Finding help during the coronavirus outbreak

Many people are feeling more anxious as the coronavirus outbreak starts to affect all aspects of our daily lives. You may be worried about your physical health, finances or job security. Some people could also be affected by social isolation or loneliness.

People in Leeds are encouraged to take care of their mental health just as much as their physical health during this difficult time and ask for support when they need it.

Services offering mental health support are open although many are adapting the way they can offer help at the moment, because of social distancing guidance.

​How can I find help for my mental health?

MindWell has self-help resources and tools to help you understand and manage problems like anxiety, stress and low moods. It can also help you access a range of tools and self-care resources to help you feel calmer and cope better with life's ups and downs.

West Yorkshire 24 hour mental health helpline - provides confidential support, advice, information and guidance for anyone who is concerned about their mental health, or of the mental health of their family members or those they care for. The service is for anyone aged 18 and over who is registered with a Leeds GP. It is also available to people registered with GPs in Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield and Barnsley. Open 24 hours a day, every day - Call: 0800 183 0558 (Freephone).

Leeds Mental Mental Wellbeing Service - anyone aged over 17 and registered with a Leeds GP can access free online therapy courses, available at any time day or night, to help with a wide range of issues including stress and anxiety, mindfulness, panic attacks, depression and bereavement. The service also provides psychological support which is currently being delivered through telephone and online video-platforms. The service is continuing to screen and assess new referrals. The service is running Coping With Covid-19 Online Group Classes. These are four-week courses, developed and delivered live online, using the basic principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to look specifically at how and why the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our mental wellbeing.
Web: www.leedsmentalwellbeingservice.co.uk Tel 0113 843 4388

Linking Leeds is the city-wide social prescribing service for people in Leeds, aged 16 years and over. Social prescribing can help you access a range of local non-medical services or activities to improve your health or wellbeing. Contact your GP surgery about being referred, or you can self-refer by completing a form on their website. Web: www.commlinks.co.uk/linking-leeds Tel 0113 336 7612.

Live Well Leeds is a community-based mental health support service for people in Leeds aged 18 and over who have mild to moderate mental health support needs. The service is continuing to provide support through telephone sessions, online support groups, and referrals to sources of food and other practical help. If you're registered with a Leeds GP, you can self-refer to the service at www.livewellleeds.org.uk Tel: 0113 219 2727

Talk to a GP - they can support you and give advice on the best next steps to take. GP surgeries are still open during the coronavirus outbreak, but the majority of consultations have been moved to telephone or video consultations. Face-to-face appointments are still offered where absolutely necessary with patients being advised accordingly. In addition, any practices that previously provided same-day walk-in appointments have suspended this option. You can find out more in a short Youtube video.

The Market Place provides a range of free and confidential mental health support services to young people aged 11-25 years old. Services have been updated from 1 September, with some moving back to face-to-face and some still online/by phone.

  • 30 minutes of telephone support for ages 11 to 25 delivered by a qualified member of their team, available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 3pm – 6pm. You can book a session using the Telephone Support Booking Form or by calling them on the day (Tuesdays or Wednesdays) on 0113 246 1659 for a same-day session - subject to availability.
  • Face-to-face pre-booked drop-in sessions are available on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2.30pm -5.30pm and Saturdays from 2pm-4pm. These are for young people aged 11-25 years old and appointments are limited to 30 minutes. You must book an appointment slot to attend, by completing the Face-to-face drop-in session booking form.
  • Counselling - The Market Place is not currently able to accept new referrals for long or short-term counselling. They aim to contact people already on the waiting list soon.
  • Bearavement support for 11-19 year olds - they are planning to take new referrals soon, so please see their website or social media to keep informed (see below).
  • FACS (Fast Access Counselling and Support) offers 4 sessions of crisis counselling for ages 11 to 25. They will be taking on new referrals to the FACS crisis service in September, with support offered via both face to face and video.

Please see The Market Place's website or follow them on Twitter @MarketPlaceLds or The Market Place Leeds on Facebook or Instagram for more service updates. You can also call them on 0113 246 1659.

Online support - many organisations such as Leeds Mind are offering online support sessions, peer support, community groups and workshops which you can access from your own home. Find out more here.

Phoenix Health and Wellbeing is offering free counselling to people who have been affected by COVID-19. These people may be patients, service users, employees or volunteers of your organisation. They're offering up to 11 weekly sessions of counselling or telephone support to people who have been impacted negatively by the pandemic, such as

  • Front line workers who have experienced more stress and trauma than usual
  • People caring for those who are shielding or are themselves shielding and have anxiety or depression as a result
  • People who have been bereaved due to COVID-19
  • People who have developed mental health issues or have chronic issues which have deteriorated during lock down
  • People living in unsafe domestic environments, experiencing domestic abuse or abusive relationships.

