Online support

Online groups, activities and community support

Andy's Man Club runs mental health support groups for men. Weekly meetings are currently postponed but members can access online meetings. The club is also hoping to set up support for new people. Please contact them by emailing info@andysmanclub.co.uk for more information, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Battle Scars - all 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.

Barca-Leeds is starting two free online facilitated groups using Zoom:

  • Reclaim online women's group, starts 11 June: space for women who feel cut off from the world in these unprecedented times, who are registered with GPs in LS12 and LS13. It will run every Thursday 10-11.30am. Download a flyer here.
  • Reclaim online men's group, starts 7 August: providing a safe place for men to not feel judged, to be understood and accepted when talking about their mental health, for men registered with GPs in LS12 and LS13. It will run every Friday from 11am-12.30pm, from August. Download a flyer here.

To find out more please get in touch with Barca-Leeds: Call, text or leave a voicemail - 07341 736 298 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or Email counselling@barca-leeds.org

Carers Leeds - the organisation that supports unpaid carers in Leeds has launched free online wellbeing workshops to help people look after their own health and wellbeing. You can find out more and book a place on a workshop on their website.

Cloth Cat Leeds - their Man About Town group for men in South Leeds has moved online. The group encourages men who may be socially isolated with creative, practical and fun sessions including both music and the digital arts. Groups and activities are available online, see their Facebook page or contact enquiries@clothcatleeds.org.uk. New members welcome.

Connect in the North - has a Facebook page and run a Facebook group featuring activities and information for people in Leeds with learning difficulties. They also run the Through the Maze website, which has lots of information about activities you can do at home, online activities and groups, helpful services and more.

Covid-19 Survivors Group - Facebook group run by Self Help UK for anyone in the UK who has survived Covid-19 and is living with the impact on their physical or mental wellbeing. The group will be molded by its members, through their voices and opinions. You can find the group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/COVID19SurvivorsGroup/ or contact Self Help UK for more information: Call 0115 911 1662 or Email outreach@selfhelp.org.uk. You can also see their website: www.selfhelp.org.uk/COVID-19_Survivors_Group_UK

Deaf BSL users online social group - run by Leeds Hearing and Sight Loss Service and Live Well Leeds. This online group will run every Wednesday evening from 5-6pm. Contact Jade Martin for more details: Text 07736 134 158 or Email jade.martin@bid.or.uk.

Death Cafes - these usually meet to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death and dying in a relaxed environment. Leeds Bereavement Forum is holding their first virtual Death Cafe on Wednesday 13 May from 11-11.40am on Zoom. Email them to find out more and get the password: jane.robinson@lbforum.org.uk

Frazzled Cafe online - meetings have gone online hosted by Ruby Wax. Frazzled Cafe offer confidential and non-judgmental peer support, where people who are feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of life can talk openly, connect and feel heard.

Humans Being - currently offering a Long Distance Social Club for men, using Zoom to meet up once a week. Open to men in a range of Leeds postcodes, Humans Being will help people get set up to use Zoom on their phone, tablet or computer. See the Humans Being website.

Humans Being now has free Zoom training sessions for men working, volunteering or living in Leeds, started Wednesday 1 July, from 2-3.30pm. The workshops explore how the culture of masculinity affects health and how we can start to challenge and change it for the better. You'll get some valuable ideas that will help you support your own health and that of men around you.

Leeds Autism AIM (advocacy, information and mentoring) - is running groups online using Zoom or Discord. Their groups are run by and for autistic adults living in the Leeds area. The current groups are:

  • Women-Aligned Group - open to autistic cis and trans women in the Leeds area. This includes femme-aligning non-binary people.
  • Peer support sessions - these fortnightly sessions have a theme or topic, as chosen by the group. The sessions will run for one hour each and you can join as many or as few sessions as you like.
  • Autistic-led Creatives Group - for all autistic creatives in Leeds to share and discuss their ongoing works. If you want to attend, you could do such things as read an excerpt from your novel, show your art or craft work, play a bit of music or discuss your latest ideas for your blog. You'll get supportive feedback and encouragement from fellow autistic creatives.
  • Gaming group - using the Discord app. The group will initially run on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 5pm to 6pm, but may become more frequent.

You can find out more about Leeds Autism AIM's groups by seeting their website https://leedsautismaim.wordpress.com/our-services/online-groups/ which also has a group timetable. You can email leedsautismaim@advonet.org.uk for details of how to join a group.

Leeds Disabled People's Organisation (LDPO) - running social and creative activities online at the moment:

  • Monday night quiz on the third Monday of every month - using Zoom, see their Facebook events page.
  • Series of creative workshops with Immortal Bloom, using materials from your recycling bin. You can find more about the next event here.
  • Online book club, were you can discuss elements of your favourite books with like-minded people.

Follow LDPO on Facebook or Twitter to find out more about upcoming activities.

Leeds Inspired has listings for online events including creative cafes and cinema hangouts.

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service - all classes, workshops and one-to-one support are currenlty being offered remotely online, by telephone or video-conferencing. They are continuing to screen and assess new referrals and are continuing to offer telephone, video or online therapy to those on treatment waiting lists as therapy slots become available. The service also provides a wide range of online video courses that can be accessed immediately. The following courses can be accessed straight away without an assessment:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Mindfulness
  • Understanding self-esteem
  • Panic attacks
  • Managing stress in parenthood
  • Depression
  • Bereavement
  • Postnatal depression.

