a loss, while depression is an

illness. People who are grieving find their feelings

of sadness and loss come and go, but they’re

still able to enjoy things and look forward to the

future. In contrast, people who are depressed

constantly feel sad. They don’t enjoy anything

and find it difficult to be positive about the future.

Postnatal Depression – some women

develop depression after they have a baby

and it’s treated in a similar way to other types

Treating depression

Treatment for depression can involve a

combination of lifestyle changes, talking

therapies and medication. Your recommended

treatment will be based on whether you have

mild, moderate or severe depression.

If you have mild depression, your doctor may

suggest waiting to see whether it improves on

its own, while monitoring your progress. This

is known as “watchful waiting”. They may also

suggest lifestyle measures such as exercise

and self-help groups. Talking therapies, such as

cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), are often

used for mild depression that isn’t improving or

moderate depression. Antidepressants are also

sometimes prescribed.

For moderate to severe depression, a combination

of talking therapy and antidepressants is often

recommended. If you have severe depression, you

may be referred to a specialist mental health team

for intensive specialist talking treatments and

prescribed medication.

Living with depression

Many people with depression benefit by making

lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise,

cutting down on alcohol, giving up smoking and

eating healthily. Reading a self-help book or

joining a support group are also worthwhile. They

can help you gain a better understanding about

what causes you to feel depressed. Sharing your

experiences with others in a similar situation can

also be very supportive.

Further Help and Information

Other contacts for help with Depression can be

found on our Mental Health Glossary on pages

22 - 25.

www.mhap.co.uk 17

Post Natal


Postnatal depression is a type of depression that

many parents experience after having a baby.

It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in

every 10 women and up to 1 in 25 new fathers

within a year of giving birth.

Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious

in the first week after giving birth. Having a baby

is a life-changing event and it often takes time to

adapt to becoming a new parent. Looking after a

small baby can be stressful and exhausting. This

is often called the “baby blues” and is so common

that it’s considered normal.

Unlike the “baby blues”, which generally do not last

more than 2 weeks after giving birth, postnatal

depression can start any time in the first year after

giving birth. It’s important to seek help as soon as

possible if you think you might be depressed, as

your symptoms could last months or get worse

and have a significant impact on you, your baby

and your family. With the right support most

women make a full recovery.


There is no evidence that there’s anything

specific you can do to prevent the condition

developing, apart from maintaining a healthy

lifestyle. However, if you or your family have a

history of depression or mental health problems

earlier in life or during and after pregnancy, tell

your GP if you’re pregnant or thinking of having

a baby. If you have had a mental health problem

while pregnant, your doctor should arrange for

you to be seen regularly in the first few weeks

after birth. Signs that you or someone you know

might be depressed include:

a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood

/ lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the

wider world

lack of energy and feeling tired all the time /

trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy

during the day

difficulty bonding with your baby

withdrawing from contact with other people

problems concentrating and making decisions

frightening thoughts – for example, about

hurting your baby

Getting help for

postnatal depression

Speak to your GP or health visitor if you think you

may be depressed. Many health visitors have been

trained to recognise postnatal depression and

have techniques that can help. If they can’t help,

they’ll know someone in your area who can. Don’t

struggle alone hoping that the problem will go

away. Remember that:

a range of help and support is available,

including therapy

depression is an illness like any other / it’s

not your fault you’re depressed – it can happen

to anyone

being depressed doesn’t mean you’re a bad

parent / it doesn’t mean you’re going mad

your baby won’t be taken away from you

– babies are only taken into care in very

exceptional circumstances


Postnatal depression can be lonely, distressing and

frightening, but support and effective treatments

are available. These include self-help such as

talking to your family and friends about your

feelings and what they can do to help; making

time for yourself to do things you enjoy; resting

whenever you get the chance and getting as much

sleep as you can at night; exercising regularly;

eating a healthy diet. Psychological therapy and

antidepressants may also be prescribed..

Local and national organisations, such as the

Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) and Pre

and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support

(PANDAS), can also be useful sources of help and

advice – see pages 22 - 25.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is when a person’s relationship

with food becomes abnormal, forcing them to change

their eating habits and behaviours. It can involve

eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed

with your weight and body shape. It can take over

your life and make you ill. Men and women of any age

can get an eating disorder, but they most commonly

affect young women aged 13 to 17 years old.

Eating problems can disrupt how a person eats

food and absorbs nutrients, which affects physical

health, but can also be detrimental both emotionally

and socially. Eating disorders often occur alongside

other mental health conditions, such as anxiety,

depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive

disorder and substance misuse disorders.

Types of eating disorders

Anorexia Nervosa – keeping your weight as low

as possible by restricted food intake and/or

excessive exercise

Bulimia Nervosa – binge eating followed

by deliberate purging (deliberately sick, use

laxatives) to restrict what you eat, or do too much

exercise to try to stop yourself gaining weight

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – episodes of

overeating in a short space of time until you

feel uncomfortably full, and are then often

upset or guilty

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder

(OSFED) - when your symptoms don’t exactly

match those of anorexia, bulimia or binge

eating disorder.

Symptoms of eating

disorders include:

dramatic weight loss /spending a lot of time

worrying about your weight and body shape

avoiding socialising when you think food will

be involved

eating very little food / eating a lot of food very

fast / cutting food into small pieces or eating

very slowly

deliberately making yourself sick or taking

laxatives after you eat

wearing loose or baggy clothes to hide

weight loss

exercising excessively or obsessively exercising

lying about how much and when they’ve eaten,

or how much they weigh

having very strict habits or routines around food

changes in your mood

You may also notice physical signs including

feeling cold, tired or dizzy, problems with your

digestion, your weight being very high or very

low for someone of your age and height and not

getting your period for women and girls.

What causes eating disorders?

There is no single reason why someone may

develop an eating disorder - it can be the result

of a combination of genetic, psychological,

environmental, social and biological factors.

Getting help for an

eating disorder

If you think you may have an eating disorder, even

if you aren’t sure, see your GP as soon as you can.

They’ll ask you questions about your eating habits

and how you’re feeling, and will check your overall

health and weight. If they think you may have an

eating disorder, they should refer you to an eating

disorder specialist or team of specialists.

You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from

eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult

helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on

0808 801 0711.

Treatment for eating disorders

While they can be very serious mental health

conditions they are also treatable and, although

it may take a long time, full recovery is possible.

Treatment normally consists of monitoring

a person’s physical health while addressing

the underlying psychological problems with

psychological therapy such as cognitive behavioural

therapy (CBT) or family therapy. Medication such as

a type of antidepressant may also be used.

www.mhap.co.uk 19

Self Harm

Self-harm is when somebody intentionally

damages or injures their body. The reasons for

self harm will not be the same for everybody and

can change over time. Sometimes the reason for

self-harm is unknown, but is often a build-up of

many smaller things, which may include:

expressing or coping with

emotional distress caused by - being bullied

or experiencing pressure at school or work,

family arguments or relationship problems,

money worries, low self-esteem, struggling

with stress, anxiety or depression, confusion

about sexuality, grief after bereavement or

loss, physical or sexual abuse, experiencing

complex mental health difficulties that

sometimes cause impulsive behaviour or

difficulty controlling emotions, often due to

past trauma.

trying to feel in control

a way of punishing themselves

relieving unbearable tension

a cry for help

a response to intrusive thoughts

self-harm may be linked to bad experiences

that are happening now, or in the past.

