Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Adults Mental Health Support

Mental Health Challenges

Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Scribble showing how anxiety feels with ! and ? symbols

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.

However, some people can find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives. People with anxiety challenges tend to feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue.

Signs and symptoms of anxiety can be:

  • feeling tired, irritable or restless
  • feeling shaky or trembly, dizzy or sweating
  • being unable to concentrate or make decisions
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feeling worried about the past or future, or thinking that something bad will happen
  • stomach aches, muscle pain or headaches
  • dry mouth
  • pins and needles
  • fast, strong or irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath when you're feeling anxious

Panic or anxiety attacks aren't dangerous and are very common, they can be frightening, but they don't usually last too long, and the feelings will pass.

Anxiety can be the main symptom of several conditions, including:

Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress.

Things you can do +

Two people walking and having a conversation with speech bubbles

  • Talk to someone who you trust, this could be a friend, family member, healthcare professional or counselor.
  • Try some breathing and/or grounding exercises (there's a quick meditation below you can listen to).
  • Exercise, this could be going for a walk, run, swim, practicing yoga or something else you enjoy doing to get active.
  • Listen to music you find relaxing.
  • Keep a diary of what happens when you start to feel anxious and also what works well for you when you're feeling that way, this can help you find patterns of what's causing you to feel anxious and what you can do to help yourself.
  • Find and engage in some peer support, this could be connecting with support groups, forums and helplines, which you can find here.

Quick Anxiety Meditation +

Who can help? +

If you feel that you or someone you know could be suffering with anxiety then you can always go to your GP for help; your GP will be able to refer you over to someone who can help you get treatment. You can also self-refer yourself to services that help with Mental Health Challenges to get treatment.

CPFT logo

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies - (Self-Refer) - Offer support to those aged 17 and over via a range of brief supported self-help and talking therapy options. The service usually helps people with mild to moderate mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, phobias or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You can self-refer to the service by calling 0300 300 0055 or you can self-refer here.

The Primary Care Mental Health Service (PCMHS) is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT). We provide local specialist mental health support for anyone between 17-65 years of age within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and to support GPs in the treatment of mental health issues in primary care. For more information check out our leaflet here.

Cameo (Self-Refer) - Cameo is an early intervention service for psychosis. The service provides support for individuals, families, carers and friends. Cameo is funded and provided by CPFT (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust). 

Recovery Coach Team - (Self-Refer) - A service available to help offer support for people who have accessed secondary services and about to be discharged back to primary care (GP). Their contact details are RecoveryCoachTeamReferrals@cpft.nhs.uk and their website link.

Recovery College East - The Recovery College East runs courses designed to help you in your Recovery. The details and prospectus can be found on their website.

CPFT (Self-Refer) - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - provide several services for people with mental health challenges:



CPSL Mind logo
CPSL MIND - (Self-Refer) - CPSL Mind is a mental health charity which promotes positive wellbeing across our communities and supports people on their road to recovery from a wide range of mental health challenges. They offer online support, community initiatives to connect people, counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, peer support groups, Perinatal services and opportunities to get involved with training, volunteering, campaigning and fundraising. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.


good life logo

Good Life Service - (Self-Refer) - The Good Life Service focuses on individual strengths and skills. It encourages peer support and community connectivity and is available to adults aged 18 upwards living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It has something for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have a diagnosed mental health problem. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.

University Good Life Project (Self-refer)- CPSL Mind in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge are offering wellbeing support for students in the form of Good Mood Cafes, Open Door calm spaces and mental health information sessions. The project supports students to build connections with other students, learn self-help techniques, connect to personal strengths and get access to further support if needed. Download the leaflet here.



Lifeline plus logo

Lifeline - Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Crisis and Support Helpline, freephone 0808 808 2121 11am-11pm, 365 days a year.


Kooth LogoQwell logo

Kooth.com and Qwell.io are commissioned to provide an online wellbeing platform which along with text based counselling also includes helpful articles, forums, activity centre, daily journal and messaging. We provide British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited services and Kooth is available to young people aged 11-18 (up to 19th birthday)  and Qwell is available from 18+ in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

The service provides a free and non-judgemental place for people to connect with others and they have instant access to self-help materials and moderated discussion forums. People can also contribute written pieces of work reflecting their own experiences, as well as accessing drop-in or booked sessions with professional counsellors, available 365 days a year, 12pm -10pm on weekdays and 6pm-10pm on weekends. Further information about Qwell can be found here and information about Kooth can be found here.  More information is available by watching these videos: Qwell  Kooth


Cogswheel trust logo

The Cogwheel Trust (Self-Refer) - The Cogwheel Trust provides counselling support for adults and young people aged 6-16 years in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. Parents can refer their child into the service which is based in Cambridge. The Cogwheel Trust is a charity and it asks for donations towards appointments based on income. To find out more visit their website or call 01223 464385.


Arts and Minds logo

Arts and Minds - Arts on Prescription is a series of friendly, weekly art workshops for people experiencing depression, anxiety and/or other mental health problems. Led by a professional artist and a qualified counsellor, they offer the chance to experience working with a wide range of materials and techniques, including drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Sessions last for two hours and are open to all abilities – no experience necessary – and offer the opportunity to work on something creative, stimulating and absorbing with the aim of increasing well-being. A ‘hands-on art workshop’ is a good description of Arts on Prescription, it is important to understand that it is not art therapy, although participants find it therapeutic!  The counsellor is there in case anything comes up, which sometimes happens, but generally, the artist and counsellor co-facilitate the workshop by taking part in the creative activities alongside the participants. For more information on how to be referred to the service visit the website.


Make Do and Mend logo
Make Do andMend (Self-Refer) - Make Do and Mend provide workshops for people who experience mental distress. These workshops aim to promote recovery by developing self-esteem through developing skills. Workshops include areas such as candle making, guitar and cookery.


Everyturn Mental Health logo - previously called Insight Healthcare
Everyturn Mental Health (previously Insight) - (Self-Refer) Free, confidential NHS Talking Therapies that you can refer yourself to. Call 0300 555 0888 or online www.everyturn.org


lifecraft logo

Lifecraft - Lifecraft is a user-led organisation for adults in the Cambridge area who have experience of mental health difficulties in their lives. Services include creative activities, recovery groups, social activities and employment and volunteering opportunities. Lifecraft also have an Information Hub, a counselling service and Lifeline a Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Crisis and Support Helpline, freephone 0808 808 2121 11am-11pm, 365 days a year.


Everyone Health Logo

Everyone Health - Everyone Health have several services available:



Healthy You Logo

Healthy You - are a free service for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents who are looking to make changes to their lifestyle. So, whether you want help to stop smoking, lead a more active lifestyle, lose some weight, or simply take advantage of the NHS Health Checks we offer, Healthy You – funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council – can help you.



CCC is now Evolve Counselling | Cambridge Network Evolve Counselling (Self-Refer) - is a mental health charity providing affordable counselling and related services to organisations and to those in the local community who either can't afford to pay market rates or wait for a GP appointment, ensuring a lack of funds is no barrier to getting help. They supports people with a wide variety of problems; including anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, critical or chronic illness, disability, life change and many more.


Richmond fellowship logo

Richmond Fellowship (Cambridge Employment Service) - (Self-Refer) - We’re a specialist employment service providing support for people recovering from mental health problems to find paid employment, voluntary work, education and training or to retain their current employment.



Illuminate logo
Illuminate (Self-Refer) - Illuminate is a registered charity, providing coaching and personal development courses throughout the East of England. Based in Cambridge we help people who have experienced a setback including mental ill health, and are unemployed or on a minimal income. Through our work we rebuild self-confidence, enabling sustainable positive changes, improving lives for the better.


Frazzled cafe logo
Frazzled Café (Self-Refer) - Frazzled Cafe is a registered charity that operates with the purpose of providing a safe, anonymous and non-judgemental environment where people who are feeling frazzled can meet on a regular basis to talk and share their personal stories. Frazzled Cafe is for the four-in-four feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life. With the support of Marks & Spencer we are currently running fortnightly Frazzled Cafe meetings in Brighton, Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool, London (Marble Arch, Victoria & Stratford), Newcastle, Norwich and Wolstanton in Staffordshire. Please bear in mind that these meetings are not therapy sessions. If you are currently suffering from serious mental illness it may not be appropriate to attend.


People and animals logo
People & Animals (Self-Refer) - Provides animal and land-based therapeutic interventions, activities, education and skills development opportunities for children, young people and adults to support and enhance the physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals and the wider community. Creating opportunities for excluded and vulnerable people to engage, driving social change, supporting coordinated community action in economically marginalized, isolated communities. We utilize the non-threatening appeal of animals and nature-based activities to overcome barriers faced, regardless of physical or learning disability, mental health challenges, age, culture, economic status or background.


  MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough App - The MyHealth app provides up-to-date information about the locations and opening times of a range of health services in the area, including some mental health services. Search for ‘MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’ in the Android or Apple app store to download.


Group Therapy Centre

Group Therapy Centre - The Group Therapy Centre is a long-established, not-for-profit, psychological treatment service, and is unique in providing both short and long-term group therapy. We treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from Depression and Anxiety to more serious conditions such as Bipolar and Personality Disorders. We offer CBT, Schema and Long term open ended group therapy. CBT services are free, other services incur a fee based on ability to pay.


Head 2 Toe logo

Head To Toe Charity - With your support, Head to Toe can help our amazing NHS staff to provide even better care and treatment, while raising public understanding of the challenges experienced by the people that CPFT serve. Every penny you give will enhance the services that CPFT provides and support people of all ages receiving mental health, community and social care across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.



AMC Logo
#ANDYSMANCLUB - (Self-refer) - ANDYSMANCLUB are real, non judgmental, talking groups for men. We are the creators of the viral #ITSOKAYTOTALK movement, and hold meetings every week, that we are open every Monday 7-9pm except bank holidays in over 150 locations across the UK. Email at info@andysmanclub.co.uk 


HAY logo

How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - is a website that brings together everything in the local Peterborough community that is good for mental wellbeing. It includes activities from yoga to singing, sports clubs to arts groups, places to talk or get a cup of tea, plus information about local professional mental health support.



SEW Positive logo
Sew Positive - Sewing, Sewcialise, Mending and Upcycling. We offer a term-time weekly drop in and other creative courses - some on Social Prescription - using sewing for people experiencing depression, anxiety and/or other mental health problems, and people who face social isolation. Led by a creative tutor and volunteers, we offer the chance to learn and work with a wide range of materials and techniques, including sashiko, boro (slow stitching and repair), visible mending, upcycling, basic sewing machine skills, embroidery, making a lampshade from upcycled fabrics, textile art and reducing textile waste. Sessions usually last for two hours and are open to all abilities – no experience necessary – you will work on something creative, stimulating and absorbing to increase well-being. For more information on our services visit our website or Linktree.


 PoetsIN logo
PoetsIN is an award-winning charity with one simple goal – to help those in need heal, learn, and grow with the power of words delivered through a UK-wide programme of online and in-person creative writing workshops, mentorship programs, and listening programs.


*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Autism

What is Autism?

Autism is a spectrum disorder, which can be diagnosed as autism spectrum disorder or neurodiverse. Autism is a lifelong condition that can affect people in how they communicate and interact with others.

