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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

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A very warm welcome to the Southampton

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 Solent (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)

• Phobias (page 26)

• Counselling (page 27)

• Stress (page 29)

• Anxiety / Panic Attacks (page 31)

• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (page 32)

• Seasonal Affective Disorder (page 33)

• Help for Suicidal Thoughts (page 35)

• Bereavement (pages 36 & 37)

• 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 Southampton Mental Health Awareness

publication. If you would like to be included in

the 2024 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



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to advertise in the next issue of Mental Health 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



Is your son, daughter, partner or friend using

drugs or alcohol?

Are you looking after them?

Does this affect your day to day life?

Would you like to talk to someone about support

for yourself?

If so the Family and Friends Project could be for


Contact the 24/7 telephone line

It can be difficult for parents, partners and

carers to talk to immediate family or close

friends, simply because they feel embarassed

or ashamed of the fact, or even the suspicion,

that someone close to them is involved with

drugs or with any of wider implications that


substance misuse can brink

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

24/7 Telephone Line

023 8039 9764

If you’re struggling with drugs

or alcohol, we’re here to help.

For free, confidential help, get in touch:

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www.mhap.co.uk 7



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


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

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.

How to talk to someone you

think has signs of dementia

Raising the issue of memory loss and the

possibility of dementia can be a difficult thing

to do. Someone who is experiencing these

symptoms may be confused, unaware they have

any problems, worried or in denial.

Before starting a conversation with someone you’re

concerned about, the Alzheimer’s Society suggests

that you ask yourself the following questions:

have they noticed the symptoms?

do they think their problems are just a natural

part of ageing?

are they scared about what the changes

could mean?

are you the best person to talk to them about

memory problems?

do they think there won’t be any point in

seeking help?

When you do talk to them, choose a place that is

familiar and non-threatening. And allow plenty of

time so the conversation isn’t rushed.

You may like to suggest that you accompany

your friend or relative to the GP so you can

support them. This also means that after the

appointment, you can help your friend or relative

recall what has been discussed.

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.

www.mhap.co.uk 13

Local Community Focus

Our values ensure that people can trust

Solent Mind to be on their side:

Open: We reach out to anyone who needs


Together: We’re stronger in partnership.

Responsive: We listen, we act.

Independent: We speak out fearlessly.

For better mental health in


We’re here to make sure that anyone with a

mental health problem has somewhere to

turn to for advice and support. Our mental

health experts can help if you feel low,

worried or anxious and need to talk.

What we do

Our vision is for a world where everyone

experiencing a mental health issue receives

support and respect.

Our mission is to make sure anyone in our

community experiencing a mental health

issue has somewhere to turn to for advice,

information and support.

We’re Solent Mind

We’re sometimes called a ‘local branch’, but

we’re actually an independent registered

charity. Solent Mind is part of a network

of over 100 Local Minds who tailor trusted

mental health services to our communities.

We set our own strategies, partnerships

and rely on the support of our brilliant local


We collaborate with Mind to make sure

their pioneering campaigns, information

and research makes a difference in

Hampshire. Together, we make better

mental health possible both locally and


Unstoppable: We never give up.


The Self Harm Support Hub

Do you care for someone who self harms?

This service looks to provide support for

those affected.

Individual Placement and


In partnership with Southern Health Early

Intervention and Psychosis teams.


A safe, anonymous, online community for

mental health support, free for Solent Mind

service users

Anchoring Minds

Giving families of serving personnel the

emotional wellbeing support they need and



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

Local Community Focus

Solent Recovery College

Enrol in the school of life: Learn about

yourself and your recovery through courses

and short sessions, now available online.

Peer Support

From rock climbing to photography or just

simply a tea and a chat, we offer friendly

and informal groups where everyone feels

safe, accepted and understood.


Talking therapies and practical wellbeing

support over the phone, online or in groups

in Winchester, Eastleigh, the New Forest,

Fareham and Gosport.