How to recognise self-harm

It can be hard to recognise when someone

has started to self-harm as they may not want

anyone else to know.

Physical signs of self-harm:

keeping themselves fully covered at all times,

even in hot weather

unexplained cuts, bruises or cigarette burns,

usually on the wrists, arms, thighs and chest

unexplained blood stains on clothing or


signs that they have been pulling out their hair

Emotional signs of self-harm:

becoming very withdrawn and not speaking

to others

signs of depression, such as low mood,

tearfulness or a lack of motivation or interest

in anything

signs of low self-esteem, such as thinking

they’re not good enough

talking about ending things or not wanting to

go on

Ways to help avoid self-harm

Finding ways to prevent or distract yourself from

self-harm may help you get through a difficult

moment. Many people who self-harm will

eventually stop on their own, however, support

and treatment is available if you need it to help

address the underlying cause.

Try talking honestly and openly about your

feelings to a trusted friend, family member,

trained volunteer or health professional - it

can feel like a big step but many people feel

more supported and less alone after talking

to someone. Decide on the right time/place

to talk to someone. Be clear about how you’re

feeling, why you’re asking for help and things

they may be able to do. It may be easier to

write something down or practice what you


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

want to say - no one else needs to see it. Let

the other person ask questions – but do not

feel you have to answer them all and decide

if you want to show the other person any

injuries or scars.

Try working out if feeling a certain way leads

to your self-harm – for example, when you’re

feeling sad or anxious you could try

expressing that emotion in a safer way.

Try waiting before you consider self-harm –

distract yourself by going out for a walk,

listening to music, or doing something else

that interests you; the need to self-harm may

pass over time

Try calming breathing exercises or other

things you find relaxing to reduce feelings of


How to help someone else

If you think someone you know has started to

self-harm, you may not be able to help them

on your own but it’s important to approach the

subject with care and understanding. It can be

very helpful to just be there and let them know

they’re not alone.

encourage them to speak to a GP or free

listening service about self-harm

ask how they would like to be supported & tell

them about their positive qualities

try to understand their emotions &

experiences, without judging them

consider that any amount of self-harm

might be a sign that they’re feeling extremely


let them be in control of their decisions, but

get them medical attention if needed

do not try to force them to change what

they’re doing, do not threaten to take away

their control or insult them

Urgent help for self-harm

Some people who self-harm are at a higher

risk of suicide. It’s important to get support or

treatment as soon as possible to help with the

underlying cause and prevent suicidal thoughts


Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, who offer

confidential advice from trained volunteers

and you can talk about anything that’s

troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout

Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19

If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800

1111 to talk to Childline.

Non-urgent advice:

Speak to a GP if you’re harming yourself, you’re

having thoughts about harming yourself or you’re

worried about minor injuries, such as small cuts

or burns – without treatment there is a risk of


A GP will listen, give you advice, treat minor

injuries and discuss the best options for you.

They may ask you detailed questions to help

them understand the cause of your self-harm.

It’s important to be honest with them, even if

you do not know why you self-harm. If needed,

a GP may refer you for an assessment with a

local community mental health team (CMHT) to

help you find the right treatment and support to

reduce or stop your self-harm.

The following organisations offer information

and support for anyone who self-harms or thinks

about self-harm, or their friends and family:

Mind – call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

(9am to 6pm on weekdays)

Harmless – email info@harmless.org.uk

Self-injury Support (for women and

girls) & CALM (for men)

Young Minds Parents Helpline – call

0808 802 5544 (9.30am to 4pm on weekdays

www.mhap.co.uk 21

A Summary of Contact Numbers

and Information for Selected Mental Health Disorders

Specialised Area

Contact Details

SANE - emotional support, information & guidance for people

affected by mental illness, their families & carers.

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 www.sane.org.uk/support

Mind - 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm) www.mind.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness - support and advice for people living with

mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm) www.rethink.org

Mental Health Foundation - provides information & support for

anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.


Mental Health

Young Minds - information on child & adolescent mental health.

Parents helpline 0808 802 5544

www.youngminds.org.uk (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm)

The Samaritans - confidential support for people experiencing

feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline). www.samaritans.org.uk

NHS Choices –


Information on online mental health services.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy –

01455 883 300 www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk

Mind Out – a mental health service run by and for lesbian, gay,

bisexual, trans and queer people. 01273 234839

Email: info@mindout.org.uk

Adfam - a national charity working with families affected by drugs

& alcohol. Has a database of local support groups.


General Addictions

Rehab 4 Addiction - free helpline dedicated to assisting those

suffering from drug, alcohol and mental health problems.

Tel: 0800 140 4690 www.rehab4addiction.co.uk

Addaction - a UK-wide treatment agency that helps individuals,

families & communities manage the effects of drug and

alcohol misuse. www.addaction.org.uk


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Drinkline - the national alcohol helpline. Free & confidential

0300 123 1110

Alcoholics Anonymous - 0845 769 7555 (24 hr)


Alcohol Misuse

Al-Anon Family Groups - offers support to the families & friends of

problem drinkers. Helpline 0207 403 0888 www.al-anonuk.org.uk

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics -

for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned

about their welfare. Free confidential helpline 0800 358 3456.


Drugs /

Substance Abuse

FRANK drugs helpline 0300 123 6600

Narcotics Anonymous - 0300 999 1212 (daily until midnight)


GamCare – the National Gambling Helpline 0808 8020 133 -

offers free information, support and counselling for problem

gamblers in the UK.


Gamblers Anonymous - runs local support groups


GamAnon - support groups for friends and family.


NHS Smokefree - helpline on 0300 123 1044

Smoking Dependency

There is also support available from your local stop smoking

service. www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Stop-smoking-services/


National Dementia - helpline 0300 222 1122

Alzheimer's Society - helpline 0300 222 1122



Alzheimer's Research UK -

0300 111 5 111 www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

Dementia UK - to talk to an Admiral Nurse, who are registered

nurses & experts in dementia care, call

0800 888 6678 www.dementiauk.org

The Carers Trust - if you are looking after someone with dementia,

get help & support & even a break from caring. www.carers.org

www.mhap.co.uk 23

A Summary of Contact Numbers - continued

Anxiety Disorders

& Social Anxiety


Panic Disorder



Bipolar Disorder



Psychotic Depression

Episodes / Confusion

(Sudden Delirium)

Seasonal Affective


Eating Disorders

Body Dysmorphic


Anxiety UK - Phone: 03444 775 774 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5.30pm)


Anxiety Care UK – www.anxietycare.org.uk

No More Panic – www.nomorepanic.co.uk

No Panic – www.nopanic.org.uk / helpline: 08449 674848

(10.00am – 10.00pm)

Triumph Over Phobia – www.topuk.org

Depression Alliance - for sufferers of depression.


Bipolar UK - www.bipolaruk.org.uk

The Association for Post Natal Illness -

0207 386 0868 www.apni.org

Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support -

0843 2898401 www.pandasfoundation.org.uk

If you think the person's symptoms are placing them or others

at possible risk of harm you can take them to your nearest A&E

department, call their GP or local out-of-hours GP or call 999

to ask for an ambulance.

SAD Association - www.sada.org.uk

Beat - Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults)

or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)

Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

(Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder & Bulimia).

Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation – www.bddfoundation.org

Respect – 0808 802 4040 www.respect.uk.net


National Domestic Abuse - helpline – 0808 2000 247

Refuge – www.refuge.org.uk

Autism Spectrum


The National Autistic Society -

Autism Helpline 0808 800 4104 www.autism.org.uk


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546



Grief / Bereavement

MIND - www.mind.org.uk has a list if useful contacts

Cruse Bereavement Care - Phone: 0844 477 9400

(Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk

Hoarding Disorder www.ocduk.org – 0845 120 3778


Compulsive Disorder



Stress Disorder

OCD Action - support for people with OCD related disorders.

Phone: 0845 390 6232 Website: www.ocdaction.org.uk

(Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm)

National Paranoia Network – 0114 271 8210


ASSIST trauma care –

helpline 0178 856 0800 www.assisttraumacare.org.uk

Combat Stress – helpline 0800 1381 619 www.combatstress.org.uk

PTSD Resolution – 0300 302 0551 www.ptsdresolution.org


Dysphoric Disorder

National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome – www.pms.org.uk

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

Sexual Abuse

0808 801 0331 (freephone, Monday–Thursday 10am–9pm and

Friday 10am–6pm) www.napac.org.uk

HAVOCA (Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse) www.havoca.org

Lifecentre - helpline: 0808 802 0808 www.lifecentre.uk.com



Harmless – email info@harmless.org.uk

Men's Health Forum - 24/7 stress support for men by text, chat

and email. Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

PAPYRUS - Young suicide prevention society.

HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141

(Mon-Fri,10am-5pm & 7-10pm. Weekends 2-5pm)


Suicide / Suicidal


Childline – for children and young people under 19

Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill

CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged

15-35. www.thecalmzone.net

The Silver Line – for older people Call 0800 4 70 80 90

www.mhap.co.uk 25


A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear

of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal

and they are the most common type of anxiety

disorder. They can affect anyone, regardless of

age, sex and social background. Phobias are

more pronounced than fears. They develop when

a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense

of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia

becomes very severe, a person may organise their

life around avoiding the thing that’s causing them

anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life,

it can also cause a lot of distress..


A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. You may

not experience any symptoms until you come into

contact with the source of your phobia. However,

in some cases, even thinking about the source

of a phobia can make a person feel anxious or

panicky. This is known as anticipatory anxiety.

Symptoms may include:

unsteadiness, dizziness and light-headedness,



increased heart rate or palpitations,

shortness of breath,

trembling or shaking

an upset stomach.

Types of phobia

There are a wide variety of objects or situations

that someone could develop a phobia about.

However, phobias can be divided into two

main categories:

Specific or simple phobias - centre around a

particular object, animal, situation or activity. They

often develop during childhood or adolescence

and may become less severe as you get older.

Common examples of simple phobias include:

animal phobias – such as dogs, spiders,

snakes or rodents

environmental phobias – such as heights,

deep water and germs

situational phobias – such as visiting the dentist

or flying

bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or

having injections

sexual phobias – such as performance

anxiety or the fear of getting a sexually

transmitted infection

Complex phobias - tend to be more disabling

than simple phobias. They tend to develop during

adulthood and are often associated with a deeprooted

fear or anxiety about a particular situation

or circumstance. The two most common complex

phobias are:

Agoraphobia – a sufferer will feel anxious about

being in a place or situation where escaping

may be difficult if they have a panic attack.

Social phobia (also known as social anxiety

disorder) - centres around feeling anxious in

social situations.


Phobias don’t have a single cause, but there are a

number of associated factors. For example:

it may be associated with a particular incident

or trauma,

it may be a response that a person develops

early in life from another family member or

genetics may play a role – there’s evidence

to suggest that some people are born with a

tendency to be more anxious than others.

Treating phobias

Almost all phobias can be successfully treated

and cured. If you have a phobia, you should seek

help from your GP. Simple phobias can be treated

through gradual exposure to the object, animal,

place or situation that causes fear and anxiety

( known as desensitisation or self-exposure

therapy). Other contacts for help with Phobias

can be found on our Mental Health Glossary on

pages 22 - 25.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546


Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a

trained therapist listening to you and helping

you find ways to deal with emotional issues.

Sometimes the term “counselling” is used to refer

to talking therapies in general, but counselling is

also a type of therapy in its own right.

What can counselling

help with?

Counselling can help you cope with:

a mental health condition, such as depression,

anxiety or an eating disorder

an upsetting physical health condition,

such as infertility

a difficult life event, such as a bereavement, a

relationship breakdown or work-related stress

difficult emotions – for example,

low self-esteem or anger

other issues, such as sexual identity

What to expect from


Counselling can take place either face to

face, in a group, over the phone, by email or

online through live chat services During your

appointment, you’ll be encouraged to talk about

your feelings and emotions with a trained

therapist, who’ll listen and support you without

judging or criticising. The therapist can help you

gain a better understanding of your feelings and

thought processes, and find your own solutions

to problems.

You may be offered a single session of

counselling, a short course of sessions over a few

weeks or months, or a longer course that lasts for

several months or years. It can take a number of

sessions before you start to see progress, but you

should gradually start to feel better with the help

and support of your therapist.

Where to source Counselling

You can get free psychological therapies,

including counselling for depression, on the NHS.

You don’t need a referral from your GP and you

can refer yourself directly to a psychological

therapies service.

If you decide to pay to see a private therapist,

make sure they’re professionally qualified and

you feel comfortable with them. Many private

therapists offer an initial free session and lower

rates for students, job seekers and those on low

wages. You should ask about charges and agree a

price before starting a course of counselling.

Some charities and voluntary organisations also

offer counselling. You don’t need a referral from

your GP for an appointment for these services, but

you may have to pay a fee to cover the cost

of your sessions.

Charities that may offer counselling include:

Cruse Bereavement Care – for bereavement

advice and support

Rape Crisis England and Wales –

for women and girls who have been

raped or sexually abused

Relate – for relationship advice

and counselling

Samaritans – for people to talk about

whatever’s troubling them at any time

Victim Support – for victims and

witnesses of crime

You may also be able to access support

groups through your local community, church

or social services.

Pilgrims Stepping Stones – Tel: 01233 504127

Ashford - Hythe Road, Willesborough TN24


Canterbury – 56 London Road CT2 8JA

Thanet – Ramsgate Road, Margate CT9 4AD

www.mhap.co.uk 27


Self-help tips to stop smoking.

Get some stop smoking support - If friends or

family members want to give up too, suggest to

them that you give up together.

Think positive - You might have tried to quit

smoking before and not managed it, but don’t

let that put you off. Look back at the things your

experience has taught you and think about how

you’re really going to do it this time.

Make a plan to quit smoking - Make a

promise, set a date and stick to it. Sticking to

the “not a drag” rule can really help. Whenever

you find yourself in difficulty say to yourself, “I

will not have even a single drag” and stick with

this until the cravings pass. Think ahead to

times where it might be difficult – a party for

instance – and plan your actions and escape

routes in advance.

Make a list of reasons to quit - Keep reminding

yourself why you made the decision to give up.

Make a list of the reasons and read it when you

need support.