Autism can affect people in different ways, however most autistic people see, hear and experience the world differently to how people without autism experience the world.

1 in every 100 people are estimated to be autistic in the UK. Men and boys are diagnosed as autistic more often than women and girls; however, it is thought now that older women and girls may manage autism differently and therefore go through life without a diagnosis.

There is no “cure” for autism, with the right support many autistic people live fulfilled with active lives.

What are the signs and characteristics of autism?

Every person is different, so the characteristics and signs vary widely. There are however, two common characteristics:

  • Repetitive behaviour, activities and routines – such as fixed daily routine and repetitive body movements.
  • Difficulties with social communications and interactions – autistic people can find it hard to make friends or join in conversations.

People with autism can also be under or oversensitive to certain noises, colours, lights and other things, known as sensory sensitivity. These characteristics are present over time and have noticeable effect on daily life.

Certain health challenges and conditions are more common in autistic people. These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Dyspraxia

It’s important that these conditions should be identified and treated properly, and are not thought of as a part of the autism spectrum.

Getting a diagnosis

The main signs of autism, for example, difficulties with social interactions and communications, can often be recognised in early childhood. Some signs of autism may not be noticeable until a situation change, such as when the child starts nursery, changes school or leaves school.

Many adults have not had a formal diagnosis, but there are benefits to getting a diagnosis, including:

  • Protection under the Equality Act
  • Understanding your differences
  • Access to support services

See a GP or health visitor if you notice any signs of autism in your child or yourself, or if you’re worried about your child’s development. It can also help you get educational, health and care support without a diagnosis of autism, getting one makes sure your child gets the right support when they need it.

Support Services +

Image Eddie's - We deliver a number of projects and programmes across Cambridgeshire for people with a learning disability and their families. We aim to help the people we support with increased confidence, more effective social inclusion, improved skills, and reduced financial hardship. We are proud of our community-based activities that help people with learning disabilities to do the things they enjoy, make new friends and learn new skills.


National Autistic Society - Leading UK charity for Autistic people National Autistic Society - We're here to help the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and their families. Be it running specialist schools, campaigning for improved rights or training companies on being more autism-friendly, we are dedicated to transforming lives and changing attitudes.


*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Bereavement

What happens when you go through bereavement?

It is devastating when you lose someone close to you. Everyone’s experience of grief is unique, but there are some common things that lots of us will feel. You might feel numb, angry, exhausted or guilty for something you did or didn’t do or say. Your mind will be distracted so you may also find it hard to concentrate as well as you would do normally. These feelings are normal and will pass, but it can take time.

Speaking to someone can help, and you may get all the support you need from family and friends. If you don’t feel able to open up to people that you know, or you feel you are struggling, then there are organisations and sources of support that can help. The services below can give you some support:

Helplines and Support Groups +

CPFT logo CPFT Bereavement Support Group - These are held on the second Monday evening of each month, but please ring to check the date if you were not at the previous meeting. The meetings take place from 6pm-7.30pm at: Quaker Meeting House 21 Thorpe Road Peterborough PE3 6AB. If you are attending the group for the first time, it’s really important you contact us first so we can get some details from you and have a chat about the format of the meetings. Please give us a ring (details in leaflet link).


Cruse Bereavement Support Cruse Bereavement Care - Offers face-to- face, telephone (0808 808 1677) and email (helpline@cruse.org.uk) support.


Samaritans - Local Offer Samaritans – Provide a safe place for you to talk. They will listen and try to understand what you’re going through and help you make your own decisions that are right for you. You can get in contact with them via telephone (116 123 [free 24 hour helpline]), email, letter or face-to- face.


Group Therapy Cambridge

Group Therapy's Alone Together Support Groups - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have set up a number of online ‘Alone Together’ support groups to help people during this challenging time.  Although these aren’t therapy groups as such, the group therapists will allow you space to reflect on your experiences with other people and will introduce interventions if they feel they would be useful.

The support groups offer the chance to gain back some kind of community and connection with other individuals. They are for anyone who is feeling alone, isolated or struggling with life in general, and would like to join a group to share their experiences and connect with others. 



… Help is at Hand – A booklet specifically written for those bereaved by suicide by those who have also been affected by suicide. The booklet gives practical information as well as details of further support.


National Beareavement Service National Bereavement Service - Provides bespoke practical and emotional support for bereaved people. Contact bereavement services via our helpline or send us a message today to get help. Emotional support and bereavement care is available to those who need extra comfort during this challenging time. We’re here to help and find solutions – whatever that may be.


Sometimes it isn’t just your own grief that you have to deal with, but that of your children. Children need time to grieve too, and it’s important to try and talk to them about their feelings as well as your own. Try to encourage them not to hide their feelings, but instead talk about them. As much as possible try to keep to the routine that your family had before the death to give a bit more stability, as hard as this may be.

These services provide specific support for young people and their families who are bereaved +

Hope Again Hope Again - Provides advice for young people after the death of someone close to them including personal stories of other young people who have been bereaved.


Child brereavment logo Child Bereavement UK – supports families and educates professionals when a child or baby of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.


Cruse Bereavement Support
Cruse - (Self-Refer) - Cruse bereavement support have several local support services all over the UK. Cruse offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.


Ormiston Families

Ormiston Families Stars - is a children’s bereavement support service for young people finding it difficult to cope with the loss of someone significant in their life.

Stars offers specialist bereavement support and counselling to those aged 4-19 in Cambridgeshire who are may be experiencing difficulties following the loss of someone close to them, such as a friend or family member.



Grief Encounter Grief Encounter - A national service providing support to bereaved children and teenagers including e-counselling and materials to help to support bereaved children. Email: contact@griefencounter.org.uk, Telephone: 02083 718455.


Centre 33 Logo

Centre 33 - Provides free counselling to young people aged 13-25 years. Email: hello@centre33.org.uk, Telephone: 0333 4141 809

Text/WhatsApp: 07514 783745



The Compassionate Friends Compassionate Friends - A charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other similarly bereaved family members who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age and from any cause. Email: helpline@tcf.org.uk, Telephone: 034512 32304.


YMCA Trinity Group YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - Provides free counselling to young people ages 13-25years. Email: counselling@theymca.org.uk, Telephone: 01733 373170.


KYH logo

Keep Your Head - Provides details of more services and information on children's mental health.


Kooth LogoQwell logo

Kooth.com and Qwell.io are commissioned to provide an online wellbeing platform which along with text based counselling also includes helpful articles, forums, activity centre, daily journal and messaging. We provide British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited services and Kooth is available to young people aged 11-18 (up to 19th birthday)  and Qwell is available from 18+ in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

The service provides a free and non-judgemental place for people to connect with others and they have instant access to self-help materials and moderated discussion forums. People can also contribute written pieces of work reflecting their own experiences, as well as accessing drop-in or booked sessions with professional counsellors, available 365 days a year, 12pm -10pm on weekdays and 6pm-10pm on weekends. Further information about Qwell can be found here and information about Kooth can be found here.  More information is available by watching these videos: Qwell  Kooth


Other local healthcare services +

Everyturn Mental Health logo - previously called Insight Healthcare
Everyturn Mental Health (previously Insight) - (Self-Refer) Free, confidential NHS Talking Therapies that you can refer yourself to. Call 0300 555 0888 or online www.everyturn.org


Homepage. Sue Ryder Palliative, neurological and bereavement support Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice - The hospice’s family support team offers individual and group support pre and post bereavement. Trained staff and volunteers also facilitate the monthly walking group Wayfinders. Support for bereaved children aged six to 11 is available through the Charlie Chimp Club.


Arthur Rank Hospice Charity - Rise Above Arthur Rank House Hospice, Cambridge - Offers bereavement support to the families of patients who have received care from one of their services. Keith Morrison (Chaplain), Email: keith.morrison@arhc.org.uk, Tel: 01223 675777


Homepage. Sue Ryder Palliative, neurological and bereavement support Sue Ryder St John's Hospice - Offers bereavement support to families and friends of patients cared for at the hospice. Jane Maxfield, Family Support & Bereavement Co-ordinator.


Arthur Rank Hospice Charity - Rise Above The Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre - The Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre based at North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech, is a day centre supporting people who are living with a life-limiting illness. They also run a support day three times a year for bereaved relatives.


About the logo | University of Cambridge Cambridge University Counselling Service - This free service is for enrolled students and staff of the University of Cambridge.


Anglia Ruskin University Logo Anglia Ruskin University Counselling and Wellbeing Service- The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all students at Anglia Ruskin University and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing.


Voluntary organisations +

Age UK  logo Age UK - Provides advice and information for older people through an advice line‚ publications and website.


Samaritans - Local Offer The Samaritans - Provide confidential emotional support at all times of day and night.


cogwheel-logo Cogwheel Trust for Counselling - The Cogwheel Trust is a charity, motivated by its Christian ethos, working throughout Cambridgeshire to improve the emotional and psychological well-being of local people. 


Branding – People's History of the NHS For more information on bereavement and dealing with grief please visit the NHS bereavement webpage. Click here for a printable bereavement leaflet full of services for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area.


*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Carers

Services you can get in contact with for support +

CPFT logo

CPFT Eating Disorders Online Carers Support Group - When the country went into lockdown, CPFT arranged to replace the monthly Eating Disorder Carers Support Group with a weekly online meeting to provide support and advice. You can read their previous summaries here : Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4.

CPFT Carers Support - The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has information and support for carers and young carers which you can view here.



Family Voice - We are a local registered charity in Peterborough who are actively seeking to improve services in all areas of the lives of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs. We are here for Parents and Carers of children and young people aged 0—25 years with a disability or additional needs.

We aim to work together with professionals and parents so that the services for our children and young people meet their needs. Putting parent carers and their children at the centre and helping them to be heard.



Carers UK - Caring Together Carers UK Helpline - Call 0800 808 7777, Helpline open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.


Carers trust logo Carers Trust - We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners and through the provision of grants to help carers get the extra help they need to live their own lives.


Rethink logo

Rethink Carers Support - Families and friends of people with mental health conditions often need information, encouragement and the strength that comes from knowing you are not alone. We are run by carers for carers. We have a wealth of experience of supporting people with mental health problems and we know our way around the mental health system. 

We provide:

  • Support groups, currently on zoom, with learning from each other and guest speakers
  • Non-emergency phone support
  • Email support via cambridgecarersgroup@rethink.org
  • Whats App group
  • One to one help such as informal advocacy
  • A newsletter three times a year
  • Information about other sources of assistance such as Making Space, Caring Together and CPSL Mind
  • Information about your rights, whether under the Care Act, the Mental Health Act or confidentiality rules
  • A voice for carers, providing a reality check for local planners and decision- makers so that gaps in services can be reduced wherever possible.

Rethink Mental Illness was established by carers over 40 years ago and carers continue to play a key role at every level within our organisation. Supporting carers and giving them and those they care for a voice in every aspect of mental health provision is a key aim for us. Rethink provides a range of services nationally for carers and those they care for. Its website provides a lot of information and advice on every aspect of being a carer. Its advice line on 0300 5000 927 is open Mondays to Fridays from 9.30am – 1.00pm. For more information about what Rethink offer, please click here.



Making space logo Making Space - We provide services in the heart of local communities, in the comfort of people’s own homes, and specialist care and support services. Our professional, caring employees and volunteers deliver our services with dignity, respect and compassion, focusing on outcomes that help the people we support have the freedom to enjoy an everyday life. View the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough leaflet here.