Support and advice for those living with

dementia, their carers or family members

in Portsmouth.

Mayfield Nurseries

Horticultural therapies to help people with

mental health issues or dementia bloom in


Fareham & Gosport

Wellbeing Service

Groups, workshops and 1:1 emotional

support to help you live well in Fareham

and Gosport.

Heads Up

A mental health educational project for

children and young people in local schools,

colleges and universities in Southampton

and the New Forest.

The Lighthouse Shirley

Informal, non-judgemental, out-of-hours

mental health support for those in need

of extra support in times of difficulty in


Community Navigation

Guidance and practical support to help you

identify the services, groups and activities

that will help improve your health, wellbeing

and confidence in Southampton.

Portsmouth Advocacy Service

Independent Advocacy is recognised as

an important way to support you if you

have experienced mental health issues,

learning or physical disabilities or cognitive


Winchester Wellbeing Centre

Move forward with groups, workshops

and 1:1 emotional support to improve your

wellbeing in the heart of Winchester.

Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre

Grow your confidence and bounce back

with groups, workshops and 1:1 emotional

support in Eastleigh.

New Forest Wellbeing Service

Safe spaces to be yourself and get back on

track through groups, workshops, activities

and 1:1 emotional support.

Portsmouth Community Peer Recovery


Goal-focussed, personalised support for

those starting their recovery journey in


Contact us:

Solent Mind

15-16 The Avenue


SO17 1XF

Tel: 023 8202 7810

Email: info@solentmind.org.uk

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

• Hayward Hub •

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mental health education

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• For peace of mind at work and play •

Mental Health Education

and Training

Susan Hayward made a career change eight

years ago to deliver Mental Health First Aid

and Awareness courses. Since then, she

has facilitated over 200 courses for various

commercial and third-sector organisations.

Informed workplaces build supportive

cultures, empowering individuals to improve

their mental health. Organisations benefit

from reduced absence and staff churn,

improved morale, and increased productivity

by participating in these courses.

Mental health first aid courses promote

early intervention and recovery and can

prevent those developing poor mental

health from getting worse. In addition,

they reduce the stigma and discrimination

around mental health issues. Delegates

benefit from increased knowledge, skills and

confidence to have constructive, supportive


Our new Mental

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

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Our care team know what every resident will love


Mayower Court

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Second Chance

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Rose Milne emphasises that Second Chance is a

‘rescue centre’ and not an animal sanctuary and she

says: “We believe every animal deserves a chance

at a new home and will wait until the right one

comes along.”

We take in cats, dogs and a range of small animals

and wildlife.

Our expert team of dedicated volunteers work

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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

Mental Health Foundation - provides information & support for

anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.


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

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

14 22 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 15 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

16 24 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 17 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.

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

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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


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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

Who we are

At Alzheimer’s Society we’re working

towards a world where dementia no longer

devastates lives. We do this by giving help

to those living with dementia today, and

providing hope for the future.

We’re here for everyone living

with dementia

As a Society, we are made up of people

with dementia, carers, trusted experts,

campaigners, researchers and clinicians.

We are the UK’s largest collective force of

people with unparalleled knowledge and

over 40 years of experience addressing the

biggest challenges facing people living with


Personal Choice Programme

The Alzheimer’s Society personalisation

programme is working to ensure people

with dementia have choice and control over

their own care and support. It highlights

the importance of personalisation and how

having choice and control over your own

care and support can help people with

dementia to live well.

We are working towards:

1. All people affected by dementia having personal

choice and control over their health and

wellbeing from diagnosis to end of life.

2. Ensuring the legal right to self-directed support

and personal wellbeing is understood and

available to all people affected by dementia.

3. Making all forms of personal budget dementia


4. Alzheimer’s Society recognised as a global

innovator and leader in personalisation and


We will do this by ensuring:

• We have the knowledge, drive, resources, and

services to genuinely put the needs, preferences

and ambitions of those we support at the heart

of all that we do.