Identify when you crave cigarettes - A craving

can last five minutes. Before you give up, make

a list of five-minute strategies. For example, you

could leave the party for a minute, dance or go

to the bar. And think about this: the combination

of smoking and drinking raises your risk of

mouth cancer by 38 times.

If you want to stop smoking, you can make small

changes to your lifestyle that may help you resist

the temptation to light up.

Consider your diet - Is your after-dinner

cigarette your favourite? A US study revealed

that some foods, including meat, make

cigarettes more satisfying. Others, including

cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes

taste terrible. So swap your usual steak or

burger for a veggie pizza instead. You may

also want to change your routine at or after

mealtimes. Getting up and doing the dishes

straight away or settling down in a room where

you don’t smoke may help.

Change your drink - The same study as above

also looked at drinks. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola,

tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better.

So when you’re out, drink more water and juice.

Some people find simply changing their drink

(for example, switching from wine to a vodka

and tomato juice) affects their need to reach

for a cigarette.

Get moving - A review of scientific studies has

proved exercise – even a five-minute walk or

stretch – cuts cravings and may help your brain

produce anti-craving chemicals.

Make non-smoking friends - When you’re at a

party, stick with the non-smokers.

Keep your hands and mouth busy - Nicotine

replacement therapy (NRT) can double your

chances of success. As well as patches, there

are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray.

And if you like holding a cigarette, there are

handheld products like the inhalator. There are

also e-cigarettes. When you’re out, try putting

your drink in the hand that usually holds a

cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your

mouth busy.

There is also support available from your local

stop smoking service. Did you know that you’re

up to four times more likely to quit successfully

with their expert help and advice? www.nhs.



You can also call the NHS Smokefree Helpline on

0300 123 1044 open Monday to Friday 9am to

8pm, and Saturday to Sunday 11am to 4pm.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546


Most people feel stressed sometimes and some

people find stress helpful or even motivating. But

if stress is affecting your life, there are things you

can try that may help. Support is also available if

you’re finding it hard to cope with stress.

Symptoms of stress

Stress can affect how you feel physically, mentally

and also how you behave. It’s not always easy to

recognise when stress is the reason you’re feeling or

acting differently.

Physical symptoms may include: headaches

or dizziness, muscle tension or pain, stomach

problems, chest pain or a faster heartbeat or sexual


Mental symptoms may include: difficulty

concentrating, struggling to make decisions, feeling

overwhelmed, constantly worrying or being forgetful.

Changes in behaviour may include: being irritable

and snappy, sleeping too much or too little, eating

too much or too little, avoiding certain places or

people or drinking or smoking more.

Causes of stress

Stress is usually a reaction to mental or emotional

pressure. It’s often related to feeling like you’re

losing control over something, but sometimes

there’s no obvious cause. When you’re feeling

anxious or scared, but it might also cause physical

symptoms such as a faster heartbeat or sweating.

If you’re stressed all the time it can become a


Identifying the cause

If you know what’s causing your stress it might be

easier to find ways to manage it. Some examples

of things that may cause stress include:

work – feeling pressure at work,

unemployment or retirement

family – relationship difficulties, divorce or

caring for someone

financial problems – unexpected bills or

borrowing money

health – illness, injury or bereavement

life events – having a baby, planning a

wedding, buying a house

Things you can try to help

with stress

try talking about your feelings to a friend,

family member or health professional. You

could also contact Samaritans, call: 116

123 or email: jo@samaritans.org if you need

someone to talk to

use easy time-management techniques to

help you take control

use calming breathing exercises

plan ahead for stressful days or events –

planning long journeys or making a list of

things to remember can really help

consider peer support, where people use their

experiences to help each other. Find out more

about peer support on the Mind website

do not try to do everything at once – set small

targets you can easily achieve

do not focus on the things you cannot change

– focus your time and energy into helping

yourself feel better

try not to tell yourself that you’re alone –

most people feel stressed at some point in

their life and support is available

try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or

drugs to relieve stress – these can all

contribute to poor mental health

Further information and


The mental health charity Mind offers

information on dealing with pressure and

developing emotional resilience to help you

adapt and bounce back during difficult times.

If you need more support, you can refer yourself

directly without a GP referral for free

psychological therapies on the NHS.

If you’re struggling to cope with stress and the

things you’re trying yourself are not helping visit

your GP.

For urgent advice or help, call 111 or ask for an

urgent GP appointment.

For emergency help, call 999 or go to A&E

if you or someone you know needs immediate

help (if you have seriously harmed yourself,

for example, by taking a drug overdose). A

mental health emergency should be taken as

seriously as a medical emergency.

www.mhap.co.uk 29

Health anxiety

Health anxiety is when you spend so much

time worrying you’re ill, or about getting ill, that

it starts to take over your life. It’s related to

obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Check if you have health


You may have health anxiety if you:

constantly worry about your health

frequently check your body for signs of illness,

such as lumps, tingling or pain

are always asking people for reassurance that

you’re not ill

worry that a doctor or medical tests may have

missed something

obsessively look at health information on the

internet or in the media

avoid anything to do with serious illness, such

as medical TV programmes

act as if you were ill (for example, avoiding

physical activities)

Anxiety itself can cause symptoms like

headaches or a racing heartbeat, and you may

mistake these for signs of illness.

Self-help for health anxiety

Keep a diary

note how often you check your body, ask people

for reassurance, or look at health information

try to gradually reduce how often you do these

things over a week

Challenge your thoughts

draw a table with 2 columns

write your health worries in the 1st column,

then more balanced thoughts in the 2nd. For

example, in the 1st column you may write, “I’m

worried about these headaches” and in the 2nd,

“Headaches can often be a sign of stress”

Keep busy with other things

when you get the urge to check your body, for

example, distract yourself by going for a walk or

calling a friend

Get back to normal activities

try to gradually start doing things you’ve been

avoiding because of your health worries, such

as sports or socialising

Try to relax

try simple breathing exercises or visit the Mind

website for some relaxation exercises

See a GP if:

your worries about your health are preventing

you leading a normal life

self-help is not working

If a GP diagnoses you with health anxiety, they

may refer you for a talking therapy, such as

cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or offer you

a medicine for anxiety.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Anxiety /

Panic Attacks

Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all

experience, such as in the run up to exams or a

job interview. But when anxiety becomes much

more severe this feeling can take over and begin

to interfere with everyday life. Conditions under

the anxiety disorder umbrella include: social

anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic

disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),

phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder


For people with an anxiety disorder, feelings like

stress, panic and worry are longer lasting, more

extreme and far harder to control. Anxiety can

stop people living the life they want – whether that

means not being able to work, see friends or, in

the most severe cases, even leave the house.

As with many mental health conditions, the exact

cause of panic disorder isn’t fully understood.

But it’s thought the condition is probably linked

to a combination of things, including a traumatic

or very stressful life experience, such as

bereavement, having a close family member with

the disorder or an imbalance of neurotransmitters

(chemical messengers) in the brain.


Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and

panic at certain times. It’s a natural response

to stressful or dangerous situations. But for

someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety,

stress, panic or fear occur regularly and at any

time, often for no apparent reason. You may start

to avoid certain situations because you fear that

they will trigger another attack. This can create a

cycle of living “in fear of fear”. It can add to your

sense of panic and may cause you to have more


A panic attack is when your body experiences a

rush of intense mental and physical symptoms.