Pinpoint PinPoint - Helping Cambridgeshire parents who have children with additional needs and disabilities. Pinpoint Cambridgeshire is run for parents – by parents. We give help and information to parent carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities, and give parent carers opportunities to have a say and get involved in improving local services.


Caring together logo

Caring Together’s vision is a world with no unpaid carer in crisis, isolated or struggling alone.

If you are an unpaid carer, they are there to help you. They can give you information and advice, and provide services and support to make your caring role more manageable, to benefit you and the person you support.

Calling them on 0345 241 0954, email hello@caringtogether.org or visit caringtogether.org



If you are caring for someone with OCD:

Group image Cambridge OCD Support Group - This group is open to people with OCD and their family, carers, and friends.The group meets on the first Monday of every month from 7pm-8.30pm. Bath house Mill Rd. For more information please contact: ocdcambridge@gmail.com or call 0303 040 1112 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).


Logo The OCD Action website has a dedicated page for carers


OCD UK logo OCD UK has a dedicated section for Families


CPSL Mind logo The Mind website has good practical advice


The International OCD Foundation also has good advice


File:National Health Service (England) logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons The NHS website has some information for people with OCD


Books Illustration

Two books that cover topics helpful to a caregiver.

  • When a Family Member Has OCD: Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Skills to Help Families Affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jon Hershfield, 2016
  • Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family by Karen J Landsman, 2005


Young people in caring roles who would like advice or support can contact one of the following services +

Centre 33 logo Centre 33 – Young Carers Project Cambridge City - Centre 33 offers support to Young Carers across Cambridgeshire for information and referrals please visit Centre 33 or contact: 0333 4141 809 E-mail: youngcarers@centre33.org.uk


Ormiston Trust | LinkedIn Ormiston Trust Young Carers Project Fenland - Tel: 01945 463337  E-mail: joy.stoner@ormiston.org  please visit Ormiston Trust


Cambridgeshire County Council - Inspiring Governance Cambridgeshire County Council Young Carer support - Please visit the Young Carers page on the County Council website for the most up to date information. For a Young Carers Needs Assessment email youngcarers@cambridgeshire.gov.uk


What benefits can carers get? +

Knowing what benefits you and the person you care for are entitled to can make a real difference.

For example, you might be able to get a break from caring, or get help with pay for certain costs, or make a difference to your pension entitlements in the future.

There are three main types of benefits:

  • Benefits if you're not in paid employment – "earnings replacement benefits".
  • Benefits that help pay for extra costs, such as those relating to disability or having a child.
  • Benefits and tax credits that top up low income if you're in work – "means-tested benefits"

Carer's Allowance, an earnings replacement benefit, is the main benefit for carers. You may be eligible if you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more.

For more information on what benefits you can get as a carer click here.

*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Dementia

Older lady smilingWhat is Dementia?

Dementia is a term used to describe a range of disorders or conditions that are affecting the brain. There are several types of dementia, the most common and well known one is Alzheimer's disease. You can have Dementia at any age, not just as you get older, and everyone diagnosed with dementia will experience their own unique symptoms.

What are the most common types of Dementia?

The most common types of Dementia are as follows:

Alzheimer's Disease - symptoms are usually mild to begin with and then worsen over time. (Difficulty with language, depressed or agitated and may withdraw from family and friends, memory lapses, problems with special awareness, difficulty making decisions, problem solving and/or disorientation of time or place, a person not recognizing a familiar face.)

Vascular Dementia - caused by small blood clots preventing oxygen getting to the brain. (Progression can be quite erratic as a person my not have a series of blood clots for sometime. People suffering will usually appear to be 'getting better', this is usually temporary, as the damage to the brain can eventually lead to difficulties; e.g. with daily living, attention, memory, decision making and motivation.) 

Frontotemporal - More common under the age of 65. Frontotemporal Dementia represents a group of conditions which are caused due to nerve cells in the brain dying and the nerve pathways becoming damaged in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. (Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia symptoms can be: changes in behavior or personality, apathy, obsessive or repetitive behaviours, loss of empathy, changes in appetite, difficulties making decisions, problem solving and concentration.)(Primary Progressive Aphasia, which consists of Semantic Dementia and Progressive Non Fluent Aphasia can have the following symptoms: language difficulties, speech or grammar problems, reduced understanding and difficulty recognizing familiar faces or objects.)

Dementia with Lewy bodies - Dementia with Lewy Bodies is caused by a build up of clumps and proteins in nerve cells in the brain, known as Lewy Bodies. (Symptoms of this are: fluctuating alertness, confusion and concentration levels, memory issues, mood changes, struggling with problem solving, spatial awareness, difficulty doing everyday tasks, tremors, slower movement, sleep disturbance, unsteadiness, an increase in falls and visual hallucinations.

Although there is no known cure for Dementia just yet, there is still support out there for you, anyone looking after someone with Dementia and anyone looking for more information. Here are some services here to help with Dementia:

Local Services +

Senior Home Solutions - A building company adapting homes for people living  with parkinson's disease, dementia and age related challenges Huntingdonshire Dementia Action Alliance  - Dementia Action Alliance brings together leading organisations across England committed to transforming health and social care outcomes for people affected by dementia. Dementia Action Alliance captures and promotes best practice, enabling it to benefit many more people. They do this through member Action Plans. These are made public on their website. Members come together to share best practice and learn about the latest trends and innovations from across health and social care. We enable this through our events programme that includes roundtables, conferences and webinars. Members come together to influence system-wide change and campaign on major issues within health and social care affecting people living with dementia. 


Alzheimers Society logo

Alzheimer's Society provides:

Dementia Support Service Cambridgeshire - Our Dementia Advisers provide information support and practical advice to anyone with a diagnosis of any type of Dementia and carers. Here are a few examples of the support we provide: ■ help with legal and financial documents ■ emotional support when things get tough ■ connecting you to local support groups ■ help to understand and live with dementia, including coping techniques ■ support with everyday living, such as government benefits. We will support you via phone, virtually or face to face. If you need support or help please get intouch with us on 03331503456 or 01223620962 or email us at Cambridgeshiredementia@alzheimers.org.uk

Pre-Assessment Support service – Are you experiencing problems that are affecting your daily life? Forgetting people’s names, misplacing items, struggling to remember day-to[1]day events or finding it hard to follow conversations?  Or have you already been referred to the Memory Assessment Service and are waiting for an appointment? If the answer is yes to either question, then perhaps our new Pre-Assessment Team may be able to help you. We know that lapses in memory and concentration can cause difficulties in day to day living and doing things that previously you had no problems with. It’s normal to get frustrated, worried, or lose self-confidence. The Pre-Assessment Service has been set up to help those individuals experiencing memory problems. The team are able to provide practical advice and information on: memory strategies, memory aids and tools, staying healthy and can sign-post you to services that provide support to enable you to live well with memory loss. If you need support or help please get intouch with us on 01223620962 or email us at Cambridgeshiredementia@alzheimers.org.uk

Intense Support service – We know that caring for someone with Dementia can, at times, be difficult, and at times you, as a carer, feel at crisis point. If you are able to answer yes to any of the questions above, then perhaps our Intensive Support Team may be able to help you. This unique Intensive Support service has been set up to help you to find new ways and strategies to help you cope with your caring role. We aim to identify ways to improve your own health and wellbeing and help you understand Dementia. One of our trained specialist Dementia Advisers will contact you to offer tailored support that meets your needs. Offering an expert listening ear, they are there to talk openly to about the difficulties you are experiencing. If you need support or help please get intouch with us on 01223620962 or email us at Cambridgeshiredementia@alzheimers.org.uk



Senior Home Solutions - A building company adapting homes for people living  with parkinson's disease, dementia and age related challenges Peterborough Dementia Action Alliance Dementia Action Alliance brings together leading organisations across England committed to transforming health and social care outcomes for people affected by dementia. Dementia Action Alliance captures and promotes best practice, enabling it to benefit many more people. They do this through member Action Plans. These are made public on their website. Members come together to share best practice and learn about the latest trends and innovations from across health and social care. We enable this through our events programme that includes roundtables, conferences and webinars. Members come together to influence system-wide change and campaign on major issues within health and social care affecting people living with dementia.


Love to Move - Love to Move is a seated exercise and movement programme, packed with fun, music and laughter and specially designed to help improve the fitness of mind and body. This exercise programme is unique in the UK and proven to have significant physical, emotional and cognitive benefits for all participants, particularly those living with dementia. Each session lasts one hour and is delivered by an experienced and enthusiastic tutor.


Next Steps - Next Steps helps you to find the right support, at the right time, while waiting for your memory assessment appointment. Here you can find information about what to expect at your memory assessment and organisations who can help, including steps you can take right now.


Local Dementia Cafes and Groups +

A Dementia Café is a café that people suffering with dementia can visit and be social, along with their friends, families and carers. The cafés are relaxed are give people the opportunity to talk with staff and other people about dementia whilst having a cup of tea and cake. Some cafés host regular talks by a range of local services who promote wellbeing and safety.

You can find Dementia cafés and support groups in your local area that offer support for people with memory loss challenges and carers here. 

National Services +

Specialist support to families facing dementia | Dementia UK Dementia UK - This site offers support and helpful information about dementia and how you can get in touch for more help and info.


Alzheimer's Research UK - the UK's leading Alzheimer's research charity Alzheimer's Research UK - Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, dedicated to causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure. Backed by our passionate scientists and supporters, we’re challenging the way people think about dementia, uniting the big thinkers in the field and funding the innovative science that will deliver a cure.


Alzheimers Society logo Alzheimer's Society - This site has great information about getting help and getting involved in supporting people with Alzheimer's.


Age uk logo Age UK - Age UK's vision is to make the UK a great place to grow older. They do this by inspiring, supporting and enabling in a number of ways.


Carers trust logo Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk - We support family carers of all ages across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk. We also offer flexible, professional care services to adults and children with a range of disabilities and health conditions.


*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Depression

What is Depression?

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.

Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn't a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together".

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety. There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains. However, some people may have little to no physical symptoms and are functioning professionals dealing with depression.

The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living. Most people experience feelings of stress, unhappiness or anxiety during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.

Who can have depression? +

Anyone can develop depression at any stage in their life, however recovery is possible.

Depression is a very common mental health challenge faced by people of all ages, and is the most common challenge older people experience in their wellbeing. This can develop due to lots of reasons; such as, loss of a loved one or friend, changes in surroundings, physical disabilities, money, relationships, family and many other reasons.

Older adults can experience the same symptoms as younger adults. There are main symptoms (low mood, reduced enjoyment, lack of energy), psychological symptoms (low self-esteem, hopelessness/guilt, suicidal thoughts), and biological symptoms (reduced appetite, weight loss, feeling lower in morning, early wakening, reduced sleep, poor concentration, agitation or slowness). Older adults may experience these symptoms and not recognise this as depression, but you can still seek help and support.

You can manage depression in a number of ways, for example: talking to someone about how you're feeling, being active, attending self-help groups, medication, going to therapy and more. Some support services you can access have been listed further down this page under: 'Who can help?'.

Luckily there are many ways of treating depression, the treatment you may receive will depend on the type of depression you have.