This list is not exhaustive. The sessions are being funded by Reaching Communities, so there is a limit to 85 clients. Sessions starting in September and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All sessions will have to be completed by February 2021.

People receiving this support will need to be referred into Phoenix Health and Wellbeing. If after 11 sessions clients require more support they will have the option to join the subsidised counselling service via a waiting list. You can make a referral by emailling: info@phoenixhealthandwellbeing.org.uk with COVID SUPPORT in the subject line. Website link www.phoenixhealthandwellbeing.org.uk


Support for Frontline staff

Our Frontline is for health, care, emergency and key workers working in the frontline against the coronavirus and offers:

  • A free wellbeing support helpline 0300 131 7000, operated by the Samaritans and available from 7am – 11pm seven days a week, providing confidential listening from trained professionals and specialist advice - including coaching, bereavement care, mental health and financial help. NHS staff can call for support, signposting and confidential listening.
  • A 24/7 text alternative to the above helpline - NHS staff can simply text FRONTLINE to 85258 for a confidential text conversation with a trained volunteer.
  • An online toolkit for resources, tips and ideas to look after your mental health.

Covid Calm are free short daily stress management clinics on Zoom. Easy to access, quick mindfulness stress-busters and confidential discussion. Web: www.covidcalm.org

Frontline 19 Emotional Support is a free service for frontline staff directly affected by Covid-19 and in needs of support. It's quick, easy and absolutely free of charge. Web: www.frontline19.com

How can I find support for a bereavement?

Leeds Bereavement Forum offers information about bereavement and can signpost you to the most appropriate local service. They have created a Covid-19 information page with bereavement links and resources. You can contact them by calling 0113 225 3975 and leave a message for them to pick up and reply to you.

Leeds Cruse Bereavement Care provides support for bereaved people aged over 18 to help them understand their grief and cope with their loss. They are currently offering telephone support only. You can call them on 0113 234 4150 and leave a voicemail or email leeds@cruse.org.uk

Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service (LSBS) provides one-to-one, group and family support and counselling to those who have lost someone through suicide. The service is still accepting and offering one-to-one support remotely during this time, please complete a referral form on their website. All groups and workshops are postponed right now. Tel: 0113 305 5800. Web: www.leedssbs.org.uk

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership grief and loss support service is a helpline or online chat offering practical and emotional support and advice to anyone in Leeds. It's for anyone suffering any form of grief and loss, or those worried about losing someone, whether this relates to a family member, friend or member of their community. The helpline is available across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. The team can offer support and help connect you with organisations local to you, who can offer additional help where needed. Call them on the freephone number 0808 196 3833 or use the online chat facility. Web: www.griefandlosswyh.co.uk/

What support is available for Leeds carers?

If you're helping a friend or family member due to their illness, mental health or a substance misuse problem then you're an unpaid carer. Carers Leeds advice line is open as usual: Tel 0113 380 4300 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am-4.30pm and Wednesday 8am-6.30pm. You can also email the advice line advice@carersleeds.org.uk for support during these times. Carers Leeds are continuing to take referrals and are keeping in contact with carers on phone/email. All drop-ins and other face-to-face activities are cancelled until further notice.

You can find an updated booklet from Leeds Carers Partnership on the Carers Leeds website, containing government guidance for carers and lots more.

Where can I find help for an alcohol, drugs or gambling problem?

Forward Leeds is the alcohol and drug service for adults, young people and families. The service is taking referrals via the usual routes, call 0113 887 2477 or email info@forwardleeds.co.uk. Staff are providing support over the phone, online and some some face-to-face meetings. You can find out more about these and watch videos to help you know what to expect at their different sites in this update on their website. For more information about Forward Leeds and their latest service information, resources and more, see their website.

Leeds Community Gambling Service (LCGS) and the NHS Northern Gambling Service (based in Leeds) offer free advice, support and treatment to individuals, families and communities affected by gambling. LCGS works in partnership with the NHS Northern Gambling Service, which provides specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction across the North of England. Both services continue to accept referrals. As per Covid-19 restrictions, advice, support and treatment are being provided online (eg video call) and by telephone. Tel 0113 388 6466 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm). You can access a referral form at www.gamcare.org.uk/leeds Tel: 0300 3001490 Email: referral.ngs@nhs.net.