It can come on very quickly and for no apparent

reason and can be very frightening and

distressing. Symptoms may include a racing

heartbeat, feeling faint, sweating, nausea, chest

pain, shortness of breath, trembling, hot flushes,

chills, shaky limbs and, a choking sensation.

Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20

minutes, but may last up to an hour. The number

of attacks you have will depend on how severe

your condition is, sometimes once or twice a

month, while others have them several times a

week. Although panic attacks are frightening,

they’re not dangerous. An attack won’t cause you

any physical harm, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be

admitted to hospital if you have one.

Treatments for

panic disorder

Panic disorder is treatable and you can make

a full recovery. If you’ve been experiencing

symptoms of panic disorder visit your GP. They’ll

ask you to describe your symptoms, how often

they occur and how long you’ve had them. They

may also carry out a physical examination to

rule out other conditions that could be causing

your symptoms. If you don’t get medical help,

panic disorder can escalate and become very

difficult to cope with. You’re more at risk of

developing other mental health conditions, such

as agoraphobia or other phobias, or an alcohol or

drug problem.

Treatment aims to reduce the number of panic

attacks you have and ease your symptoms, using

one or a combination of Psychological therapy

(based on cognitive behavioural therapy) and

medication. If your symptoms don’t improve after

CBT, medication and connecting with a support

group, your GP may refer you to a mental health

specialist such as a psychiatrist

or clinical psychologist.

www.mhap.co.uk 31


Stress Disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an

anxiety disorder caused by very stressful,

frightening or distressing events.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic

event through nightmares and flashbacks, and

may experience feelings of isolation, irritability

and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping,

such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.

These symptoms are often severe and persistent

enough to have a significant impact on the

person’s day-to-day life.

Causes of PTSD

Any situation that a person finds traumatic can

cause PTSD. These can include:

serious road accidents

violent personal assaults, such as sexual

assault, mugging or robbery

a traumatic birth

PTSD can develop immediately after someone

experiences a disturbing event or it can occur

weeks, months or even years later. PTSD is

estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who

have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear

exactly why some people develop the condition

and others don’t.

Complex PTSD

People who repeatedly experience traumatic

situations such as severe neglect, abuse or violence

may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. Complex

PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and

may not develop until years after the event. It’s often

more severe if the trauma was experienced early in

life as this can affect a child’s development.

When to seek medical advice

It’s normal to experience upsetting and

confusing thoughts after a traumatic event,

but most people improve naturally over a

few weeks. You should visit your GP if you

or your child are still having problems about

4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if

the symptoms are particularly troublesome.

If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental

health specialists for further assessment

and treatment.

How PTSD is treated

PTSD can be successfully treated, even when

it develops many years after a traumatic event.

Any treatment depends on the severity of

symptoms and how soon they occur after the

traumatic event. Any of the following treatment

options may be recommended:

watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms

to see whether they improve or get worse

without treatment

antidepressants – such as paroxetine

or mirtazapine

psychological therapies – such as traumafocused

cognitive behavioural therapy

(CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and

reprocessing (EMDR); you can refer yourself

directly to a psychological therapies service

Further Help and Information

Other contacts for help with PTSD can be found on

our Mental Health Glossary on pages 22 and 23.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546



disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of

depression that comes and goes in a seasonal

pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter

depression” because the symptoms are usually

more apparent and more severe during the

winter. A few people with SAD may have

symptoms during the summer and feel better

during the winter.

Symptoms of SAD can


a persistent low mood

a loss of pleasure or interest in normal

everyday activities


feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and

sleepy during the day

sleeping for longer than normal and finding

it hard to get up in the morning

craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

For some people, these symptoms can be severe

and have a significant impact on their day-to-day


When to see a GP

You should consider seeing a GP if you think you

might have SAD and you’re struggling to cope.

The GP can carry out an assessment to check

your mental health. They may ask you about

your mood, lifestyle, eating habits and sleeping

patterns, plus any seasonal changes in your

thoughts and behaviour.

What causes SAD?

The exact cause of SAD is not fully understood,

but it’s often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight

during the shorter autumn and winter days. The

main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a

part of the brain called the hypothalamus working

properly, which may affect (i) the production of

melatonin (a hormone that makes you feel sleepy

- in people with SAD, the body may produce it in

higher than normal levels), (ii) the production of

serotonin (a hormone that affects your mood,

appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to

lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of

depression) and (iii) body’s internal clock (circadian

rhythm) – your body uses sunlight to time various

important functions, such as when you wake up, so

lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your

body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD. It’s also

possible that some people are more vulnerable

to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases

appear to run in families.

Treatments for SAD

A range of treatments are available for SAD. A

GP will recommend the most suitable treatment

program for you. The main treatments are:

lifestyle measures – including getting as

much natural sunlight as possible,

exercising regularly and managing your

stress levels

light therapy – where a special lamp called

a light box is used to simulate exposure to


talking therapies – such as cognitive

behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling

antidepressant medicine – such as selective

serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

www.mhap.co.uk 33



Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common

mental health condition in which a person has

obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

It affects men, women and children, and can

develop at any age. OCD can be distressing and

significantly interfere with your life, but treatment

can help you keep it under control.

An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant

thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters

your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust

or unease.

A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental

act that you feel you need to carry out to try

to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings

brought on by the obsessive thought. e.g. For

example, someone with an obsessive fear of

their house being burgled may feel they need

to check all the windows and doors are locked

several times before they can leave the house.

Getting help for OCD

People with OCD are often reluctant to seek help

because they feel ashamed or embarrassed. But

there’s nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed

about. It’s a health condition like any other. If you

think a friend or family member may have OCD, try

talking to them about your concerns and suggest

they seek help. OCD is unlikely to get better without

proper treatment and support. You can either

refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies

service or visit your GP who can refer you to a local

psychological therapies service if necessary.

Treatments for OCD

There are some effective treatments for OCD that

can help reduce the impact the condition has on

your life. The main treatments are:

psychological therapy – usually a special

type of cognitive behavioural therapy

(CBT) that helps you face your fears and

obsessive thoughts without “putting them

right” with compulsions

medication – usually a type of antidepressant

medication called selective serotonin reuptake

inhibitors (SSRIs) that can help by altering the

balance of chemicals in your brain

Causes of OCD

It’s not clear exactly what causes OCD. A

number of different factors may play a role

in the condition. These include family history,

differences in the brain and personality (neat,

meticulous, methodical people with high personal

standards may be more likely to develop OCD, as

may those who are generally quite anxious).

OCD may also occur after important life events

such as childbirth or a bereavement.

Further Help and


Living with OCD can be difficult. In addition to

getting medical help, you might find it helps to

contact a support group or other people with OCD

for information and advice. The following sites

may be useful sources of support:

OCD Action – www.ocdaction.org.uk. The

national OCD charity, run by people with

experience of OCD

TOP UK – www.topuk.org The OCD and

Phobia charity.

HealthUnlocked OCD forum

Other contacts for help with OCD can be found on

our Mental Health Glossary on pages 22 - 25.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Help for Suicidal


Suicide is when someone purposely ends their

own life. This section looks at why someone

might think about suicide and how you can

help them. People might think about suicide

for different reasons. There’s no right or wrong

way to talk about suicidal feelings – starting

the conversation is what’s important.