Different Types of Depression and possible treatments:

  • Mild Depression - wait and see, exercise, self-help groups
  • Mild to Moderate Depression - talking treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling
  • Moderate to Severe Depression – antidepressants, combination therapy, mental health

What are the different methods of treating/managing depression? +

Wait and see: if you're diagnosed with mild depression, it may improve by itself. In this case, you'll be seen again by your GP after two weeks to monitor your progress. This is known as "watchful waiting".

Exercise: there's evidence that exercise can help depression, and it's one of the main treatments for mild depression. You may be referred to a qualified fitness trainer for an exercise scheme. You can also find out more about starting exercise and exercise for depression.

Self-help groups: talking through your feelings can be helpful. You could talk to a friend or relative, or you can ask your GP to suggest a local self-help group. Find out more about depression support groups. Your GP may also recommend self-help books and online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). 

Antidepressants: antidepressants are tablets that treat the symptoms of depression. There are almost 30 different types of antidepressant. They have to be prescribed by a doctor, usually for depression that's moderate or severe.

Combination therapy: your GP may recommend that you take a course of antidepressants plus talking therapy, particularly if your depression is quite severe. A combination of an antidepressant and CBT usually works better than having just one of these treatments.

Mental health teams: if you have severe depression, you may be referred to a mental health team made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, specialist nurses and occupational therapists. These teams often provide intensive specialist talking treatments as well as prescribed medication. 

Talking therapy: there are different types of talking therapy for depression, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling. Your GP can refer you for talking treatment or, in some parts of the country, you might be able to refer yourself. Some talking treatments include; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Online CBT, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and counselling.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves paying closer attention to the present moment, and focusing on your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the world around you to improve your mental wellbeing. The aim is to develop a better understanding of your mind and body, and to learn how to live with more appreciation and less anxiety.

Who can help? +

It's important to seek help from your GP if you think you may be depressed. Many people wait a long time before seeking help for depression, but it's best not to delay. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery. You can also refer yourself to other services designed to help with depression.
CPFT logo

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies - (Self-Refer) - Offer support to those aged 17 and over via a range of brief supported self-help and talking therapy options. The service usually helps people with mild to moderate mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, phobias or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You can self-refer to the service by calling 0300 300 0055 or you can self-refer here.

The Primary Care Mental Health Service (PCMHS) is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT). We provide local specialist mental health support for anyone between 17-65 years of age within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and to support GPs in the treatment of mental health issues in primary care. For more information check out our leaflet here.

Cameo (Self-Refer) - Cameo is an early intervention service for psychosis. The service provides support for individuals, families, carers and friends. Cameo is funded and provided by CPFT (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust). 

Recovery Coach Team - (Self-Refer) - A service available to help offer support for people who have accessed secondary services and about to be discharged back to primary care (GP). Their contact details are RecoveryCoachTeamReferrals@cpft.nhs.uk and their website link.

Recovery College East - The Recovery College East runs courses designed to help you in your Recovery. The details and prospectus can be found on their website.

CPFT (Self-Refer) - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - provide several services for people with mental health challenges:



CPSL Mind logo
CPSL MIND - (Self-Refer) - CPSL Mind is a mental health charity which promotes positive wellbeing across our communities and supports people on their road to recovery from a wide range of mental health challenges. They offer online support, community initiatives to connect people, counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, peer support groups, Perinatal services and opportunities to get involved with training, volunteering, campaigning and fundraising. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.


good life logo

Good Life Service - (Self-Refer) - The Good Life Service focuses on individual strengths and skills. It encourages peer support and community connectivity and is available to adults aged 18 upwards living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It has something for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have a diagnosed mental health problem. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.

University Good Life Project (Self-refer)- CPSL Mind in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge are offering wellbeing support for students in the form of Good Mood Cafes, Open Door calm spaces and mental health information sessions. The project supports students to build connections with other students, learn self-help techniques, connect to personal strengths and get access to further support if needed. Download the leaflet here.



Lifeline plus logo

Lifeline - Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Crisis and Support Helpline, freephone 0808 808 2121 11am-11pm, 365 days a year.


Kooth LogoQwell logo

Kooth.com and Qwell.io are commissioned to provide an online wellbeing platform which along with text based counselling also includes helpful articles, forums, activity centre, daily journal and messaging. We provide British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited services and Kooth is available to young people aged 11-18 (up to 19th birthday)  and Qwell is available from 18+ in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

The service provides a free and non-judgemental place for people to connect with others and they have instant access to self-help materials and moderated discussion forums. People can also contribute written pieces of work reflecting their own experiences, as well as accessing drop-in or booked sessions with professional counsellors, available 365 days a year, 12pm -10pm on weekdays and 6pm-10pm on weekends. Further information about Qwell can be found here and information about Kooth can be found here.  More information is available by watching these videos: Qwell  Kooth


Cogswheel trust logo

The Cogwheel Trust (Self-Refer) - The Cogwheel Trust provides counselling support for adults and young people aged 6-16 years in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. Parents can refer their child into the service which is based in Cambridge. The Cogwheel Trust is a charity and it asks for donations towards appointments based on income. To find out more visit their website or call 01223 464385.


Arts and Minds logo
Arts and Minds - Arts on Prescription is a series of friendly, weekly art workshops for people experiencing depression, anxiety and/or other mental health problems. Led by a professional artist and a qualified counsellor, they offer the chance to experience working with a wide range of materials and techniques, including drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Sessions last for two hours and are open to all abilities – no experience necessary – and offer the opportunity to work on something creative, stimulating and absorbing with the aim of increasing well-being. A ‘hands-on art workshop’ is a good description of Arts on Prescription, it is important to understand that it is not art therapy, although participants find it therapeutic!  The counsellor is there in case anything comes up, which sometimes happens, but generally, the artist and counsellor co-facilitate the workshop by taking part in the creative activities alongside the participants. For more information on how to be referred to the service visit the website.


Make Do and Mend logo
Make Do andMend (Self-Refer) - Make Do and Mend provide workshops for people who experience mental distress. These workshops aim to promote recovery by developing self-esteem through developing skills. Workshops include areas such as candle making, guitar and cookery.


SEW Positive logo
Sew Positive - Sewing, Sewcialise, Mending and Upcycling. We offer a term-time weekly drop in and other creative courses - some on Social Prescription - using sewing for people experiencing depression, anxiety and/or other mental health problems, and people who face social isolation. Led by a creative tutor and volunteers, we offer the chance to learn and work with a wide range of materials and techniques, including sashiko, boro (slow stitching and repair), visible mending, upcycling, basic sewing machine skills, embroidery, making a lampshade from upcycled fabrics, textile art and reducing textile waste. Sessions usually last for two hours and are open to all abilities – no experience necessary – you will work on something creative, stimulating and absorbing to increase well-being. For more information on our services visit our website or Linktree.


Everyturn Mental Health logo - previously called Insight Healthcare
Everyturn Mental Health (previously Insight) - (Self-Refer) Free, confidential NHS Talking Therapies that you can refer yourself to. Call 0300 555 0888 or online www.everyturn.org


lifecraft logo
Lifecraft - Lifecraft is a user-led organisation for adults in the Cambridge area who have experience of mental health difficulties in their lives. Services include creative activities, recovery groups, social activities and employment and volunteering opportunities. Lifecraft also have an Information Hub, a counselling service and Lifeline a Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Crisis and Support Helpline, freephone 0808 808 2121 11am-11pm, 365 days a year.


Cambs consultancy counselling logo
Cambridgeshire Consultancy in Counselling (Self-Refer) - CCC is a mental health charity providing affordable counselling and related services to organisations and to those in the local community who either can't afford to pay market rates or wait for a GP appointment, ensuring a lack of funds is no barrier to getting help. CCC supports people with a wide variety of problems; including anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, critical or chronic illness, disability, life change and many more.


Richmond fellowship logo

Richmond Fellowship (Cambridge Employment Service) - (Self-Refer) - We’re a specialist employment service providing support for people recovering from mental health problems to find paid employment, voluntary work, education and training or to retain their current employment.



Illuminate logo
Illuminate (Self-Refer) - Illuminate is a registered charity, providing coaching and personal development courses throughout the East of England. Based in Cambridge we help people who have experienced a setback including mental ill health, and are unemployed or on a minimal income. Through our work we rebuild self-confidence, enabling sustainable positive changes, improving lives for the better.


Frazzled cafe logo
Frazzled Café (Self-Refer) - Frazzled Cafe is a registered charity that operates with the purpose of providing a safe, anonymous and non-judgemental environment where people who are feeling frazzled can meet on a regular basis to talk and share their personal stories. Frazzled Cafe is for the four-in-four feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life. With the support of Marks & Spencer we are currently running fortnightly Frazzled Cafe meetings in Brighton, Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool, London (Marble Arch, Victoria & Stratford), Newcastle, Norwich and Wolstanton in Staffordshire. Please bear in mind that these meetings are not therapy sessions. If you are currently suffering from serious mental illness it may not be appropriate to attend.


People and animals logo
People & Animals (Self-Refer) - Provides animal and land-based therapeutic interventions, activities, education and skills development opportunities for children, young people and adults to support and enhance the physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals and the wider community.Creating opportunities for excluded and vulnerable people to engage, driving social change, supporting coordinated community action in economically marginalized, isolated communities. We utilize the non-threatening appeal of animals and nature-based activities to overcome barriers faced, regardless of physical or learning disability, mental health challenges, age, culture, economic status or background.


MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough App - The MyHealth app provides up-to-date information about the locations and opening times of a range of health services in the area, including some mental health services. Search for ‘MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’ in the Android or Apple app store to download.


Group Therapy Centre
Group Therapy Centre - The Group Therapy Centre is a long-established, not-for-profit, psychological treatment service, and is unique in providing both short and long-term group therapy. We treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from Depression and Anxiety to more serious conditions such as Bipolar and Personality Disorders. We offer CBT, Schema and Long term open ended group therapy. CBT services are free, other services incur a fee based on ability to pay.                                                                                                                                                         


Head 2 Toe logo

Head To Toe Charity - With your support, Head to Toe can help our amazing NHS staff to provide even better care and treatment, while raising public understanding of the challenges experienced by the people that CPFT serve. Every penny you give will enhance the services that CPFT provides and support people of all ages receiving mental health, community and social care across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.



AMC Logo
#ANDYSMANCLUB - (Self-refer) - ANDYSMANCLUB are real, non judgmental, talking groups for men. We are the creators of the viral #ITSOKAYTOTALK movement, and hold meetings every week, that we are open every Monday 7-9pm except bank holidays in over 150 locations across the UK. Email at info@andysmanclub.co.uk 


HAY logo

How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - is a website that brings together everything in the local Peterborough community that is good for mental wellbeing. It includes activities from yoga to singing, sports clubs to arts groups, places to talk or get a cup of tea, plus information about local professional mental health support.



YANA: You Are Not Alone – Rural Mental Health Support

YANAhelp for those involved in farming and other rural businesses affected by stress and depression.

YANA offers specific help for those involved with farming or other rural businesses in East Anglia and Worcestershire through our work:

Wherever you live and work, we hope you find YANA useful.



PoetsIN logo
PoetsIN is an award-winning charity with one simple goal – to help those in need heal, learn, and grow with the power of words delivered through a UK-wide programme of online and in-person creative writing workshops, mentorship programs, and listening programs.