They are 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. Please see the Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service website for details of all support available and more information about the service

Leeds Mind Peer Support offers online sessions so that people can talk to others sharing personal experience and empathy, focuses on strengths, and developing skills and strategies to maintain wellbeing. People can join the online support groups and book online workshops and courses by visiting leedsmind.org.uk/our-services/peer-support/about-peersupport/ You can also get updates about the #LeedsMindTogether campaign blogs, videos and tips.

Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service is offering an online group using Zoom to help people in Leeds feel less lonely and isolated. You can join in every Thursday from 12.30-2pm to chat with others. For more information, Call: 0113 260 9328 or email survivor.led@lslcs.org.uk.

Live Well Leeds offers community-based support to people in Leeds with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. The service is offering telephone support sessions, online support groups, online creative community groups and referrals to sources of food and other practical help. Check out the service website. Contact 0113 219 2727 or info@livewellleeds.org.uk.

Live Well Leeds LGBT+ group - the social group is running online, using Zoom. LGBT+ people in Leeds who are struggling with their mental health at the moment are welcome to join. Contact 0113 219 2727 or info@livewellleeds.org.uk or follow them on Twitter @LivewellLGBT.

Leeds Wood Recycling - will be running woodwork tutorials online using Zoom for people in Leeds who are struggling with social isolation and loneliness. People will need to be online (computer, smartphone or tablet with access to the internet) and a have safe space to work. These tutor-led sessions are for suitable for people with no woodworking experience. There will be two morning or afternoon sessions per week, for two weeks, and Leeds Wood Recycling will provide a flatpack of all the materials and loan a pack of tools if needed. You can find their website here or download a flyer. To find out more about the workshops, contact their Community Engagement Worker Sam Williamson: Tel 07812 403 772 or email leedswoodrecycling.community@gmail.com

People Matters will be a running remote adult learning programme throughout June and July for people in Leeds aged 19+ with learning disabilities. A range of courses have been planned that will be delivered online using Google Classroom and some courses that will be posted out as resource packs. The course timetable along with further information can be found on their website. If you are interested in one of the courses, please contact People Matters: Call 0113 234 6896 or Email info@peoplemattersleeds.co.uk for more information. Please note: that if you are already in full-time education, you won't be eligible for these courses.

Shared Harmonies - currently running free singing sessions on Facebook on Mondays at 10am and Fridays at 12.30pm, where you can warm up your voice and learn a song. There's also a weekly singalong session using Zoom, for anyone at any level of singing experience. It runs on Wednesdays from 5-6pm. Find out more by messaging them on Facebook or emailing emma@sharedharmonies.co.uk.

Through the Maze - website for people in Leeds with learning disabilities, featuring lots of information about activities you can do at home, online activities and groups, helpful services and more, including a weekly timetable. See also Connect in the North, above.

Yorkshire Mesmac - Currently running some of it's LGBT+ social or support groups online, see their website, Facebook or Twitter for up-to-date information. Yorkshire Mesmac is also running a new health and wellbeing course aimed at supporting the mental health of people ages 16-20 who are male or male identifying, contact Verity Smith for more information - Email: v.smith@mesmac.co.uk or Call: 07900 740 269.

Get creative with your kids

Through The Maze - is an information service for adults with learning disabilities, their family carers and professionals. Find their weekly timetable showing online groups and events for people in Leeds. They also have other ideas for activities you can try online on their website.

Your Space Leeds - has online groups and socials via their Facebook page including their Chocolate, Chill & Chat and Journaling groups.

Online tools and courses

MindWell self-help information and resources
MindWell has information to understand and manage problems like anxiety, stress, panic attacks and low moods. It can also help you to access a wide range of self-help tools and techniques to help you to feel calmer and cope better with life's challenges:

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service online courses
If you are 17 or over and registered with a Leeds GP, you can access free online Omnitherapy courses delivered by NHS therapists. Courses can help you cope with a range of mental health difficulties including panic attacks, stress and anxiety, and depression. LMWS also offer a course in mindfulness and a course that can help understand your feelings if you've recently experienced a bereavement.

RecoveryCollegeOnline is an online college that offers free courses on topics such as sleeping problems, anxiety and stress.

NHS Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust, who provide specialist mental health and learning disabilities services in Leeds, has put together some resources and tools for their service users and members of the public.

Leeds Recovery College - face-to-face courses have been suspended but you can access helpful information including newsletters wth wellbeing tips and tools on the college website.

NHS app library - access a range of apps and digital tools through the NHS app library that can help you cope better with stress and anxiety. You can also access a free introduction to the Be Mindful NHS course.

Elefriends is a supportive online community, managed by Mind, where you can be yourself. It's a safe place to listen, share and be heard.

Clic is a free online community for mental health support, managed by Mental Health UK. You can find self-help resources and have a Quickchat, with more ways to join in being added soon. It's moderated 24 hours a day to create a safe environment.

Guides to using groups and staying safe online

If you're new to using Zoom or WhatsApp or aren't sure about being safe online, take a look at these guides, which are suitable for anyone to read or watch.

Easy Read information to help people with learning difficulties use Zoom, from Learning Disability Wales.

How to install and use Zoom on a computer - from People in Action.

How to install and use Zoom on a smartphone - from People in Action.

Easy Read guide to using WhatsApp groups, from Learning Disability England.

Easy Read guide to Keeping safe online from CHANGE.

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