mental health

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.

Mental health issues

What are mental health issues?

One in four of us will experience a mental health issue every year.

Experiencing a period of poor mental health might mean your thoughts, feelings or reactions become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with.

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.

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.

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. The term is often misused in daily conversation – for example, you might hear people talk about being ‘a bit OCD’, if they like things to be neat and tidy. But the reality of this disorder is a lot more complex and serious.

OCD has two main parts: obsessions (unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind; and compulsions (repetitive activities that you feel you have to do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession).

Bipolar disorder in the main affects your mood. With this diagnosis you are likely to have times when you experience: manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high); depressive episodes (feeling low); and potentially some psychotic symptoms.

Everyone has variations in their mood, but in bipolar disorder these swings can feel very extreme and have a big impact on your life. You might have stable times where you experience fewer symptoms.

A phobia is an extreme form of fear or anxiety triggered by a particular situation (such as going outside) or object (such as wasps or spiders), even when it’s very unlikely to be dangerous.

A fear becomes a phobia if the fear is out of proportion to the danger, it lasts for more than six months, and has a significant impact on how you live your day-to-day life.

Lots of people question whether it’s really a distinct condition, or actually a few different conditions that overlap one another. But you may still be given this diagnosis if you experience symptoms such as:

  • psychosis (such as hallucinations or delusions)
  • disorganised thinking and speech
  • feeling disconnected from your feelings
  • difficulty concentrating
  • wanting to avoid people
  • a lack of interest in things
  • not wanting to look after yourself.

A personality disorder is a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life. It doesn’t mean that you’re fundamentally different from other people – but you may regularly experience difficulties with how you think about yourself and others.

There are several different variations of personality disorder, but most people who are diagnosed with a particular personality disorder don’t fit any single category very clearly or consistently.

I am not feeling well at the moment

Why might I not feel well at the moment and what can I do to feel better?

Experiencing a mental health problem is often upsetting, confusing and frightening. If you become unwell, you may feel that it’s a sign of weakness, or that you are ‘losing your mind’.

Mental health problems are a common human experience.

There are things you can do to make you feel better:

  • Self-help
  • Treatment
  • Support services

Mental health problems can have a wide range of causes. It’s likely that for many people there is a complicated combination of factors that are making them feel unwell.

The following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health:

  • childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
  • social isolation or loneliness
  • experiencing discrimination and stigma
  • social disadvantage, poverty or debt
  • losing someone close to you (bereavement)
  • severe or long-term stress
  • having a long-term physical health condition
  • unemployment or losing your job
  • homelessness or poor housing
  • being a carer for someone else
  • drug and alcohol misuse
  • domestic violence, bullying or other abuse as an adult
  • significant trauma as an adult, such as being involved in a serious incident in which you feared for your life, or being the victim of a violent crime
  • physical causes such as a head injury or a neurological condition such as epilepsy as they can have an impact on your behaviour and mood. (It’s important to rule out potential physical causes before seeking further treatment for a mental health problem).

Although lifestyle factors including work, diet, drugs and lack of sleep can all affect your mental health, if you experience a mental health problem there are usually other factors that contribute.

Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help you to manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.

  • Tell people what helps. If certain treatments have helped in the past, tell your doctor. Let your friends and family know how they can support you, whether it’s listening to you when you’re having a bad day, helping you keep on top of your commitments, or being aware of things that make you feel worse.
  • Spot your early warning signs. If you can, try to be aware of how you’re feeling, and watch out for any signs you might be becoming unwell. These will be individual to you, but it can be useful to reflect on what these may be so you can get support as soon as possible.
  • Keep a mood diary. Tracking your moods will help you take steps to avoid, change or prepare for difficult situations.
  • Build your self-esteem. Taking steps to increase your self-esteem can help you to feel more confident and able to cope with challenges.
  • Build your network around you. Feeling connected to other people is important. It helps you to feel valued and confident about yourself, and can give you a different perspective on things. If you can, try to spend some time connecting with friends and family – even a text or phone call can make a difference, join a local community group or take up a new sport or activity.
  • Take time for you.  Relax – maybe having a bath, listening to music or taking your dog for a walk. Mindfulness – being more aware of the present moment. This can mean both outside, in the world around you, and inside, in your feelings and thoughts. Practising mindfulness can help you become more aware of your own moods and reactions. Get outside – getting out into a green environment, such as a park or the countryside, is especially good for you. Even if you don’t have a garden or aren’t very mobile, caring for plants or animals indoors can still help you get some benefits from nature.
  • Get enough sleep. Rest when you can. This can help you have the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.
  • Keep active. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be very strenuous or sporty to be effective – to start with you could try gentle exercise like going for a short walk, yoga or swimming. The important thing is to pick something you enjoy doing, so you’re more likely to stick with it.
  • Eat well. What you eat, and when you eat, can make a big difference to how well you feel.