*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Drug and Alcohol Misuse/Addiction

What is Drug and Alcohol Abuse?

Drug and Alcohol abuse is when someone is addicted to taking drugs or drinking or both, and cannot stop taking drugs/drinking when they choose as it is more than a matter of willpower.

Many people do not understand why people become addicted to drugs and alcohol. They mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs or drink as morally weak. One very common belief is that drink/drug abusers should be able to just stop taking drugs if they are only willing to change their behavior. This is not the case.

What people often underestimate is the complexity of drug and drink addiction. It is a disease that impacts the brain, and because of that, stopping drink and drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. Through scientific advances we now know much more about how exactly drugs work in the brain, and we also know that drug and drink addiction can be successfully treated to help people who want to stop abusing drugs/alcohol and live a full happy life.

Some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol due to many reasons. They may suffer from other mental health challenges, for example; depression, and the only way they feel like themselves again is by drinking or taking drugs. There’s a different story behind every drink/drug addiction and all of them are valid. What is also important is wanting to get help and finding services that will allow you to get help.

Who can I talk to?

Your GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment. They may offer you treatment at the practice or refer you to your local drink or drug service.

If you're not comfortable talking to your GP, you can approach your local drug/drink treatment service yourself.

Drug Addiction Treatments +

Depending on your personal circumstances and also what you're addicted to, when you seek help you may be given a keyworker who will work with you to plan the right treatment for you

There are different types of treatment available. These include

  • Residential treatment – Residential treatment involves living at a facility and getting away from work, school, family, friends, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment. Residential treatment can last from a few days to several months.
  • Day treatment/Partial hospitalization – Partial hospitalization is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but wish to still live at home and have a stable living environment. These treatment programs usually meet at a treatment center for 7 to 8 hours during the day, then you return home at night.
  • Outpatient treatment – Not a live-in treatment program, these outpatient programs can be scheduled around work or school. You’re treated during the day or evening but don’t stay overnight. The major focus is relapse prevention.
  • Sober living communities – Living in a sober house normally follows an intensive treatment program such as residential treatment. You live with other recovering addicts in a safe, supportive, and drug-free environment. Sober living facilities are useful if you have nowhere to go or you’re worried that returning home too soon will lead to relapse

Within your treatment, there is likely to be therapies and other treatments to help you get clean. These may include: 

  • Talking therapies – talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), help you to see how your thoughts and feelings affect your behavior.
  • Treatment with medicines – if you are dependent on heroin or another opioid drug, you may be offered a substitute drug, such as methadone. This means you can get on with your treatment without having to worry about withdrawing or buying street drugs.
  • Detoxification (detox) – this is for people who want to stop taking opioid drugs like heroin completely. It helps you to cope with the withdrawal symptoms.
  • Self-help – some people find support groups like Narcotics Anonymous helpful. Your keyworker can tell you where your nearest group is. 
  • Reducing harm – your drugs workers will help you reduce the risks associated with your drug-taking. You may be offered testing and treatment for hepatitis or HIV, for example.

Where will you have your treatment?

You may have your treatment while living at home or as a hospital inpatient.

If your drug-related problems are severe or complicated you may be referred to a residential rehab.

For more information about residential rehab, or to find a rehab near you, you can visit rehabonline.

Drink Addiction Treatments +

The treatment options for alcohol misuse depend on the extent of your drinking and whether you're trying to drink less (moderation) or give up drinking completely (abstinence). It is a good idea to go your GP and talk to them about your concerns and goals. Your GP may suggest different types of assessment and support options available to you such as from the local community alcohol services. You can also ask about any free local support groups and other alcohol counselling that may suit you.

If you are worried about your drinking, you may be offered a short counselling session known as a brief intervention. A brief intervention lasts about 5 to 10 minutes, and covers risks associated with your pattern of drinking, advice about reducing the amount you drink, alcohol support networks available to you, and any emotional issues around your drinking

Moderation or Abstinence

Moderation or abstinence are treatment options if you're: 

  • Regularly drinking more than the lower-risk daily levels of alcohol – 14 units a week
  • Experiencing health problems directly related to alcohol
  • Unable to function without alcohol (alcohol dependency) 

Cutting alcohol out completely will have a greater health benefit. However, moderation is often a more realistic goal, or at least a first step on the way to abstinence.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but there are circumstances where abstinence is strongly recommended, including if you

  • Have liver damage, such as liver disease or cirrhosis
  • Have other medical problems, such as heart disease, that can be made worse by drinking
  • Are taking medication that can react badly with alcohol, such as antipsychotics
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant

Abstinence may also be recommended if you've previously been unsuccessful with moderation.

If you choose moderation, you'll probably be asked to attend further counselling sessions so your progress can be assessed, and further treatment and advice can be provided if needed. You may also have regular blood tests so the health of your liver can be carefully monitored. 

Your treatment may include

  • Alcohol Detoxification:

If you need medication to help you stop drinking, it can often be taken at home or when attending a local service daily.

However, some people will need a short stay in a 24-hour medically-supported unit so they can receive safe treatment of their withdrawal symptoms or other problems.

This may be in an NHS inpatient unit, or in a medically-supported residential service, depending on your situation and the assessed medical need. 

  • Intensive Rehabilitation:

Some people are assessed as needing intensive rehabilitation and recovery support for a period after they stop drinking completely; either through attending a programme of intensive support in their local community or by attending a residential rehabilitation service.

This type of intensive treatment is usually reserved for people with medium or high levels of alcohol dependence, and particularly those who have received other forms of help previously that have not been successful.

Who can support you? +

There are a number of specialist alcohol services that provide help and support for people with a dependence on alcohol or drugs and their friends and family.

Change Grow Live - go to homepage

CGL: Change Grow Live - provide help and support to adults, children, young people and families. There services cover a wide variety of areas including health and wellbeing, substance use, mental health, criminal justice, domestic abuse and homelessness. You can download and fill out their referral form here and a leaflet about the services here.

Aspire -Aspire is available to provide support for those with substance misuse issues and support for their families and carers within the Peterborough area.

Recovery Motivators - Recovery champions are fundamental to the on-going support of service users accessing treatment. Inclusion is constantly seeking to utililise the skills of those individuals having experienced treatment and who are committed to recovery. If you feel you would like to support others in treatment please click here.



Cambridgeshire Recovery Service

Cambridge Recovery Service - CRS is volunteer-led community-based service. We aim to help you build a sustained, holistic and purposeful lifelong recovery from addiction, supported by peers, volunteers and professions.



Home - Company logo

CASUS (Cambridgeshire Child & Adolescent Substance Use Service) - Telephone: 01480 445316 Email at: casus@cpft.nhs.uk



Cambridge Acorn Project

Cambridge Acorn Project - We aim to address adverse childhood experiences and tackle inequality. We do therapeutic work with children and families connected to issues around trauma, attachment, stress and social justice.



Eating Disorders - Talk To Someone Mobile Phone Illustration

Drinkline - is the national alcohol helpline. If you're worried about your own or someone else's drinking, you can call this free helpline, in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm).



Narcotics Anonymous - MHA Screening Narcotics Anonymous - A non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. The only requirement for membership is to stop using.


AA Alcohol Anonymous Logo Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) -

Concerned about your drinking? Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees.

Contact: 24hr helpline 0800 9177 650

Email: Help@aamail.org



Al-Anon Family Groups Al-Anon Family Groups - offer support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they're still drinking or not.


Cocaine Anonymous | Wirral InfoBank Cocaine Anonymous - Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from their addiction. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances. There are no dues or fees for membership; we are fully self supporting through our own contributions.


Marijuana Anonymous World Services Marijuana Anonymous - is a fellowship of people who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction. “We who are marijuana addicts? We know the answer to this question. Marijuana controls our lives! We lose interest in all else; our dreams go up in smoke.”


Talk to Frank - support line for anyone with questions/concerns surrounding drugs.


Nacoa branding - style guide - Nacoa Nacoa - provides information, advice and support for anyone affected by a parent’s drinking. The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) - provides a free, confidential telephone and email helpline for children of alcohol-dependent parents and others concerned with their welfare. Call 0800 358 3456 for the Nacoa helpline.


With You logo With You - is free, confidential support with alcohol, drugs or mental health from one of their local services or online.


Adfam | Kirklees in Recovery Adfam - is a national charity working with families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam operates an online message board and database of local support groups.


SMART Recovery International SMART Recovery - groups help participants decide whether they have a problem, build up their motivation to change and offer a set of proven tools and techniques to support recovery.


Cafe Recovery Cafes : free, regular, no appointments needed, drop-in cafes where you can find lots of information on recovery from drug and alcohol use, chats with others in recovery and enjoy a tea or coffee.

Cambridge: The Edge Café, Brookfield NHS Site, Mill Rd, CB1 3DF, Every Thursday 12-3pm

Ely: The Countess Free Church, Ely, Every Monday 10am – 12pm



There are lots of tips and tricks to help you stay in control of your drinking, whatever the situation. What are your drinking levels like? Find out here:

You’ll find lots of tips, and other information here:

Downloadable Mobile Apps:

Use the NHS Choices interactive tools to calculate alcohol units, assess your drinking levels and track your drinking over time.

  • iPhone tracker - If you have an iPhone or iPod touch you can download the drinks tracker from the iTunes app store for free.
  • Dry January App - Available on iPhone and Androids.

Information about Co-occuring conditions:

The strategy for improving service users support regarding mental health and substance misuse (co occurring conditions, a.k.a. dual diagnosis) agreed policy between our services is outlined in this document here, to help us to work toward better outcomes for service users in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder Booklets Illustration

In this section:

About Eating Disorders

Signs and Symptoms

If you're living with an eating disorder

Caring for someone with an eating disorder

Video stories from those with lived experience of eating disorders

Leaflets for those struggling with or caring for someone with an eating disorder

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust's Keeping Safe Programme - Developed to provide information to help you begin to make sense of your difficulties and to encourage you to take steps to minimise any potential harmful effects caused by your eating disorder whilst you are waiting for treatment.

Learning Disabilities

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is something that affects a way in which a person learns new things throughout their life. A learning disability can affect a person’s ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learning new skills
  • Coping independently

Learning disabilities can vary in severity. They can be mild, moderate or severe.

Some people who have a learning disability will find talking easy, and can live independently but may need slightly longer to learn new skills; whereas other people may struggle with communicating and could have other disabilities as well. A persons’ ability to live independently can depend on the level of care and support they need and receive.

Young people and children with learning disabilities may also have special educational needs (SEN).

Most learning disabilities are diagnosed in childhood, but they can be diagnosed at any time in a person’s life. Down’s syndrome for example, is diagnosed at birth, whereas some others may only be discovered when a child is old enough to talk and walk.

After a diagnosis of a learning disability, your GP can refer you for any specialist support you may need. You can then get to know the team of professionals that will be involved in the care of your child.

People with a learning disability can live as full and independent a life as possible with the right support from some of the following professionals:

  • GPs
  • Paediatricians
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Educational and Clinical Psychologists
  • Social Care Workers

What causes learning disabilities? +

A learning disability happens when a person’s brain development is affected, either before they’re born, during their birth or in their early childhood.