Out of hours, you can call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133. Open 24 hours a day.


How can I find support for domestic abuse or violence at home?

If you feel at risk of abuse, it's important to remember that there is help and support available to you. You are not alone.

Leeds Domestic Violence Service helpline is open 24 hours a day for confidential support, information and access to emergency accommodation for women and men experiencing violence, fear or abuse at home. Call 0113 246 0401. If calling is unsafe, a webchat service is now being offered from Monday-Friday between 1-3pm. If you're in immediate danger, call 999 (press 55 after the emergency number if you're in danger and unable to speak).

National Domestic Abuse Helpline - freephone, open 24/7. Tel: 0808 2000 247. Website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. Web: www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

The government has issued information about domestic abuse and coronavirus.

How can I find support for a sexual assault?

Victim Support offers confidential emotional or practical support with any crime that you've experienced. Victim Support is independent of the police and the helpline is open 24 hours a day on 0808 168 9111.

Support After Rape & Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) offers support to all women and girls who have been affected by sexual violence, of any kind, at any time in their lives. The Helpline is open Tuesday from 12-2pm and Wednesday from 12-2pm and 6-8pm on 0808 802 3344. The text and email helpline can be contacted at any time and they will be able to respond to messages on Tuesday and Thursday 12-2pm and Wednesday from 12-2pm and 6-8pm. Text 078 600 22 880 or Email support@sarsvl.org.uk.

If you need to contact SARSVL, please do by email and not by phone as nobody will be picking up calls or voicemails made to the office. Use the following contacts:

Go to the news section on www.supportafterrapeleeds.org.uk for latest informatio

For emotional support you can also contact the Rape Crisis National Helpline on 0808 802 9999, open between 12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day or through their web chat

Survivors West Yorkshire provides support to men and women who have been affected by sexual violence. They are currently supporting people using email and text messaging.

Children who don't feel safe at home can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or the NSPCC 0800 800 5000.


How can I find support, if I or someone I care about, self-harms?

Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves, on purpose, as a way of coping with or releasing strong emotions that feel overwhelming. MindWell has tools to help manage self-harm including the Calm Harm mobile phone app, and information about support including Battle Scars, a Leeds charity supporting people who self-harm and their families or friends.

All of Battle Scars' face-to-face services, including groups, are suspended until further notice. Their peer support Facebook group is available. They have some online groups for existing service users only (for now), using Zoom. Battle Scars new groups starting: from July: an online support group for parents or families of people who self-harm - you'll need to complete an online form first; from October, the Inbetweeners online support group, for people who struggle with self harm urges but rarely act on them, or who need a lighter, less potentially triggering form of support. Find out more and receive updates by visiting the Battle Scars website and completing their form for notifications about online groups.

How can I find emotional or crisis support during the coronavirus outbreak?

A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation. If you're feeling very distressed or hopeless it's important to know that you're not alone.

Support is available although some services are adapting the way they offer support at this time:

Helplines and services offering listening and emotional support

Samaritans is open 24/7 to talk about whatever you're going through. Tel: 116 123 (free phone).

Connect Helpline offers emotional support to people in Leeds every night 6pm-2am. Connect is open as normal, but is experiencing high demand so a call back cannot be 100% guaranteed every night. Please be patient, they will always do their best to get back to you. Tel: 0808 800 1212 (free phone) or go to www.lslcs.org.uk/connect-helpline for online chat.

Teen Connect is for anyone aged 11-18 years old. Tel: 0808 800 1212, text 0771 566 1559 or go to www.lslcs.org.uk/teen-connect for online chat. Open 3.30pm-2am on weekdays and 6pm-2am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Connect BSL Helpline is on Mondays at 7pm-11pm, facetime/skype/glide with BSL trained staff. Tel: 07500 870 987.

British Red Cross Cross Coronavirus Support Line for anyone who is self-isolating and needs someone to talk to. Chat to a friendly Red Cross volunteer for emotional support, links to local organisations who may be able to help and information and practical advice. The British Red Cross can help you if you'll be without contact for 12 weeks, especially if you're not connected with other organisations or support networks. Call 0808 196 3651 between 10am-6pm, open every day. Calls are free and confidential.

Our Frontline is for health, care, emergency and key workers working in the frontline against the coronavirus and offers:

  • A free wellbeing support helpline 0300 131 7000, operated by the Samaritans and available from 7am – 11pm seven days a week, providing confidential listening from trained professionals and specialist advice - including coaching, bereavement care, mental health and financial help. NHS staff can call for support, signposting and confidential listening.
  • A 24/7 text alternative to the above helpline - NHS staff can simply text FRONTLINE to 85258 for a confidential text conversation with a trained volunteer.
  • An online toolkit for resources, tips and ideas to look after your mental health.