If these work well for you then you may find you don’t need any formal treatment. However, it’s important to remember that there is unlikely to be an instant solution. Recovering from a mental health problem is likely to take time and a lot of energy.

Talking treatments will give you regular space for you to talk about your thoughts and experiences and explore difficult feelings with a trained professional. This could help you to:

  • deal with a specific problem
  • cope with upsetting memories or experiences
  • improve your relationships
  • develop more helpful ways of living day-to-day.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

If you’re referred for therapy through the NHS, you’re likely to be offered a type of talking treatment called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a relatively short-term treatment which aims to identify connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and to help you develop practical skills to manage any negative patterns that may be causing you difficulties.


The most common type of treatment available is psychiatric medication. These drugs don’t cure mental health problems, but they can ease many symptoms. Which type of drug you are offered will depend on your diagnosis. For example: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sleeping tablets and mood stabilisers.

Arts and creative therapies

Arts and creative therapies are a way of using the arts (music, painting, dance or drama) to express and understand yourself in a therapeutic environment, with a trained therapist. This can be especially helpful if you find it difficult to talk about your problems and how you are feeling.

Complementary and alternative therapies

Some people find complementary and alternative therapies helpful to manage stress and other common symptoms of mental health problems. These can include things like yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, herbal remedies and acupuncture.

If your mental health problems are severe or longer lasting, or the treatment your doctor has offered you isn’t working, they can refer you to specialist mental health services such as:

  • community mental health teams (CMHTs)
  • social (or community) care
  • residential care
  • crisis intervention
  • hospital treatment

I am concerned about someone else

How can I help someone?

It can be very difficult and distressing to see someone you care about becoming unwell, but you don’t need to be an expert on mental health to offer support. Often small, everyday actions can make the biggest difference.

It is important to show how concerned you are, rather than disapproval and tell them that you are worried about them.

If you think someone is unwell, don’t be afraid to ask how they are. They might want to talk about it, or they might not. But just letting them know they don’t have to avoid the issue with you is important. Spending time with them lets them know you care, and can help you understand what they’re going through.

  • Ask them how you can help – it might be arranging an appointment to see their GP or helping them with daily tasks such as cleaning or food shopping.
  • Be open-minded – try to be non-judgemental and listen.
  • Don’t just talk about mental health – keep talking about the things you’ve always talked about together.
  • Show trust and respect – this will help them to rebuild and maintain a sense of self-esteem. This can also help you to cope a bit better if you can see your support having a positive impact on the person you care about.
  • 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.
  • Get support – You may be entitled to social care support from Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to help you care for your friend or family member.

Local mental health support in Rotherham

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

Real, non-judgmental, talking groups for men, meeting every Monday 7pm, except bank holidays.

The Centre, Brinsworth Lane, Brinsworth, Rotherham, S60 5BU


Be the One – to talk / listen / care. Working to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide in Rotherham. Website that provides support for those who are in distress and highlights the importance of how to look out for one another and do our bit to help.

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, therapy takes place online making it much easier to access as well as less daunting, and allows you to speak to your therapist at a time and place that suits you.

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.

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

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.

Bipolar UK are hosting a monthly online peer support groups open to anyone affected by bipolar within Rotherham who is registered with a GP in Rotherham.

If you would like to join the Rotherham support group, the meetings start on Wednesday 16th March online via zoom 7pm – 9pm.

Meetings will take place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7pm – 9pm,

To join, please email with “Rotherham 3rd Wednesday online support group” as the subject line, including the name and address of your GP surgery.

The format of the meetings vary, but you will have the opportunity to introduce yourself, say how you are feeling using the Bipolar UK mood scale and may listen to an invited speaker. The groups are organised and facilitated by volunteers who are affected by bipolar in some way.

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

01709 447446

Swallownest Court, Aughton Road, Swallownest, Sheffield, S26 4TH

The Early Intervention in Psychosis Team work with people who experience a ‘first episode of psychosis’ or are at risk of developing a psychotic illness.  Anyone who has concerns that an individual may be experiencing psychosis, including the person themselves, can contact the team for advice, or to make a referral. This service accepts self-referrals which can be made by telephone, in writing, or in person.

National support organisations

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.

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.

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.


With Rotherham Health app you can assess your symptoms, book and manage your appointments, view your medical record and test results, manage your medication and much more, 24/7.


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.


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