depression, anxiety and stress

Support for you or someone you care about

Everybody has mental health and we need to take care of it so that we can think, feel and react in ways that we need and want in our lives.


What is depression?

Depression is a feeling of very low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your day to day life. It can make you feel hopeless, despairing, guilty, worthless, unmotivated and exhausted. It can affect your self-esteem, sleep, appetite, sex drive and your physical health.

In its mildest form, depression doesn’t stop you leading a normal life, but it makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can make you feel suicidal, and be life-threatening.

Depression affects people in many different ways causing a wide variety of symptoms including psychological, physical and social symptoms. It can often start as a gradual feeling with many not recognising the symptoms.

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself

  • changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • lack of energy
  • disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning

  • avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
  • neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • having difficulties in your home, work or family life

  • mild depression – has some impact on your daily life
  • moderate depression – has a significant impact on your daily life
  • severe depression – makes it almost impossible to get through daily life and may result in suicidal thoughts and behaviour


What is anxiety?

Anxiety is what and how we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future.

Occasional anxiety is a totally normal human experience. But if your feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, they can be overwhelming and affect your day to day life. You might also experience physical symptoms such as sleep problems and panic attacks.

Generalised anxiety disorder is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. Those who suffer with this type of anxiety feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.

Social anxiety disorder is a long-term, overwhelming fear of social situations. Social anxiety is more than just being shy. Those who suffer from this type of anxiety feel overly worried before, during and after a social situation. It is a fear that does not go away and affects your everyday life.

  • faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
  • headaches, lightheaded, dizzy
  • chest pains
  • loss of appetite
  • sweating
  • breathlessness
  • feeling hot
  • shaking
  • feeling tense or nervous
  • being unable to relax
  • worrying about the past or future
  • feeling tearful
  • unable to sleep
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fear of the worst happening
  • intrusive traumatic memories
  • obsessive thoughts
  • avoid social situations
  • fear being criticised
  • avoid eye contact
  • low self-esteem


What is stress?

Stress is our body’s response to physical, mental or emotional pressure. There are many reasons why a person can become stressed, it is often triggered when we experience a situation that we feel we cannot control or have little control over but sometimes there’s no obvious cause.

When a person encounters stress, your body produces stress hormones that triggers a response, sometimes, this stress response can be useful as it helps you navigate through challenging situations, very much like the ‘fight or flight’ response. Too much stress however can have a negative effect leaving you feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Everyone deals with situations differently. A situation that doesn’t necessarily affect you may cause someone else a lot of stress; your response can also depend on many other factors including:

  • Perception – your perception of a situation, this can be connected to past experiences, confidence/self-esteem, anxiety or mental health issues
  • Experience – how experienced you are at dealing with pressure
  • Your emotional resilience to stressful situations
  • Daily life factors – such as the amount of other pressures on you at that particular time and how much support you are receiving.

Stress can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse. For example, if you often struggle to manage feelings of stress, you might develop a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.

Stress can stem from various aspects of daily life such as:

  • work – pressures at work, unemployment or retirement
  • family – relationships, bereavement, caring for a loved one
  • finances – debt, housing issues
  • health – illness or injury
  • environmental factors – COVID-19 pandemic (national lockdowns, social isolation)
  • Acute stress – tends to happen to most people as it is the body’s immediate reaction to a new and challenging situation.
  • Severe acute stress – tends to be the outcome of a life-threatening situation and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health problems.
  • Episodic acute stress – when you have frequent episodes of acute stress. This might happen if you’re often anxious and worried about things you suspect may happen. You might feel that your life is chaotic and you seemingly go from one crisis to the next.
  • Chronic stress – when you experience high stress levels for an extended period of time, you have chronic stress. Long-term stress like this can have a negative impact on your health. It may contribute to anxiety, cardiovascular disease, depression, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system.

Stress can cause many different symptoms. It might 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:

  • headaches or dizziness
  • muscle tension or pain
  • stomach problems
  • chest pain or a faster heartbeat
  • sexual problems

Mental symptoms:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • struggling to make decisions
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • constantly worrying
  • being forgetful

Changes in behaviour:

  • being irritable and snappy
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • avoiding certain places or people
  • drinking or smoking more

I am concerned about someone else

How can I help someone?

It can be very upsetting to see a friend or loved one suffer from depression, anxiety or stress.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert on mental health to offer support. Often small, everyday actions can make the biggest difference.

  • Listen – let them know you care and are there to listen.
  • Ask – ask how you can help
  • Support – accept them as they are, without judging them.
  • Talk – stay in touch with them by messaging, texting or phoning
  • Look after yourself – supporting someone else can sometimes be stressful. Making sure that you look after your own wellbeing can mean that you have the energy, time and distance you need to be able to help.

Local support in Rotherham

Download leaflet for a guide to local support with mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

IESO Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – online 1:1 service

0800 074 5560 (confidential)

Monday to Friday, 9am–5.30pm
Online service

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of psychological therapy that helps you spot how some of your thoughts affect your actions and feelings and teaches you about ways in which you can improve how you feel day-to-day.