Affects in brain development can be caused by things such as:

  • The mother becoming ill during pregnancy
  • Problems during the birth that prevents enough oxygen getting to the brain
  • The unborn baby inheriting certain genes from its parents that make having a learning disability more likely – known as inherited learning disability
  • Illness, for example, meningitis or injury in early childhood

Sometimes there isn’t a clear or known cause for a learning disability.

Certain conditions are often associated with having a learning disability because people with these conditions are more likely to have one. For example, everyone with Down’s syndrome has some kind of learning disability, and so do many people with cerebral palsy. People with autism may also have a learning disabilities, and around 30% or people with epilepsy have a learning disability.

What is a profound and multiple learning disability (PMLD)? +

A profound and multiple learning disability is when a person has severe learning disability and other disabilities that significantly affect their ability to be independent and communicate.

A person with PMLD can have severe difficulty seeing, hearing, speaking and moving. They might have complex health and social care needs or other conditions.

People with profound and multiple learning disability often need a carer/carers to help them with most areas of everyday life, for example, eating, washing and going to the toilet. With support, lots of people can learn to communicate in different ways, be involved in decisions about themselves, do things they enjoy and achieve more independence.

Living with a diagnosis of a learning disability +

It can be quite a shock to be diagnosed with a learning disability; it isn’t always clear what caused it or what the learning disability is. Some children can be late when reaching milestones in development, such us walking or talking, this is usually nothing to worry about. Some developmental challenges can have a definite cause, like a hearing or sight problems, learning disabilities or autism.

If you’re worried about your child’s development, speak to your GP.

To ensure a person with disabilities or long-term health conditions get the right care for their needs, they will be assessed. This can be finding the right health treatment and support, education and training. If someone needs more than one kind of assessment, they should be combined together.

*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and www.cpft.nhs.uk .

Long-term Conditions

Managing your Well-Being with a Long-Term Condition:

Living with a long term health condition can take its toll on your mental well-being. Long-term conditions can lead to frustration, anxiety, low mood and other mental health challenges. If you live with a long-term health condition it does not mean you will suffer with mental health challenges, everybody had mental health and we all cope with stress and things like health conditions in our own ways. 

 

Managing your well-being with diabetes:

Having the long-term condition of diabetes means that you have to juggle managing your condition along with everyday life. This can be very overwhelming, stressful and can cause frustration. Changes in mood are very common because of this. Research suggests that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to experience challenges with anxiety and depression.

National clinical health guidelines have demonstrated that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is useful for people who are struggling with managing their diabetes. CBT can enhance peoples’ understanding of diabetes care and has also been shown to improve mood and glycaemic control.

Finding Support

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies works alongside and collaborates with GPs, hospitals, diabetes specialist nurses and consultants. We will help you recognise if you are experiencing anxiety or depression and how this might affect health and management of your diabetes. Therapists have training and experience in working with people with diabetes and other physical health conditions. Together, we will be able to talk about the range of therapy options that would be most helpful and suitable for you.

 

Managing your well-being with a heart condition:

People living with heart conditions typically experience higher rates of mental health challenges. Some research suggests that you can be three times more likely to suffer with anxiety and/or depression if you are living with a heart condition. Anxiety is the most common symptom (77%) and over half (51%) of people with a heart condition experience symptoms of depression. Despite these strong feelings, many people do not speak to anyone about the emotional or psychological impacts of having a heart condition.  

It can be really helpful to talk with someone about your heart condition. Improved management of stress and depression can help support future changes to your physical and emotional health. This in turn will help to improve your cardiovascular risk profile and lower your risk of further cardiac events.

Finding Support

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies works alongside and collaborates with GPs, hospitals, diabetes specialist nurses and consultants. We will help you recognise if you are experiencing anxiety or depression and how this might affect health and management of your diabetes. Therapists have training and experience in working with people with diabetes and other physical health conditions. Together, we will be able to talk about the range of therapy options that would be most helpful and suitable for you.

 

Managing your wellbeing with Respiratory Disorders:

People living with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or other chronic respiratory diseases can find themselves feeling low and/or anxious. Research shows that people with COPD are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population. Symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing and fatigue can contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. These feelings can lead to reduced activity levels, which may worsen your condition.  Cognitive behavioural therapy techniques have proven to be successful in psycho-educational breathlessness/health promotion groups as well as individually  in primary and secondary care, with positive outcomes on: psychological wellbeing, coping strategies and use of health services.

Finding Support

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies works alongside and collaborates with GPs, hospitals, diabetes specialist nurses and consultants. We will help you recognise if you are experiencing anxiety or depression and how this might affect health and management of your diabetes. Therapists have training and experience in working with people with diabetes and other physical health conditions. Together, we will be able to talk about the range of therapy options that would be most helpful and suitable for you.

 

Who is NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies for? Is if free? And how can I refer myself?

The service is for people aged over 17 years who are normally resident in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are registered with a GP in one of these areas. We do not have an upper age limit.

The service is free of charge as it is an NHS service.

You can refer yourself Here! You can also call their self-referral team on 0300 300 0055 and they will guide you through the process, let them know that you have a Long-term Condition. The telephone line is open from 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri.

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies provides psychological therapy that recognises the difficulties for some patients with long-term physical health conditions including COPD, Diabetes and Cardiac disease including heart failure.

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies aims to help you to improve your well-being, support you to manage your health problem and help you to look at how you can live your life in a more positive way.

We offer a range of treatment options including courses as well as individual therapy, which case take place via the telephone, online or face to face depending on the treatment you receive. The type of therapy we predominantly use is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (see therapies section).

We are based in a variety of locations across the county to make access easier, including at our base sites in Huntingdon, Cambridge, Wisbech, March and Peterborough.  We also work out of many GP surgeries, various rooms in the community such as libraries and some hospital settings.  However, we do not see people in their own home.

*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and www.ageuk.org.uk/.

Mood Disorders

What is a Mood Disorder?

'Mood disorders' can cover several different challenges, these are characterized by low mood, with other symptoms including challenges with self-worth, sleep, appetite, concentration, a change in energy levels and having thoughts about death and suicide in some cases. Mood disorders are very common, with the most commonly heard one being Bipolar Disorder. 

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.

People with bipolar disorder have periods or episodes of:

·         Depression – feeling very low and lethargic

You may initially be diagnosed with clinical depression before having a future manic episode (sometimes years later), after which you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During an episode of depression, you may have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, which can potentially lead to thoughts of suicide. If you're feeling suicidal or having severe depressive symptoms, contact your GP, care co-ordinator or local mental health emergency services as soon as possible.

·         Mania – feeling very high and overactive (less severe mania is known as hypomania)

During a manic phase of bipolar disorder, you may feel very happy and have lots of energy, ambitious plans and ideas. You may spend large amounts of money on things you can't afford and wouldn't normally want. Not feeling like eating or sleeping, talking quickly and becoming annoyed easily are also common characteristics of this phase. You may feel very creative and view the manic phase of bipolar as a positive experience. However, you may also experience symptoms of psychosis, where you see or hear things that aren't there or become convinced of things that aren't true.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on which mood you're experiencing. Unlike simple mood swings, each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks (or even longer), and some people may not experience a "normal" mood very often.

The high and low phases of bipolar disorder are often so extreme that they interfere with everyday life.

However, there are several options for treating bipolar disorder that can make a difference. They aim to control the effects of an episode and help someone with bipolar disorder live life as normally as possible.

The following treatment options are available:

medication to prevent episodes of mania, hypomania (less severe mania) and depression – these are known as mood stabilisers and are taken every day on a long-term basis
medication to treat the main symptoms of depression and mania when they occur
learning to recognise the triggers and signs of an episode of depression or mania
psychological treatment – such as talking therapy, which can help you deal with depression, and provides advice about how to improve your relationships
lifestyle advice – such as doing regular exercise, planning activities you enjoy that give you a sense of achievement, as well as advice on improving your diet and getting more sleep
It's thought using a combination of different treatment methods is the best way to control bipolar disorder.

Who’s affected?

Bipolar disorder is fairly common and one in every 100 adults will be diagnosed with the condition at some point in their life.

Bipolar disorder can occur at any age, although it often develops between the ages of 15 and 19 and rarely develops after 40. Men and women from all backgrounds are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.

Who can help? +

CPFT logo

Springbank Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS - Springbank is a 12-bed inpatient recovery unit for women with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) who are struggling to cope with the demands of life outside of hospital, despite the input from community psychiatric services. Funded by CPFT.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Community Team – Offer assessment and treatment advise, support, care plans and specialist interventions. Funded by CPFT.

CPFT (Self-Refer) - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - provide several services for people with personality disorders and other challenges:



Rethink logo
Rethink (Self-Refer) - Offer loads of helpful links to services and information/advice.


everyone health logo
Everyone Health - The High Risk Health Trainer service will work closely to support patients with serious mental illness focusing on key lifestyle behaviours such as diet, exercise and wellbeing and signposting to other relevant services. This can be anyone who has any diagnosable mental health illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia or personality disorder. Appointments are on a 1to1 basis and consist of up to eight 45 minute appointments. You can contact their Clinical Contact Centre on 0333 005 0093


Time to change logo Time to Change (Self-Refer) - Offers helpful advice on where you can get help and you can see other peoples stories.


CPSL Mind logo

Side by Side (Self-Refer) - It’s a powerful thing to connect with someone else over shared experiences. Side by Side is an online community where you can listen, share and be heard.

CPSL MIND (Self-Refer) - CPSL Mind is a mental health charity which promotes positive wellbeing across our communities and supports people on their road to recovery from a wide range of mental health challenges. They offer online support, community initiatives to connect people, counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, peer support groups, Perinatal services and opportunities to get involved with training, volunteering, campaigning and fundraising. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.



Bipolar uk logo
Bipolar UK (Self-Refer) - Bipolar UK is a national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of bipolar, their families and carers. We empower approximately 1,000 people a month to stay well - and we have the ambition to reach thousands more. Community members can contact us on info@bipolaruk.org. If you would like to contact support groups they can contact them on 0333 323 3885 however, they do not take incoming calls they would need to leave a voice message.


Group Therapy Centre
Group Therapy Centre - The Group Therapy Centre is a long-established, not-for-profit, psychological treatment service, and is unique in providing both short and long-term group therapy. We treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from Depression and Anxiety to more serious conditions such as Bipolar and Personality Disorders. We offer CBT, Schema and Long term open ended group therapy. CBT services are free, other services incur a fee based on ability to pay.                                                                                                                                                                                              


*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

OCD

What is OCD?

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

It affects men, women and children and can develop at any age. Some people develop the condition early, often around puberty, but it typically develops during early adulthood.

OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.

If you have OCD, you'll usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

  • An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.
  • A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

For example, someone with an obsessive fear of their house being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave the house.

People with OCD can be reluctant to seek help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed. But there's nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. It's a health condition like any other – it doesn't mean you're "mad" and it's not your fault you have it.

Who Can Help? +

If you know someone or yourself is struggling with OCD you can visit your GP who will be able to refer you to someone to get help. You can also refer yourself directly to services that help with OCD and other Mental Health Challenges.

Group image Cambridge OCD Support Group - This group is open to people with OCD and their family, carers, and friends.The group meets on the first Monday of every month from 7pm-8.30pm. Bath house Mill Rd. For more information please contact: ocdcambridge@gmail.com or call 0303 040 1112 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).