• Health and Social care leaders, managers and

front line staff make personal budgets truly

person-centred and accessible to all eligible

people with dementia.

• People with dementia, carers and professionals

work together as equals to achieve the

behavioural, cultural and systemic changes

needed to personalise the dementia landscape


Time for Dementia


Time for Dementia is an exciting,

innovative, multi-award-winning

educational programme designed to

create a new generation of healthcare

professionals who are more aware and

understanding of dementia. The Time for

Dementia programme gives undergraduate

healthcare students the unique opportunity

to regularly meet with a person with

dementia and their carer. The students

can get to know the person and the carer

outside of a clinical setting.

Regular meetings help trainee healthcare

professionals understand what it’s

really like to live with dementia. Time for

Dementia runs in two ways; in-person or


In-person visits

People living with dementia and their

family member or carer taking part in

the programme are visited by a pair of

students up to six times over two years.

The visits are informal, lasting for 90

minutes, and occur every three to four

months. These face-to-face visits are

available for families who live in Southern



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

Local Community Focus

Virtual visits

The virtual format is available nationally.

Families have visits with a group of

students either on Zoom or Microsoft

Teams. The virtual visits follow a similar

format to the in-person meetings. There

are five virtual visits over two years with

each session lasting for 90 minutes.

What are the requirements to join Time

for Dementia?

Participants are not required to have a

memory or needs assessment to join the


The Time for Dementia programme is

always looking for families affected by

dementia who want to participate. Whether

you want to join or learn more, please email

us at timefordementia@alzheimers.org.uk

or call us on 07562 430 204.

Carer Information and

Support Programme

Our Carer Information and Support

Programme (CrISP) provides support and

up-to-date, relevant information in a group

environment, where carers can share

experiences and find out about local and

national services that can offer support.

The programme is run in a series

of sessions which offers carers the

opportunity to share experiences in a

confidential and friendly environment with

others in a similar situation.

Our trained staff and volunteers run the

sessions to ensure carers get the most out

of the programme and can provide further

information and support.

The key benefits of the programme:

• Enabling carers to have increased knowledge of


• Providing carers with practical information that

they can use in coping with living with dementia


• Help carers to feel better informed and less


• Empowering carers to access support services

and financial benefits and entitlements.

• Enabling carers to plan with and for the person

they care for, now and in the future.

Dementia Navigator Service


Our dementia support service offers

information and practical guidance to

help you understand dementia, cope with

day-to-day challenges and prepare for

the future. The service offers information

to people who are worried about their

memory and ongoing support to people

affected by dementia face to face or over

the phone.

Southampton Memory Walk

Contact us:

Alzheimer’s Society

Scott Lodge

Scott Road



Tel: 0333 150 3456

If you are affected by dementia, worried

about a diagnosis or a carer, trained staff

are ready to give you the support you need.

Opening hours: Mon to Weds: 9am – 8pm,

Thurs and Fri: 9am – 5pm, Sat and Sun:

10am – 4pm

www.mhap.co.uk 39















call 01252 357606

or visit www.serfca.org


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

They are all life-savers

Steps2Wellbeing is a free, NHS

service for adults who:

• are feeling down, stressed

or worried

• are registered with a GP in

Southampton City

• have a long term health

condition like diabetes.

Contact us on 02380 272000

Are you?


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


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


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



Compass Point is an exciting collection

of 241 apartments, perfectly situated

to make the most of what the thriving

City of Southampton has on offer.


The developer is also offering £1000

vouchers and the first years service charge

for free for any key worker purchasers.

Call now

to arrange

a visit

Tel : +44 (0) 2380 713 937

Mobile : +44 (0) 7870 999 128

Email: daniel.tarrant@savills.com

Daniel Tarrant - Associate Sales Manager

Residential Development Sales

Savills, Mountbatten House, 1 Grosvenor Square,

Southampton, SO15 2BZ

no parking

no fuss

get to the hospital by bus!

use routes

for timetables, visit



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