Questions About Mental Health

Do you need urgent help now?

If your mental or emotional state gets worse, or you’re in crisis or despair, it’s important to get help quickly. You’re not alone – talk to someone you trust. You can also contact the Samaritans who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can call the Samaritans on 116 123, email them via [email protected], visit your local branch or write to them at Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA.

Head Space offers an out-of-hours service for people who consider that they are approaching a mental health crisis. The service aims to provide a non-clinical setting with a safe, calm and structured environment, where individuals can go to access peer support. Learn more.

If you’re experiencing a crisis and this isn’t something you’ve experienced before, please contact your GP who will be able to refer you to a community mental health teamIf your crisis occurs at night or the weekend, you can contact NHS 111, or Devon Doctors who provide out of hours primary care.

If you’re already known to our services, please contact your community mental health team (working hours are 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday). If your crisis occurs at night or the weekend, please contact Mental Health Matters.

If you are at risk of causing yourself harm, please call 999 or visit your local A&E department.

Are you at risk of self-harm?

Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It’s usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress. Learn more.

What to do

If you’re able to sometimes prevent yourself from self-harm and need help to prevent further episodes please contact your GP who’ll be able to refer you to our community mental health team.

If you’re unable to stop yourself from self-harming you can call 999, visit your local A&E department or get a friend, relative or loved one to do it for you.

Do you need help to manage anxieties, phobias, OCD and compulsive thoughts?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. Learn more.

What to do

If you are 16 years and over and registered with a Plymouth GP you can self-refer to our Anxiety and Depression service (Plymouth Options), which offers a range of support to people experiencing common mental health problems.

Are you pregnant or have a baby under 1 year old and need help?

It’s common for women to experience mental ill-health for the first time in pregnancy. Women may feel more vulnerable and anxious, and some may develop depression.

If you’ve had severe mental ill-health in the past, or have it now, you’re more likely to become ill during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth than at other times in your life. Learn more.

Our perinatal mental health team has been developed to focus on prevention, detection and management of problems that complicate pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life.

What to do

Referrals are accepted from any professionals or services within Plymouth who work with women in the perinatal period where there are significant concerns about their mental wellbeing.

Are you finding it hard to cope after a trauma or abuse?

If you have suffered a trauma including sexual abuse, domestic violence and bullying, you may find it difficult to manage and adjust to life events, relationship issues and day to day living.  Learn more.

Counselling provides an opportunity to make sense of your feelings and experiences, help work through your trauma and make changes towards a more rewarding life.

What to do

If you are aged 16 years and over and registered with a Plymouth GP, you can self-refer to our Anxiety and Depression service (Plymouth Options), which offers counselling for a wide range of issues.

You may wish to speak to your GP who can refer you to our Psychotherapy service, which provides a safe and confidential environment for you to discuss your problems and experiences.

If you have been referred for psychotherapy and are on a waiting list, you may find the Psychotherapy Self-Help Plymouth website useful.

Are you an asylum seeker or refugee who needs support?

If you are an asylum seeker or refugee, you may have been through some stressful experiences which affect your mental health. This can include suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Learn more.

What to do

You may wish to speak to your GP who can refer you to our Asylum Seekers and Refugees Mental Health team.

Referrals are also accepted from other organisations that may be working with you.

Do you need support about your gender identity?

While you may have been born one gender, you may identify with another. It can cause confusion and distress, but there’s help available.

Our biological sex is the one given at birth, but our gender identity is the gender we identify with and we feel we are. They’re not always the same. If you begin to have questions about your gender, you may experience a whole host of emotions and need some help to understand them. Learn more.

What to do

If you have questions about your gender then your GP can offer advice and guidance on seeking support.

If you need support to deal with your feelings, are aged 16 years and over and registered with a Plymouth GP, you can self-refer to our Anxiety and Depression service (Plymouth Options).

Have you taken an overdose?

If you have taken an overdose of illegal or prescription drugs call 999 immediately or visit your local A&E department.

Learn more.

Are you feeling depressed and low in mood?

At some time in our lives most of us find ourselves feeling low, worried, fearful or distressed. Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression.

It could be relationship problems, bereavementsleep problemsstress at workbullying, chronic illness or pain. Sometimes it’s possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason. Learn more.

What to do

If you are 16 years and over and registered with a Plymouth GP you can self-refer to our Anxiety and Depression service (Plymouth Options), which offers a range of support to people experiencing common mental health problems.

You can also book a place on a free one hour workshop, on topics such as mindfulness, managing anxiety, low mood and stress, sleeping well and more.

Do you need help with alcohol, drug or substance misuse?

Alcohol misuse

Drinking any amount of alcohol on a regular basis increases the risk to your health. Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. NHS Choices provides a guide for calculating units. Learn more. 

If you have become dependent on alcohol, you will have found it difficult to fully control your drinking in some way. If you’re not sure whether you would class yourself as dependent, you may find it useful to check against the ’12 symptoms of alcohol abuse’. Learn more.

You can also complete an alcohol audit via The Harbour Centre, which will assess your level of alcohol use and provide you with a range of help and support. Learn more. 

What to do

If you feel you need help, 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.

If you have become physically dependent and need to stop drinking completely, stopping overnight could be harmful. You should get advice about this and any medication you may need to do this safely.

If you are concerned about your drinking or someone else’s, Harbour Drug and Alcohol service accepts self-referrals as well as referrals from family members or health professionals. They can also provide you with information on other local and online services that can help you. Learn more. 

Substance misuse

If you have become dependent on a drug and require treatment, you’re entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone who has a health problem. With the right help and support, it’s possible for you to get drug free and stay that way.

 

What to do

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, Harbour Drug and Alcohol service accepts self-referrals as well as referrals from family members or health professionals.

You can also visit the Frank website to find other local services that can help you. Learn more. 

Are you having problems with your memory?

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 it’s affecting your daily life or is worrying you or someone you know, you may want to seek help. Learn more.

What to do

If you are worried about your memory or the memory of a loved one, the first step is to visit your GP. Your GP will ask some memory questions and check if there are physical problems that are contributing to the problem. They may then refer you to the memory service <link> for further assessment and support.

Do you have an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, which can take over your life and make you ill. It can involve eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with your weight and body shape. Learn more.

What to do

If you think you may have an eating disorder, even if you aren’t sure, see your GP as soon as you can. If they think you may have an eating disorder, they’ll refer you to our Severe Eating Disorder Consultation and Assessment Service (SEDCAS).

Are you worried about hearing voices?

Hearing voices in the mind is the most common type of hallucination in people with mental health conditions. The voices can be critical, complimentary or neutral, and may make potentially harmful commands or engage the person in conversation. They may give a running commentary on the person’s actions. Learn more.

What to do

If you’re hearing voices, discuss any concerns you have with your GP. If necessary, they’ll refer you to our community mental health team.

If you’re already known to our services, please contact your community mental health team (working hours are 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday). If it’s outside working hours please contact the home treatment team for advice.

Are you a veteran who needs advice or support?

Some people who have served in the armed forces deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression, anger, low mood, sleep problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms may not be experienced until a few years after leaving the armed forces and some veterans delay seeking help for a number of reasons. Learn more.

What to do

If you need support to deal with your feelings and are registered with a Plymouth GP, you can self-refer to our Anxiety and Depression service (Plymouth Options).

You can also book a place on a free one hour workshop, on topics such as mindfulness, managing anxiety, low mood and stress, sleeping well and more.

You may wish to contact your GP who may decide it is better to refer you to our community mental health team.

For local veteran support groups and information, click here.