If you are worried that someone may be

thinking about suicide, talk to them. Ask them

about how they are feeling and offer to help.

Talking to someone about their suicidal

thoughts does not make them more likely to

end their life.

You can help someone who is feeling

suicidal by listening to them without judging

them and trying to help them think about

other options.

Helping someone with suicidal thoughts is

likely to have a big impact on you. Find out

what support is available to you. If someone

does try to end their life, this is not your fault.

If you’re feeling like you

want to die, it’s important

to tell someone

Help is available right now if you need it. You

don’t have to struggle with difficult feelings

alone. Talk to someone you trust. Let family

or friends know what’s going on. They may be

able to offer support and help keep you safe.

Alternatively, you could call your GP and ask

for an emergency appointment or call 111 out

of hours – they will help you find the support

and help you need. You could also contact your

mental health crisis team.

Important -

is your life in danger?

If you have seriously harmed yourself – for

example, by taking a drug overdose – call 999

for an ambulance or go straight to A&E or ask

someone else to call 999 or take you to A&E.

Phone a helpline

These free helplines are there to help when

you’re feeling down or desperate. Unless it

says otherwise, they’re open 24 hours a day,

every day.

Samaritans – for everyone

Call 116 123

Email jo@samaritans.org

Campaign Against Living Miserably

(CALM) – for men

Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight

every day

Visit the webchat page

Papyrus – for people under 35

Call 0800 068 41 41 – Mon to Friday 10am

to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm

Text 07786 209697

Email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline – for children and

young people under 19

Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show

up on your phone bill

The Silver Line – for older people

Call 0800 470 80 90

www.mhap.co.uk 35

Coping with


Coping with the death of a loved one can be

extremely hard. You may be dealing with lots of

different emotions, finding it hard to process them

and having difficulties moving on.

How can I cope with my

feelings after the death of my

loved one?

Grief can make you feel many different things.

It’s important to remember that these feelings

are not bad or wrong. They are a normal part of

bereavement, and there are no quick answers to

how you might be feeling.

Coping with fear

Feeling fearful and anxious is natural – your

familiar world has been turned upside down. You

may feel that you have little control over your

life, your thoughts and emotions. This is likely

to make you feel vulnerable and afraid. But as

you get used to coping, in time, you will begin to

feel more capable of dealing with your changed


Something that might help: If you are feeling

overwhelmed by fearful thoughts or anxiety, it

could help to talk to someone about how you are

feeling. It can take a lot of courage to admit you’re

struggling, but don’t keep it to yourself.

Coping with emptiness and


Feelings of depression and emptiness can hit

you when the reality of the death begins to sink

in. Although it may feel almost unbearable at the

time, this seems to be a period when some inner

healing takes place. Afterwards, people say they

feel lighter, more in control of their lives and better

able to look forward.

Sadness is a natural response to bereavement,

but some people may become depressed. You

don’t have to try to cope on your own and help is


Something that might help: You can talk to your

doctor at any time, in complete confidence. They

won’t judge you – they’re there to listen and help

you get back on track. Remember that you can

phone Samaritans, day or night, on 08457 90 90


Coping with anger

You may feel anger at the injustice of your loss, or

at the lack of understanding in others. You might

be angry at yourself and at the person who died,

who has left you feeling abandoned, frightened

and alone. These feelings are normal.

Something that might help: Don’t bottle up your

feelings – try to think about the reasons for your

anger. Talking about your feelings with someone

who isn’t emotionally involved in your loss can

help. It’s not always easy to open up about our

feelings, but there’s a lot of truth in that old saying

‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’

Coping with guilt

Some people experience feelings of guilt when

someone dies. You may find yourself wondering if

you could have done more to help, or feeling guilty

about something you said or didn’t say to them

when they were alive.

Something that might help: Guilt is a natural

emotion after bereavement, but it’s important

not to dwell on things in the past that you can’t

change. Try not to be too hard on yourself or

anyone else.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Coping with loneliness

You may feel as though the person who died has

left a big hole in your life, and this can leave you

feeling lonely, especially if you spent a lot of your

time with them.

Something that might help: Make the most of

opportunities to spend time with other people and

keep in touch with friends and family.

Find someone to talk to

If you’ve not been feeling yourself since the

bereavement, there’s support available. Cruse

Bereavement Care can offer practical advice or

just someone to chat to about how you’re feeling

– phone 0844477 9400

How do I manage if I’m feeling so tired and


You may find that you experience physical

changes after bereavement. These can include:

difficulty getting to sleep

vivid dreams

long periods of wakefulness

loss of appetite

feeling tense and short of breath, or

edgy and restless

feeling slow and lethargic.

You’re likely to feel exhausted, especially if you

were caring for the person who died or if you went

through an anxious time before their death. Strong

emotions and dealing with all the practical things

that need to be done after a death can also leave

you tired and drained.

Something that might help: Take extra care of

yourself – try to eat well and get some rest even if

you can’t sleep. Take gentle exercise if you can. Be

kind to yourself – don’t try to do too much while

you’re grieving.

In addition to the strong emotions that you

may feel after a bereavement, you may also be

worrying about practical issues, such as how

to manage on a smaller income and handle

household tasks. Find out if you can get any

bereavement benefits to give you some extra

money. See if you are eligible to claim anything

which could boost your income.

If a child has lost someone

Talk about the person who has died

During bereavement, it can help a child to talk

about the person who’s died, whether it was a

grandparent, parent, brother, sister or friend.

Direct, honest and open communication is

more helpful than trying to protect your child by

hiding the truth. If you exclude them from family

ceremonies and services after someone has died

it could make them feel excluded.

This can also help your child be open about their

own feelings and avoid confusion about what has

happened. It may be helpful to talk as a family,

perhaps with your child, about how to include

them in any events that celebrate or say goodbye

to the person who has died.

It’s important for them to have someone with

whom they can talk about that person and share

their emotions. This could be through photos,

games, memory boxes or stories.

Over time, children may start to talk more about

their loss at different times and in different ways.

Young children may start talking about death or

including it in their play, but this is normal and

is a way for them to make sense of what has


Further support for your child

Child Bereavement UK – call 0800 028 8840

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm,

or email support@childbereavement.org

Cruse Bereavement Care – call 0808 808 1677

Monday and Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, and Tuesday,

Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am to 8pm,

or email info@cruse.org.uk

Grief Encounter – call 0808 802 0111

Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm,

or email contact@griefencounter.org.uk

Hope Again – call 0808 808 1677

Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm,

or email hopeagain@cruse.org.uk

Winston’s Wish – call 0808 802 0021

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm,

or email info@winstonswish.org

www.mhap.co.uk 37

Local Community Focus

Dementia Connect Brighton

& Hove

Dementia Connect is Alzheimer’s Society’s

personalised support and advice service

for anyone affected by dementia. It’s free,

easy to access, and puts you in touch with

Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia advisers.

Through Dementia Connect our expert

dementia advisers will listen, help with

all your dementia-related questions, and

connect you to the support you need, from

local help to phone and online advice. Our

team works with a wide variety of people,

including people worried about their

memory, people with dementia, carers and

family members.

Address: Montague House, Montague

Place, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1JE

Phone: 01273 726266


The Bridge group from the Volunteering

Matters Lifelines Project is for older people,

including those affected by dementia, to

play, chat and connect.

