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.
- Call a number for advice and guidance.
- Explore MindWell self-help information for depression.
- Use a digital tool – go to the Digital Apps Library or join a safe online community.
- Join a class or do a course – access online or face-to-face sessions that can help you to improve your mental wellbeing and learn some helpful techniques.
- Refer yourself to Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LMWS) – city-wide service that provides psychological therapies for common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Includes help for coping with Coronavirus and uncertainty.
- Looking for support in your home or local area? – find community services that can help.
- Join a support group – Leeds has a wide range of groups that can support your mental wellbeing.
Coping with stress or a difficult life event?
Life stress and challenging life experiences can have a big impact on our mental wellbeing.
- Explore MindWell to find ways of coping with stress and different life experiences.
- Join a LMWS Stress Control Class
- Refer yourself to Linking Leeds – the city-wide social prescribing service that can help you tackle money, work or housing problems, find social activities or improve your general health and fitness.
Find local and national services and support
You can find many support services in our directory including emotional support for:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Caring for someone
- Childhood abuse
- Eating disorders
- New parents
- Sexual violence
- LGBT+ communities
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.
Helpful links and information
Advocacy services – who can help me to have my say?