Logo The OCD Action website has a dedicated page for carers


OCD UK logo OCD UK has a dedicated section for Families


CPSL Mind logo The Mind website has good practical advice


The International OCD Foundation also has good advice


File:National Health Service (England) logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons The NHS website has some information for people with OCD


Books Illustration

Two books that cover topics helpful to a caregiver.

  • When a Family Member Has OCD: Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Skills to Help Families Affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jon Hershfield, 2016
  • Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family by Karen J Landsman, 2005


Cambridgeshire Insight Cambridge Insight have a page on their website which gives some guidance on hoarding, and what to do if you encounter it. If you meet someone who you feel is hoarding, or at risk of slipping into hoards.


    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Pregnancy and Mental Health

    Happy baby on a bed

    While many people are aware that you can become depressed after having a baby, it's less well known that many women and men experience anxiety during and after pregnancy. In fact, it's common to experience depression and anxiety together.

    Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health challenges during pregnancy, many women and men will experience both. Depression and anxiety also affect 15-20% of women in the first year after childbirth. During pregnancy and the postnatal period, anxiety disorders, including Panic Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Tokophobia (an extreme fear of childbirth), can occur on their own or can coexist with depression.

    Perinatal anxiety and depression are mental health challenges experienced during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. You might hear it called:

    • Perinatal or antenatal anxiety and/or depression if you experience anxiety during pregnancy.
    • Postnatal anxiety and/or depression if you experience it after giving birth.

    Perinatal mental health challenges are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental challenges affects 12-20% of women, and covers a wide range of conditions. Me can also suffer with Peri/Postnatal depression and anxiety. If left untreated, it can have significant and long lasting effects on the person and their family. Perinatal mental health challenges can also have long-standing effects on children’s emotional, social and cognitive development.

    Formed Films have a video called 'Perinatal Positivity' and another called 'A Black Cloud' which have the aim of encouraging parents-to-be to prepare for and think about looking after their mental health through pregnancy, birth and beyond and to raise awareness of birth related trauma, and to give people comfort that they are not alone.

    Trigger Warning: The below videos contain sensitive content.

    'Perinatal Positivity'

    'A Black Cloud'

    Different types of depression and anxiety that can happen during and post-pregnancy +

    • Postpartum ‘blues’: (affecting 60-80% of all new mothers) is often expressed as frequent and prolonged crying, anxiety, irritability, poor sleep, quick mood changes and a sense of vulnerability. It usually occurs within the first three days following birth, continues for up to two weeks and is usually self-limiting.

    • Postpartum depression & anxiety: (affecting 15-20% of all new mothers) is more debilitating and longer lasting than the ‘blues’ and is characterized by despondency, tearfulness and more intense feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anxiety and fatigue. There may also be physical symptoms such as headaches and rapid heart rate. A lack of feeling for the baby is of special concern. These feelings can appear any time during the first few months to one year after the birth. Unfortunately, women experiencing this form of depression rarely seek treatment although almost all respond well.

    • Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childbirth: is usually triggered by trauma during the time leading up to, during delivery or shortly afterwards. It can effect up to 6% of mothers. The trauma leads the women feeling that either her life or the life of her baby is at risk.

    • Postpartum psychosis:(found in 0.1% of new mothers) is a serious, but relatively rare disorder, with reactions such as extreme confusion, refusal to eat, delusions, auditory hallucinations, hyperactivity and rapid or irrational speech. Most of these reactions occur within 3-14 days following the birth. Psychosis is serious and requires immediate medical attention and at times medication and hospitalization.

    How do I know if I have perinatal or postnatal depression or anxiety? +

    A mother may:

    • Feel constantly tired
    • Cry often for no apparent reason
    • Feel panicky
    • Worry excessively about her own or the baby’s health
    • Have a lack of feeling for the baby
    • Have difficulty sleeping or eating
    • Have problems concentrating
    • Have frightening thoughts or fantasies
    • Feel an overwhelming sense of loss

    What are the treatments? +

    Mother and toddler sat playing

    There are a range of treatment options for depression and anxiety, any of which you might find useful to treat perinatal and postnatal anxiety and/or depression.

    • Talking treatments. You're likely to be offered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or your local mental health services may run specific counselling or group programmes for anxiety. You can speak to your doctor, or contact your local services to find out what they offer.

    • Self-help resources. Your doctor could give you access to online CBT programmes, or prescribe self-help books to help you learn to manage your anxiety.

    • Medication. There are several different drugs that can be helpful in managing anxiety. If you have any concerns about taking medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you can always discuss this with your doctor.

    You may be offered a combination of medication and a talking treatment. Many people find that taking medication helps them feel stable enough to get the most out of a talking treatment. However, other people find medication or talking treatments alone are more helpful.

    If there are long waiting lists for talking treatments in your area, your doctor may recommend that you try an antidepressant to help you manage your mental health in the meantime.

    What can I do to help myself? +

    Parent giving child a shoulder ride

    Although the best way to treat depression is to seek help from a healthcare professional, there are steps you can take yourself to reduce your chances of developing depression and help you recover once you've been diagnosed.

    Try to:

    • look for the positive things in your life, however hard that may seem
    • involve your partner or someone you're close to in your pregnancy and baby
    • make time to relax
    • be open about your feelings
    • ask for help with practical tasks like grocery shopping and household chores
    • find out about local support groups (check out our Who Can Help page)
    • make time to rest
    • eat well  
    • find time to have fun
    • organise small treats every day, such as a workout or a coffee with friends

    Try to avoid:

    • doing too much – cut down on other commitments when you're pregnant or caring for a new baby
    • getting involved in stressful situations
    • drinking too much tea, coffee, alcohol or cola, which can stop you sleeping well
    • moving house
    • being too hard on yourself or your partner

    If you're looking for other women's pregnancy challenges, here's a link to a life story about a woman who suffered with post-natal anxiety.

    Who can help? +

    Local Support +

    Branding – People's History of the NHS

    NHS Support available in different languages:

    CPFT logo

    Perinatal Mental Health Service - Our team supports mums and mums-to-be who are experiencing mental health challenges during pregnancy and the first year of motherhood.

    We are a multi-disciplinary team of specialist mental health clinicians working across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which aims to:

    • Offer a safe, empathic, and supportive service which holds women and their families’ experiences in mind.
    • Work closely with our colleagues in maternity and health visiting, and across the wider community organizations, to develop a seamless, integrated service for pregnant and new mums.
    • Increase awareness and understanding of mental health challenges in the local community and help reduce stigma.

    Health Visiting service – The health visiting service is a universal-progressive, needs-led, evidence-based service for children to age 5 years and their families, delivered by specialist community public health nurses.



    CPSL Mind logo

    CPSL Mind Perinatal Service – (Self-Refer) – CPSL Mind’s Perinatal Team offer a range of courses and peer support groups which help pregnant women and new Mums to stay emotionally healthy on their motherhood journey.

    CPSL MIND have several services available, for example: 

    Connecting Mums, 6 week short intervention courses for mums who are socially isolated, this course also offers tips and tools on management and prevention for mental wellbeing. Mums can bring along their babies to the sessions and we have volunteers on hand to help look after the children while mum interacts in a group environment, babies are in the same room as mums. We deliver these from a number of different children’s centres in Peterborough.

    Mums Matter, 8 week targeted intervention course, this course is for Mums who are that bit more poorly, we deliver the courses in children’s centres and pay for a crèche for the children, the crèche is always in the same building as the mums and we work with the mums in a separate room, this course is designed to help mums manage the everyday and dispel the myths. We use tools such as CBT, mindfulness, meditation and work on self-esteem.

    We are launching a Mums Monthly Peers Support group that will be starting on the 2nd July 2018, this will be held at First Steps Children’s Centre, it will take place on the first Monday of each month from 1000 – 1200, this is a peer led support group and the volunteers that lead the group have accessed our services. Mums can bring children along to the group.

    CPSL MIND can accept Mums who are pregnant and have a child who is up to 2 years old, Mums can self-refer by contacting them on 01733 362990 or they can accept professional or other organisations referrals.

    Peterborough Connecting Mums- Cambridgeshire, Peterborough & South Lincolnshire MIND (formerly Peterborough & Fenland MIND) deliver perinatal mental health programmes. Peterborough City Council have commissioned this organisation to deliver 5 perinatal mental health programmes per annum (Connecting Mums & Mums Matter), which have been specifically designed, piloted and evidenced by CPSL MIND.

    Presently, the programmes only operate in Peterborough and have an annual reach target of 45 women, although some partners/family members are also supported in a 'supporter' session, which is part of the Mums Matter course. From a commissioning perspective, the local authority are continuing to invest in this for the 2018/19 financial year, however ongoing funding is unclear; it is anticipated that this need will be picked up through the Better Births transformation.

    CPSL MIND (Self-Refer) - CPSL Mind is a mental health charity which promotes positive wellbeing across our communities and supports people on their road to recovery from a wide range of mental health challenges. They offer online support, community initiatives to connect people, counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, peer support groups, Perinatal services and opportunities to get involved with training, volunteering, campaigning and fundraising. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.

    CPSL MIND - Mind have lots of helpful advice and information online about the different kinds of support you can get and they also run lots of workshops and courses. If you would like to self refer to Mind, We have added their Referral Form here and a link to their different services and referral forms!



    No photo description available.

    Raham Project - A group for mothers and their partners of ethnic backgrounds. This group is dedicated to all things related to pregnancy, childbirth and the post birth period- with an emphasis on maintaining and improving maternal mental well being. 



    Ormiston Families

    Ormiston Families Small steps Together Team - The Small Steps Together team is based in Cambridgeshire. Staff and volunteers consist of specialist perinatal mental health workers with both lived experience and professional expertise.

    The service is open to mums and mums to be who have low to moderate mental health needs during pregnancy and up to 2 years after birth.



    Home-Start Cambridgeshire logo

    Home-Start Cambridgeshire - is one of the UK’s leading family support charities, a voluntary organisation offering support to families who have at least one child under five when family life becomes difficult. All round the country local schemes recruit and train volunteers to support local families with young children at home.

    Our service supports families, through weekly volunteer home visits, to deal with diverse concerns such as parental mental health issues, isolation, postnatal illness, disability, bereavement, multiple births and parenting skills. We also support families in a group setting currently in Chesterton and Wisbech and run an online group called First Connections.

    Our trained volunteers provide tailored practical and emotional support to help parents and children build confidence, independence, resilience and community connections.

    This early intervention service offers a gateway to many other community services and we work in partnership with them to improve the life chances of our families and young children.



    Peterborough logo Early Help Hub - Single point of contact for all Early Help Assessments, Family Plans and Reviews that have been completed by any agency. Here's the Cambridge County Council Support Hub website.


    The Family Nurse Partnership | Family Nurse Partnership- The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) is a structured home visiting parenting programme, delivered by specially trained family nurses, from early pregnancy until the child is two years old to vulnerable teenage mothers. The family nurse and the young parent(s) commit to an average of 64 planned home visits over two and a half years.


    Child and Family Centres Logo Child & Family Centres/Children’s centresDeliver evidence-based parenting programmes and targeted support for Domestic Abuse in conjunction with the Early Help offer.