Address: Community Room, Patching

Lodge, Park Street, BN2 0AQ, Brighton

Tel: 01273 688117

Sporting Memories Club

Anyone over the age of 50 with a love of

sport – membership includes people living

with dementia, those affected by stroke or

Parkinson’s, depression, or anyone who just

enjoys reminiscing about sport.

Using the rich history and heritage of

sport, Sporting Memories clubs are open

to any people over the age of 50 who

enjoy reminiscing about their experiences

of watching or playing it. The clubs take

place each week and are a friendly,

welcoming environment that is open to

all. Many members attend to enjoy the

company of other older sports fans, some

members live with dementia or have

memory problems, some have experienced

depression, they may have had a stroke or

live with Parkinson’s, all have one thing in

common, a love for sport. The clubs always

have volunteers or staff present who

have been trained by Sporting Memories

to lead the sessions which use a wide

range of Sporting Memories reminiscence

resources developed specifically to help

prompt conversation and discussion.

There is always great fun and laughter in

the sessions. New friendships are forged

and some remarkable sporting stories

often emerge. Some of our clubs also

incorporate fun physical activities.

Address: St. Georges Church, St. Georges

Road, BN2 1ED, Brighton

Tel: 01273 827104


Screenings at Duke of York’s

– Brighton

Dementia-Friendly Screenings aim to

make cinema more accessible to local

dementia communities by providing an fun,

friendly and inclusive experience for people

living with dementia. Film screenings are

designed to be accessible to people living

with dementia, carers, and friends. The

lights are left on low, there are no adverts

or trailers and the audience is allowed to

move around should they wish to. There is

also an interval half way through the film.

Free tea, coffee and biscuits are served

for half an hour before the film to give

people the chance to meet and socialise


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Local Community Focus

with others, and to familiarise themselves

with the cinema space and there is extra

signage put up to help you navigate the

building. Tickets are at the reduced price

of £4.30 per person, with a free place for

accompanying carers.

Address: Duke of York’s Picturehouse,

Preston Road, BN1 4NA, Brighton

Tel: 0207 947908

The Hop50+

The Hop 50+ is uniquely welcoming cafe

and centre, with regular customers always

ensuring new visitors have someone to

chat to. It is for anyone aged over 50,

including those with dementia and their

carers. A team of staff and volunteers work

alongside the customers to develop and

run groups and activities which encompass

minibus trips, therapies, exercise, and

educational and social events. It has been

called a lifeline by regular customers: that

they feel they belong somewhere; it gives

a focus to their week, and a reason to get

up and go out. The home-cooked food and

great coffee, combined with good company

and the resulting connections people make,

all play an integral part in maintaining

physical and emotional health.

Address: The Hop 50+, Palmeira Square,

BN3 2FL, Hove

Carer Information and

Support Programme One

- Brighton and Hove - in

person and online

For Carers of People with Dementia Only

and Residents of Brighton and Hove. If

you are a carer, family member or friend

of someone who has been recently

diagnosed with dementia, the Carer

Information and Support Programme

One can give you the support and advice

you need. The programme covers:

understanding dementia, legal and money

matters, support and care, and coping

with dementia day to day. This group is

delivered through face-to-face sessions or


Address: Part Ground Floor, Barclays

House 51 Bishopric, Horsham RH12 1QJ

Tel: 01273 726266

Peer Support Group Brighton

- in person and online

For Carers of People with Dementia

Only. Our peer support group gives you

the opportunity to meet with others

who understand some of what you are

going through. Run by a facilitator, these

sessions offer a chance for people

affected by dementia to ask questions,

get information and share experiences in

a safe and supportive environment. This

group is delivered through face-to-face

sessions or online.

Address: Ship Street, BN1 1AF

Tel: 01273 726266

Dementia support

Call: 0333 150 3456

Brighton Memory Walk

If you are affected by dementia, worried

about a diagnosis or a carer, trained staff

are ready to give you the support you need.

www.mhap.co.uk 39






Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a

condition that affects people’s behaviour. People

with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble

concentrating and may act on impulse.

Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early

age and may become more noticeable when a

child’s circumstances change, such as when they

start school. Most cases are diagnosed when

children are under 12 years old, but sometimes it’s

diagnosed later in childhood or even in adulthood.

The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age,

but many adults who were diagnosed with the

condition at a young age continue to experience

problems. People with ADHD may also have

additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety


Getting help

Many children go through phases where they’re

restless or inattentive. This is often completely

normal and does not necessarily mean they have

ADHD. But you should discuss your concerns

with your child’s teacher, their school’s special

educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) or a GP

if you think their behaviour may be different from

most children their age.

It’s also a good idea to speak to a GP if you’re an

adult and think you may have ADHD, but were not

diagnosed with the condition as a child.


The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood,

although a combination of factors is thought to

be responsible. The condition has been shown to

run in families and research has also identified a

number of possible differences in the brains of

people with ADHD when compared with those

without the condition. Other factors suggested as

potentially having a role in ADHD include:

being born prematurely (before the 37th week

of pregnancy) or with a low birthweight

smoking or alcohol or drug abuse during


ADHD can occur in people of any intellectual

ability, although it’s more common in people

with learning difficulties.

people with epilepsy

people with brain damage – which happened

either in the womb or after a head injury later in



Symptoms of ADHD can be categorised into 2

types of behavioural problems:

inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and


o having a short attention span and being

easily distracted

o making careless mistakes / appearing

forgetful or losing things

o being unable to stick to tasks that are

tedious or time-consuming

o appearing to be unable to listen to or

carry out instructions

o constantly changing activity or task /

having difficulty organising tasks


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546


hyperactivity and impulsiveness

being unable to sit still / constantly fidgeting,

especially in calm or quiet surroundings

o being unable to concentrate on tasks

o excessive physical movement /

excessive talking

o being unable to wait their turn /

interrupting conversations

o acting without thinking / little or no

sense of danger

Many people with ADHD have problems that fall

into both these categories, but this is not always

the case. ADHD is more often diagnosed in boys

than girls. Girls are more likely to have symptoms

of inattentiveness only, and are less likely to show

disruptive behaviour that makes ADHD symptoms

more obvious. This means girls who have ADHD

may not always be diagnosed.

The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers

are well defined, and they’re usually noticeable

before the age of 6. They occur in more than 1

situation, such as at home and at school. Children

may have symptoms of both inattentiveness and

hyperactivity and impulsiveness, or they may have

symptoms of just 1 of these types of behaviour.

These symptoms can cause significant problems

in a child’s life, such as underachievement at

school, poor social interaction with other children

and adults, and problems with discipline.

In adults, the symptoms of ADHD are more

difficult to define. This is largely due to a lack of

research into adults with ADHD.

As ADHD is a developmental disorder, it’s

believed it cannot develop in adults without it first

appearing during childhood. But symptoms of

ADHD in children and teenagers often continue

into adulthood.


If you think you or your child may have ADHD,

speak to a GP. If you’re worried about your child, it

may help to speak to their teachers, before seeing

a GP, to find out if they have any concerns about

your child’s behaviour. The GP cannot formally

diagnose ADHD, but they can discuss your

concerns with you and refer you for a specialist

assessment, if necessary.

If the GP thinks your child may have ADHD, they

may first suggest a period of “watchful waiting”

– lasting around 10 weeks – to see if your child’s

symptoms improve, stay the same or get worse.

