About your mental health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Good mental health and wellbeing means you can:
- enjoy your life and make the most of your potential
- cope with day to day life and any problem you may face
- play a full part in your family, your social circle and your local community
Everyone changes as they go through different phases of their lives and our mental health can change over time too. Mental health difficulties are very common.
What mental illness is
Mental illness is when you have difficulties with your mental health for a long time. It's also when the mental health difficulties have a serious effect on your life. A diagnosis of mental illness is usually made by a doctor. Your GP may recommend treatments such as medication, counselling or therapy.
Talking to someone
Many people around you will experience similar mental health difficulties. It's always better to talk to someone about your feelings.
You may want to speak to family or friends and/or you may want to talk to someone who is in a similar situation. You could talk to a professional like a counsellor or join a support group. The Southwark Wellbeing Hub can help you find a counsellor or you can use their website to find one yourself.
You can also find a counsellor through the Counselling Directory. Look for the Counselling Directory Policy badge on the profile page of the counsellor you're interested in. This tells you that the counsellor (or at least one counsellor if it's a counselling practice) is registered with a professional body.
Before booking your first session you should ask for:
- confirmation of the counsellor’s up-to-date professional body membership(s)
- confirmation of the counsellor’s professional insurance
- evidence of any professional qualifications
Help in a crisis
If you, or a person close to you, needs urgent help, use the contact details below. If you call the emergency services you'll find people who you can talk to and places to go for help.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of taking their own life or of harming other people, call 999 right away.
You can also go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department (A&E).
If you don’t feel in immediate danger but are upset, confused or are having thoughts about harming yourself:
- talk to your GP
- talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling
- call NHS 111
If you're worried about your mental health, always speak to your GP first. They'll refer you to a specialist if necessary.
If you're known to mental health services, you should contact your care co-ordinator or social worker.
If you're having problems with feeling low, anxious or stressed and would like some help, the Southwark Wellbeing Hub may be able to help you feel better.
Where to go for advice, information and support
At the hub you can access advice, information, one to one support and free workshops.
You may also want to find out more about ways you can keep yourself mentally healthy:
Page last updated: 26 November 2018