The Mix offers free emotional support and information to young people under 25 years old. They also offer support via text message, email and online chat. Tel: 0808 808 4994. Web: www.themix.org.uk

The Silver Line is a free confidential helpline, open 24/7, for older people which offers information, friendship and advice at any time of the day or night. Tel: 0800 470 80 90.
Web: www.thesilverline.org.uk/

Go to www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/help to find more helplines to support people experiencing a range of different issues.

Well-bean Hope in a Crisis Cafe is for people in crisis (aged 16 and over), open seven nights a week from 6pm-12am. It's currently operating all one-to-one support over the phone and face-to-face support via Zoom (like Facetime and Skype) which can be downloaded free of charge on any android phone. You can download Zoom from the App store/play store for your phone, tablet or computer. (The team can talk you through this when you call). The Crisis café staff will assess your needs, at the point of referral, to the “Touchstone Loves Food Project" if you are unable to access food. If you wish to make a referral please call: self referral (07760 173476); professional referral (07760 173505).
Web: www.touchstonesupport.org.uk/well-bean-cafe-hope-in-a-crisis

Dial House is a Leeds service that offers one-to-one support for people in crisis (16 and over). It's currently open for telephone and Zoom crisis support only, Friday-Monday and Wednesday, 6pm–2am. Staff are picking up the telephone until 2am (this is a change from recent practice of only taking referral calls up to 9:30pm). That means, you can call much later at night on 0113 260 9328 and a trained crisis support worker will be able to speak to you for up to one hour. Alternatively text them on 07922 249 452. They are offering video support via Zoom (like Facetime and Skype), also for up to an hour. It's very easy to use. Once you have downloaded it, they do all the technical stuff.
Web: www.lslcs.org.uk/dial-house

Dial House @ Touchstone offers support for people from Black & Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds (16 and over). At the moment it's open for telephone crisis support only on Tuesday and Thursday, 6pm-12am. Tel 0113 249 4675 or text 07763 581 853. Refugees and asylum seekers welcome.
Web: www.lslcs.org.uk/dial-house-touchstone

Any Dial House/Dial House@Touchstone visitors who feel they'll be really affected by not having access to face-to-face support can email survivor.led@lslcs.org.uk. A manager will contact you to talk about alternative ways they can support you through this period of public health crisis.

Help from the NHS

Ring NHS 111 (open 24/7) if you, or someone you know, needs urgent care but it's not life threatening. Or talk online at www.111.nhs.uk

Talk to a GP - ask for an emergency appointment with the first available GP. A GP can talk to you about your mental health and refer you to another service if necessary.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT)'s Crisis Resolution Intensive Support Service (CRISS) provides assessment and intensive support to adults aged 18-65 years who are experiencing a mental health crisis. It's open 24/7, every day. If you need help urgently call the LYPFT Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 300 1485.

What if I'm already receiving care from LYPFT? You should have contact details for your Care Co-ordinator, or another health professional, in your crisis/safety plan who you can contact initially. However, if they're not available and you need help urgently call the LYPFT SPA on 0300 300 1485.

If you are at risk of taking your life call 999 for an ambulance or go to A&E.

Download our foldable crisis sheet to keep in your bag or purse.


Helpline offering listening and emotional support for Leeds Community Care Volunteers

Leeds COVID-19 Volunteers Support Line - for everyone involved in front line COVID-19 volunteering in Leeds. The COVID crisis has affected all of us in different ways, and in volunteering to support others, people have been able to give something positive back to our community in these uncertain times. Some volunteers may also be in need of support to talk about their experiences of volunteering during the crisis.

To help with this, a group of new volunteers has come together managed by Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service (which runs Connect, Dial House and Dial House @ Touchstone). These volunteers will be on hand seven days a week from 9am-6pm.

  • The helpline is open to all people involved in front line COVID-19 volunteering in Leeds.
  • The helpline offers a listening/debrief service to talk about anything related to your front line volunteering experiences and feelings.
  • The helpline is not a counselling service, although many of the people answering the phones have experience of counselling and support/listening related roles.

If you'd like to talk to one of the volunteers, call 0113 483 0888.

Calls can last up to 50 minutes and are guided by what you need to talk about. Whilst they get completely up and running and fully staffed, there will be an answerphone in case no one is available to pick up your call – please bear with them and do call back later if they are not available.

Back to top