They may also suggest starting a group-based,

ADHD-focused parent training or education

programme. Being offered a parent training and

education programme does not mean you have

been a bad parent – it aims to teach you ways of

helping yourself and your child.

If your child’s behaviour does not improve, and

both you and the GP believe it’s affecting their

day-to-day life, the GP should refer you and your

child to a specialist for a formal assessment.


You or your child may be referred to 1 of

the following types of specialist for a formal


a specialist child or adult psychiatrist

a paediatrician – a specialist in children’s health

a qualified healthcare professional with training

and expertise in the diagnosis of ADHD

There’s no simple test to determine whether

you or your child has ADHD, but your specialist

can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed


ADHD can be treated using medicine or therapy,

but a combination of both is often best.

Help: The charity AADD-UK has a list of support

groups across the UK, including groups for adults,

parents and carers.


For children with ADHD, although there’s no cure,

it can be managed with appropriate educational

support, advice and support for parents

and affected children, alongside medicine, if


For adults with ADHD, medicine is often the

first treatment offered, although psychological

therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy

(CBT) may also help.

www.mhap.co.uk 41

Advice on how

to start a difficult


if you’re

worried about

someone else.

If you’re worried about someone try to get

them to talk to you:

Often people want to talk, but wait until

someone asks how they are. Try asking open

questions, like ‘What happened about...’,

‘Tell me about...’, ‘How do you feel about...’

Don’t worry about having the answers.

Just listening to what someone has to say

and taking it seriously can be more helpful.

Repeat back what they say to show you

understand, and ask more questions.

Focus on your friend’s feelings instead of trying

to solve the problem - it can be of more help

and shows you care.

Respect what they tell you. Sometimes it’s

easy to want to try and fix a person’s problems,

or give them advice. Let them

make their own decisions.

How do I start a conversation

with someone I’m

concerned about?

You might feel that you don’t know how to help

someone, because you don’t know what to tell

them or how to solve their problems. You don’t

need to be an expert. In fact, sometimes people

who think they have the answers to a problem

are less helpful. Don’t forget that every person

is different, so that what worked for one will not

always work for another.

Find a good time and place

Think about where and when to have the

conversation before you start. Choose

somewhere where the other person feels

comfortable and has time to talk.

Ask gentle questions

and listen with care

You might feel that you don’t know how to help

someone, because you don’t know what to tell

them. But you shouldn’t tell them anything.

Telling doesn’t help.

The best way to help is to ask questions.

That way you leave the other person in control.

By asking questions, the person you are talking

with finds his or her own answers.

The more open the

question the better

Questions that help someone talk through their

problems instead of saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are the

most useful. Questions like:

When – ‘When did you realise?’

Where – ‘Where did that happen?’

What – ‘What else happened?’

How – ‘How did that feel?’

Why – be careful with this one as it can make

someone defensive. ‘What made you choose

that’ or ‘What were you thinking about at the

time’ are more effective.

Find out how they feel

Don’t forget to ask how this person is feeling.

Sometimes people will talk you through all the

facts of what happened, why it happened and

what actions they are thinking of taking, but

never say how they actually feel.


to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health Awareness call: 01375 402 546

Revealing your innermost emotions - anger,

sadness, fear, hope, jealously, despair and so

on – can be a huge relief. It sometimes also

gives clues about what the person is really

most worried about.

Check they know where

to get help

If someone has been feeling low for some time

it is probably a good idea that they get some

support, whether it is through talking to someone

like a counsellor or getting some practical help.

Useful questions you might ask them include:

‘Have you talked to anyone else about this?’

‘Would you like to get some help?’

‘Would you like me to come with you?’

Or, for someone who is reluctant to get help:

‘Do you have someone you trust you can go to?’

‘If it helps, you can talk to me any time.’

You can also suggest to your friend that the

following sources of help may be useful:

Samaritans (by phone on 116 123 or

email jo@samaritans.org.

Befrienders Worldwide includes a directory of

emotional support helplines around the world.

NHS 111 offers health advice in the UK and is

free from landlines and mobiles.

Respect what they tell

you, don’t pressure them

If they don’t want help, don’t push them.

Sometimes it’s easy to want to try and fix

a person’s problems, or give them advice.

It’s usually better for people to make their own

decisions. Help them think of all the options,

but leave the choice to them. Being there for

them in other ways, like through socialising or

helping with practical things, can also be a

great source of support.

If you say the wrong thing,

don’t panic

There is no perfect way to handle a difficult

conversation, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it

didn’t go as well as you had hoped. If you feel able

to, put things right: “Last week I said … and I realise

now that was insensitive so I’m sorry. What I meant

to say was …”

Show you understand

Ask follow-up questions and repeat back the key

things your friend has told you, using phrases like

‘So you’re saying…’, ‘So you think…’.

Look after yourself,

and talk to someone too

Hearing someone else’s worries or problems

can affect you too. Take time for yourself to do the

things you enjoy, and if you need to talk,

find somebody you trust to confide in.

Be careful not to make promises to people you

may not be able to keep; this could relate to

someone telling you they are experiencing abuse.

Don’t take on so much of other peoples’ problems

that you yourself start feeling depressed.

www.mhap.co.uk 43


Most people experience problems with sleep

at some time in their life, but Insomnia means

you regularly have problems sleeping. In fact, it’s

thought that a third of Brits will have episodes of

insomnia at some point. Symptoms can last for

months, sometimes years.

How much sleep you need

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep.

On average we need:

Adults – 7 to 9 hours

Children – 9 to 13 hours

Toddlers & babies – 12 to 17 hours

Symptoms of Insomnia

You have insomnia if you regularly:

find it hard to go to sleep

wake up several times during the night

lie awake at night

wake up early and can’t go back to sleep

still feel tired after waking up

find it hard to nap during the day even though

you’re tired

feel tired and irritable during the day

find it difficult to concentrate during the day

because you’re tired

What causes Insomnia?

The causes can include physical conditions,

psychological conditions (such as depression

or anxiety) or a combination of both. The most

common causes are:

stress, anxiety or depression


a room that’s too hot or cold,

uncomfortable beds,

alcohol, caffeine or nicotine,

recreational drugs like cocaine or ecstasy,

jet lag, shift work


01303 812329

01303 812329

retannerandsons@gmail.com www.tannersltd.co.uk

• Proud Granary to Be Supporting Court Road, Mental Ashford Health TN25 Awareness 6RE •

retannerandsons@gmail.com www.tannerltd.co.uk

Granary Court Road, Ashford TN25 6RE

Treating Insomnia yourself

Insomnia usually gets better by changing your

sleeping habits.


go to bed and wake up at the same time every

day – only go to bed when you feel tired

relax at least 1 hour before bed

make sure your bedroom is dark & quiet –

use thick curtains, an eye mask or ear plugs

exercise regularly during the day

make sure your mattress, pillows and covers

are comfortable


smoke, or drink alcohol, tea or coffee at

least 6 hours before going to bed

eat a big meal late at night

exercise at least 4 hours before bed

watch television or use devices right

before going to bed

nap during the day

sleep in after a bad night’s sleep – stick to

your regular sleeping hours instead


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HOME-X.CO.UK / 0333 210 0551



Prices and information correct at time of publication. Photography from the Home X show apartment.

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