It’s normal to feel low from time to time but if these feelings won’t go away and are starting to affect your everyday life, you should consider seeking support.

It’s not always easy to know what to do if you’re worried about your mental health. There’s a lot of support available in the city, however, including many options you can access without a professional referral.

Coping with stress or a difficult life event?

Life stress and challenging life experiences can have a big impact on our mental wellbeing.

Find local and national services and support

You can find many support services in our directory including emotional support for:

Join a peer support group

Peer support brings together people with similar experiences so that they can support each other. Leeds has groups for carers, parents, women, men, young people and LGBT communities for example.

Find a counselling service

Counselling involves discussing personal experiences and issues with a person who is trained to listen in a safe and confidential place.

Talking to a GP

If these options don’t feel right for you, or you need help in finding the right support, you can talk to a GP. GPs are trained and experienced in supporting people with their mental health.

Some GP practices in Leeds have their own mental health practitioners who consult with patients instead of the GP (the surgery staff will advise you). It’s also the case that some specialised services are only available through a GP referral.

Some people can experience hallucinations, hearing voices, have thoughts of suicide or self-harm along with other symptoms of depression. If these issues are affecting you it’s important to talk to your GP.

Many of these consultations are via telephone or video nowadays, but you can ask for a face-to-face consultation.

Do antidepressants help?

Antidepressants increase a group of chemicals in the brain called serotonin and noradrenaline which can improve a person’s mood. Some people who are prescribed antidepressants find that they start to improve some of the symptoms of depression after a short period (usually 2 to 4 weeks) but may also experience some side effects including headaches, sickness and loss of appetite. If you’ve any issues or concerns about your medication, no matter what they are, you should speak to your GP, pharmacist or nurse to help you to find a solution that most suits you. Taking anti-depressant medication does not, of course, address the causes of stress which may be behind someone’s depression. This means that anti-depressants are often prescribed together with another form of treatment, or, a different treatment or service may be more helpful instead.

How to register with your GP

How to prepare for a doctor’s appointment

The Accessible Information Standard

Advocacy services – who can help me to have my say?

How community mental health is being transformed in Leeds