All of us, children, young people and adults have mental health and it is important to look after it, like we would any other part of our body. If you are having mental health problems though, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives; but there are lots of things that you can do to keep your mind healthy and well.
Information on COVID-19 support can be found on the Adults Information Service COVID-19 page. Local support groups can be found by searching on 'COVID-19'.
People may feel stressed, anxious, low and experience negative thoughts, often as a reaction to negative circumstances or events. We all feel like that now and then but it's when these thoughts and feelings become so frequent and/or severe that they significantly disrupt our ability to cope with life on a daily basis, such as negatively affecting our relationships, work, sleep and quality of life, that they can become mental health problems. If this happens then it is important to get help from friends, family or professionals such as a GP or a specially trained person. It's important to remember that, with the right advice, guidance and information, people who experience problems are often able to make a full recovery.
To respond to concerns about the mental health of men Samaritans have launched a ‘Real People, Real Stories’ campaign to share the experiences of men who have been through tough times.
Other help specifically for men is ‘Andy’s Man Club’, online and in person talking groups for men with a local group based in Peterborough. The clubs were co-founded by Luke Ambler after the loss of his brother in law to suicide.
Speak to someone
Your first port of call should be to contact your GP. They will either provide you with an appropriate intervention or direct you to the most appropriate provider.
Mental health services in Peterborough are provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).
If you have mental health difficulties there are people who can provide advice, treatment, care and ongoing support to help you live at home. These may be nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, consultant psychiatrists, psychologists, recovery workers, advocates or wellbeing workers. Whether you are going through some emotional stress or have long term mental health problems they can help with the following:
- self-help initiatives
- support groups
- talking therapies
Support provided can also include specialist treatment and services, residential or nursing home stays, other day care support and rehabilitation.
CPFT have a First Response Service (FRS) for people of any age who are distressed, worried about their mental health or experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support.
If you feel that you need to talk through issues immediately, there is help available right now.
On this page you can find a range of organisations you can call.
You can also call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service which is a 24 hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, who is registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss with you your mental health care needs – instead of you having to go to accident and emergency departments of local acute hospitals.
You might be in crisis if:
- You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option
- Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
- You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.
The Five ways to Wellbeing are things you can do that can help you feel more positive about how you feel about and live your life. Feeling positive helps you cope with the times when you are feeling low or have had some bad experiences.
- Connect - with the people around you and make time for family and friends.
- Be active - go for a run, take the dog for a walk, play 5-a-side, cycle to work or sign up for a dance class... Whatever it is, make sure it is something you enjoy.
- Take notice - be aware of the world around you and how you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
- Keep learning - whether it's learning how to cook your favourite food, a new language or taking up a new sport or hobby, it's all good for our mind!
- Give - do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time; it can be incredibly rewarding. To find out ways that you can volunteer and get rewarded for your time in Cambridgeshire visit timebanking
‘Now We’re Talking’, encourages people to get talking to combat loneliness while self-isolating, and to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.
The campaign, led by the local authority, NHS and third sector also directs people to increased mental health support available including:
· Lifeline Plus - a mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121. The line will support people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.
· Seven days a week - between 2pm and 11pm the same number is Lifeline, managed by Lifecraft who provide support for those in mental health distress: 0808 808 2121.
· Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions. www.qwell.io
· Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county - Keep Your Head
Am I depressed? How can I feel less stressed? Why am I so anxious?
It offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.
Tips and advice to boost mental health
- 10 stress busters
- How to feel happier
- Dealing with panic attacks
- How to fight fears and anxiety
- How to control your anger
Not sure how you're feeling? Try this mood assessment quiz.
Self-help and treatments
If you're considering trying self-help techniques or seeking treatment for mental health problems, these can help you weigh up your options:
- Mindfulness: is it for you?
- A simple breathing technique for stress
- Moodzone mental wellbeing audio guides
- Mental health helplines
- Talking therapies explained
- Can you get free therapy or counselling on the NHS?
You may also be interested in our selection of mental health apps and tools in the Digital Apps Library.
Other people's stories
If you're feeling sad, anxious, angry or stressed, remember you're not alone.
Read real-life stories from other people who have felt the same way, and see how they found help.
Do you need urgent mental health help now?
See a GP if:
- you have been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks
- your anxiety is affecting your daily life
If you want to talk to someone right away, the mental health helpline page has a list of organisations you can call for immediate help.
The Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people who want to talk in confidence. Call 116 123 (free).
The Good Life Service takes a fresh approach to community based wellbeing support and has been developed alongside individuals with lived experience of mental health problems.
The Good Life Service focuses on individual strengths and skills. It encourages peer support and community connectivity and is available to adults aged 18 upwards living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It has something for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have a diagnosed mental health problem.
Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
There is legislation that covers the support and care of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions about their care or treatment, which is called the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are part of the Act and they aim to protect people in care homes, hospitals and supported living from being inappropriately deprived of their liberty.
The safeguards have been put in place to make sure that a care home, hospital or authority arranging supported living only restricts someone's liberty safely and correctly, and that this is done when there is no other way to take care of that person safely.
People deal with bereavement in many different ways when someone has died. This may be as a result of not being able to be with the person prior to their dealth to say goodbye or having the task of letting others know the sad news or many other reasons.
Things you could consider include:
- Find other ways of saying goodbye and remembering the person
- If you cannot attend the funeral ask if people can follow the burial/cremation via a video link. If not, hold an event in your household that includes “funeral elements” such as music, photographs and readings. Things that remind you of the person. You could record this or do a video link so other family and friends can join you in remembering the person
- Take time to grieve
- Remember that people grieve differently
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group have issued guidance around the main services and charities in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area that offer support for people who have lost a loved one. Access the support guide here.
H.A.Y. (How are you) Peterborough
H.A.Y. (How are you) Peterborough are bringing together everything in Peterborough that promotes positive mental health. From a friendly ‘how are you’, to activity groups and much more – it’s all taking care of our mental wellbeing.
Mental health isn’t something that is good or bad; it’s a continuum, a sliding scale, a constantly shifting state for each and every one of us. We all have mental health and so we all need to take care of our mental health – we don’t wait until we’re physically under the weather to do things we know are good for keeping us physically healthy and the same should be true of our mental health.
H.A.Y. Peterborough put a spotlight on all those things going on in the community that are good for our mental wellbeing.
Breathing Space, officially called the Debt Respite Scheme, is a government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt.
Breathing Space aims to help relieve some of the pressure of dealing with your creditors, so you can focus on getting debt advice and setting up your debt solution without worrying about being chased for payment or incurring extra charges.
It's a free scheme, launched by the Government on 4 May 2021.