Therapy such as CBT is traditionally delivered face-to-face. With Ieso you will work 1:1 with your therapist online, but the conversation is typed instead of spoken. It’s exactly like chatting via a messenger service with friends. You don’t need to be brilliant at spelling or worry about using the correct grammar. Online CBT has been shown to be just as effective as face-to-face, and many people find it less daunting and easier to be open.

Ieso is working in partnership with the NHS in Rotherham. To be eligible for online CBT on the NHS you must be aged 18 or over and registered with a GP in Rotherham.

NHS Talking Therapies

01709 447755

Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm
Local venues (dependent on Coronavirus restrictions)
Interpreting service available

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) provides an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service. The service, provided by local therapists, is for Rotherham residents who require support with:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Panic
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Health anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

The service offers:

  • Patient consultation in a way to suit every patient’s needs by:
    • Telephone
    • Video
    • Face-to-face contact (dependent on Coronavirus restrictions)
  • Group therapy
  • Stress classes

Treatments include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Guided self-help with Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners
  • Counselling
  • Couples therapy for depression
  • Online CBT with Minddistrict
  • Online Be Mindful course
  • EMDR
  • Interpersonal therapy


020 3947 2600
SMS/text message: 07966 976749

SignHealth is a charity dedicated to making sure Deaf people get the same sort of access as hearing people to healthcare and health information.

A great place to start with taking care of your mental health is the five ways to wellbeing which outlines 5 steps that are easy to incorporate into your everyday life and could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

Tel: 01709 919929


Mind is an independent local provider of high quality mental health services in Rotherham, which offer a variety of services including one-to-one counselling, group sessions, support for young people, training and services for employers. Committed to supporting those in need by promoting good mental health and offering high quality support so that no-one feels alone when dealing with mental health problems.

Reading Well helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

The books are chosen by health experts and people living with the conditions covered. People can be recommended a title by a health professional, or they can visit their local library and take a book out for free.

Many of the Reading Well titles are available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks.

0800 652 9571 (calls to this number are FREE)

If you or someone you know has concerns about their immediate health RDaSH Crisis Team can help. One of our trained call handlers will signpost you to the most appropriate service depending on your level of need. This may include your out of hours GP, a voluntary organisation or our access/crisis team.

Hard of hearing? Deaf? For anyone unable to use the standard telephone line, i.e. hard of hearing, there is a text phone service available.
Please text 07974 603610

Qwell is a free, safe and anonymous online mental health support service for adults, available 24/7. Whether you are looking for advice or simply not feeling your best, Qwell offers a range of features and support tools, including access to:

  • Live chat* or messaging with qualified mental health professionals
  • Self help tools and activities
  • Community Support (discussion boards and live forums)
  • Helpful articles from the Qwell team and our community.

Go to (for ages 18+) to get started today.

These services provide free, safe and anonymous online mental health support whenever you need it.

There are no waiting lists for support and no referral needed. Access to these platforms is available 365 day a year and 24/7.

If you are registered with a GP practice in Rotherham you can sign up to Qwell 

National support organisations

NHS provides information on 5 steps that you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

Young Minds has lots of tips, advice and guidance on where you can get support for your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Tel: 0800 678 1602


Open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year

Age UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. We provide companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most.

Text 85258 (24/7 help)

Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

The NHS website has contact information for a number of mental health helplines.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. Helping  former servicemen and women with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The service provides confidential advice and support to veterans and their families.

Tel: 0800 138 1619  (24-hour Helpline, 365 days a year)

Text: 07537 404719 


Support apps

Togetherall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low, with round-the-clock support from trained professionals.

Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm.


Catch It – learn how to manage feelings like anxiety and depression.


distrACT gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts.


Sleepstation  is a 6-week online course for people who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. The course is tailored to your needs, using the information you provide, and gives you access to a team of sleep experts who will offer helpful advice and support throughout.

My Possible Self: The Mental Health App. Take control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour with the My Possible Self mental health app. Use the simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress and tackle unhelpful thinking. Record your experiences and track symptoms to better understand your mental health.


The Pzizz app helps you quickly calm your mind, fall asleep fast, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed.

It uses “dreamscapes” – a mix of music, voiceovers and sound effects designed using the latest clinical research – to help you sleep better at night or take power naps during the day.


The NHS App gives you a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the app if you are aged 13 or over. You must be registered with an NHS GP surgery in England or the Isle of Man. You can also log in through the NHS website on a computer to use NHS App services.


HealthUnlocked is the world’s largest social network for health. Find and connect with people with a similar health condition. The service has over 700 online communities focused on health and wellbeing topics.


Samaritans Self Help Helps you keep track of how you’re feeling, and get recommendations for things you can do to help yourself cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.

Rotherhive is not responsible for content on websites or apps mentioned on the site. Always read the app’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy to see how your data may be used.

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