    Home

    Birth and Beyond Community Support (BBCS)NCT Birth and Beyond Community Support is a programme that trains local women to become volunteer peer supporters in order to help mums during the all-important first 1,000 days. Volunteers signpost to local services, accompany women to appointments or local services such as children’s centres, foodbanks or financial advice services, and provide vital non-judgemental listening and emotional support.



    Cornerstone pregnancy advice centre logo
    Cornerstone Pregnancy Advice Centre - (Self-Refer and Professional Referrals) - Our vision is to reach every woman in Cambridgeshire facing an unplanned pregnancy so that we can offer her time, space and non-directive information in order that they can make a fully informed choice and to offer her on-going support, whatever decision they make.You may be facing an unplanned pregnancy and feeling worried and anxious about what to do. Or you may have had an abortion and you’re now experiencing emotional pain and finding it difficult to understand why you feel the way you do. Help is available from people who genuinely care.


    Third Sector Awards 2017: Brand development - Barnardo's | Third Sector Barnardos - We help children through the trauma of sexual abuse and exploitation. We provide support for young people in care – and we don’t forget about them when they leave the care system. We give children caring for a loved one the help and support they deserve. And that’s not all. Our specialist workers support families through domestic abuse, mental health problems, prison sentences, asylum seeking and much more. We also amplify the voices of young people to influence Government on the issues that affect their lives, fighting their corner and making sure their voices are heard. The scale of what we do may be big and complex, but our aim is simple – to provide the best outcome for every child, no matter who they are or what they have been through.


    Everyone Health Logo Health Improvement antenatal- Address lifestyle/behavioural factors- smoking, diet & obesity, physical activity, drugs & alcohol, sexual health. Delivered by Everyone Health  in Cambridgeshire and Solutions for Health in Peterborough.


    National Support +

    Bliss | Charity Partner | Emma's Diary Bliss - Bliss offers a wide range of free services for the families of premature and sick babies including a new video call support service.


    Association for Post Natal Illness Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) - The Association for Post-Natal Illness provides support to anyone suffering from or affected by post-natal Illness including partners, family/friends, it increases public awareness of the illness and encourages research into its cause/nature.


    APP logo Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) - Action on Postpartum Psychosis is the national charity for women and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP). PP is a severe mental illness which begins suddenly following childbirth. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, often with mania, depression or confusion. Over 1400 women experience PP each year in the UK (1 to 2 in every 1000 mothers). An episode of PP can be very frightening for women and their families. Most women go on to make a full recovery, however the journey to full recovery can be long and difficult.

    We run an award-winning peer support service, connecting women and families throughout the UK to recovered volunteers, via: an online peer support forum; one to one email support; meeting a volunteer programme (video and in person); social groups and creative workshops.

    We develop patient information for women who have experienced PP and their families, co-produced by women, families, specialist clinicians and leading academic experts.

    We offer training to frontline health professionals in PP and Managing SMI in pregnancy, co-produced and co-delivered by academics, clinicians and women with lived experience.

    We facilitate research into the causes of PP, treatments and what helps families to recover.

    We promote greater public awareness of PP in the general public, work to address stigma and misinformation, and campaign for improved perinatal mental health services.



    Dads Matter UK Dads Matter UK - Dads Matter UK is here to provide support for dads worried about or suffering from Depression, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
    Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about being a dad and if you will be good enough. This is just like what mothers experience. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.


    The Twins Trust - The Twins Trust Bereavement Support Service exists to support all parents and carers of twins, triplets or more who have died whether it was during or after pregnancy. We are sorry for your loss and hope that by making contact with the Bereavement Support Service you will find some comfort to help you with your grief.


    Tommys logo

    Tommy's - An organisation that provides accredited midwife-led pregnancy health information for parents-to-be, and funds research into the causes of pregnancy loss.


    Sands logo SANDS(Self-Refer) Sands exists to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, to improve the bereavement care received by parents and families, and to influence policy makers and promote research to reduce the number of babies dying.


    PANDAS (Self-Refer) - Pre And Post Natal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS) help support and advise any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness. They also inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering.



    Branding – People's History of the NHS The NHS - has useful information and tips on how to cope with perinatal and postnatal depression and anxiety.


    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Personality Disorders

    What is a personality disorder?

    A person with a personality disorder thinks, feels, behaves or relates to others very differently from person to person. Someone with a personality disorder may also have other mental health challenges, such as depression or drug/alcohol addictions. It is important to realise that although you may have a personality disorder, your personality disorder is not all that you are, you are still a member of society like everyone else, you just have a mental health challenge and our mental health challenges do no define who we are as people.

    There are several different types of personality disorder; and not any two people will have the same symptoms, emotions and challenges.

    In mental health, the word ‘personality’ refers to the collection of characteristics or traits that we have developed as we have grown up and which make each of us an individual. These include the ways that we:

    • Think
    • Feel
    • Behave

    By our late teens, or early 20s, most of us have developed our own personality. We have our own ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. These stay pretty much the same for the rest of our life. Usually, our personality allows us to get on reasonably well with other people.

    For some of us, this doesn't happen. For whatever reason, parts of your personality can develop in ways that make it difficult for you to live with yourself and/or with other people. You may not be able to learn from the things that happen to you. You find that you can't change the bits of your personality (traits) that cause the issues. These traits, although they are part of who you are, just go on making life difficult for you - and often for other people as well. 

    Other people may have noticed these traits from your childhood and early teens. For example, you may find it difficult to:

    • Make or keep close relationships
    • Get on with people at work
    • Get on with friends and family
    • Keep out of trouble
    • Control your feelings or behaviour
    • Listen to other people

    If this makes you unhappy or distressed and/or often upset or harm other people, then you may have a personality disorder.

    What are the symptoms? +

    Symptoms vary depending on the type of personality disorder. You may also find that you have some symptoms of a personality disorder depending on what is happening within your life, for example if you've experienced a trauma or loss; and some of these symptoms are natural reactions to what has happened to you and will usually subside with some time. However, if you usually have these symptoms day to day and you are struggling to find a reason then you may want to consider that you could have a personality disorder.

    Research suggests that personality disorders tend to fall into three groups according to the different emotional traits, these are as follows:

    Cluster A - 'Odd or Eccentric' :

    • Paranoid - suspicious, feel that other people are being nasty to you (when evidence shows this isn't true), feeling easily rejected and tends to hold grudges.
    • Schizoid - emotionally cold, don't like contact with other people, prefer your own company and have a rich fantasy world.
    • Schizotypal - eccentric behavior, odd ideas, difficulties with thinking, lack of emotion or inappropriate emotional reactions, see or hear strange things and sometimes related to schizophrenia the mental health challenge.

    Cluster B - 'Dramatic, Emotional or Erratic' :

    • Antisocial, dissocial – don’t care much about the feelings of others, easily get frustrated, tend to be aggressive, commit crimes, find it difficult to make close relationships, impulsive (do things on the spur of the moment without thinking about them), don’t feel guilty about htings you’ve done and don’t learn from unpleasant experiences.
    • Borderline, or Emotionally Unstable – impulsive, find it hard to control your emotions, feel bad about yourself, often self-harm, feel empty, make relationships quickly – but easily lose them, can feel paranoid or depressed and when stressed, may hear voices.
    • Histrionic – over-dramatrise events, self-centred, have strong emotions which change quickly and don’t last long, can be suggestible, worry a lot about your appearance, crave new things and excitement and can be seductive.
    • Narcissistic –have a strong sense of your own self-importance, dream of unlimited success, power and intellectual brilliance, crave attention from other people, but show few warm feelings in return, take advantage of other people and ask for favours that you do not then return.

    Cluster C - 'Anxious and Fearful' :

    • Obsessive-Compulsive (aka Anankastic) – worry and doubt a lot, perfectionist (always check things), rigid in what you do, stick to routines, cautious, preoccupied with detail, worry about doing the wrong thing, find it hard to adapt to new situations, often have high moral standards, judgemental, sensitive to criticism and can have obsessional thoughts and images (although these are not as bad as those in obsessive-compulsive disorder).
    • Avoidant (aka Anxious/Avoidant) – very anxious and tense, worry a lot, feel insecure and inferior, have to be liked and accepted and extremely sensitive to criticism.
    • Dependent – passive, rely on others to make decisions for you, do what other people want you to do, find it hard to cope with daily chores, feel hopeless and incompetent and easily feel abandoned by others.

    The symptoms and difficulties you can experience may not fit exactly into any one of these categories. You may see aspects of yourself in more than one category.

    Who can help? +

    CPFT logo

    Springbank Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS - Springbank is a 12-bed inpatient recovery unit for women with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) who are struggling to cope with the demands of life outside of hospital, despite the input from community psychiatric services. Funded by CPFT.

    Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Community Team – Offer assessment and treatment advise, support, care plans and specialist interventions. Funded by CPFT.

    CPFT (Self-Refer) - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - provide several services for people with personality disorders and other challenges:



    Rethink logo
    Rethink (Self-Refer) - Offer loads of helpful links to services and information/advice.


    everyone health logo
    Everyone Health - The High Risk Health Trainer service will work closely to support patients with serious mental illness focusing on key lifestyle behaviours such as diet, exercise and wellbeing and signposting to other relevant services. This can be anyone who has any diagnosable mental health illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, psychosis, schizophrenia or personality disorder. Appointments are on a 1to1 basis and consist of up to eight 45 minute appointments. You can contact their Clinical Contact Centre on 0333 005 0093


    Time to change logo Time to Change (Self-Refer) - Offers helpful advice on where you can get help and you can see other peoples stories.


    CPSL Mind logo

    Side by Side (Self-Refer) - It’s a powerful thing to connect with someone else over shared experiences. Side by Side is an online community where you can listen, share and be heard.

    CPSL MIND (Self-Refer) - CPSL Mind is a mental health charity which promotes positive wellbeing across our communities and supports people on their road to recovery from a wide range of mental health challenges. They offer online support, community initiatives to connect people, counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, peer support groups, Perinatal services and opportunities to get involved with training, volunteering, campaigning and fundraising. Click here for info on their GoodLife service and here to view their timetable of GoodLife service group programmes.



    Bipolar uk logo
    Bipolar UK - (Self-Refer) - Bipolar UK is a national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of bipolar, their families and carers. We empower approximately 1,000 people a month to stay well - and we have the ambition to reach thousands more. Community members can contact us on info@bipolaruk.org. If you would like to contact support groups they can contact them on 0333 323 3885 however, they do not take incoming calls they would need to leave a voice message.


    Group Therapy Centre
    Group Therapy Centre - The Group Therapy Centre is a long-established, not-for-profit, psychological treatment service, and is unique in providing both short and long-term group therapy. We treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from Depression and Anxiety to more serious conditions such as Bipolar and Personality Disorders. We offer CBT, Schema and Long term open ended group therapy. CBT services are free, other services incur a fee based on ability to pay.                                                                                                                                                                                              


    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Phobias

    What are Phobias?Silhouette of someone being afraid of their shadow

    A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal.

    Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object.

    If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that's causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.

    A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. You may not experience any symptoms until you come into contact with the source of your phobia.

    However, in some cases, even thinking about the source of a phobia can make a person feel anxious or panicky. This is known as anticipatory anxiety.

    If you don't come into contact with the source of your phobia very often, it may not affect your everyday life.

    There are a wide variety of objects or situations that someone could develop a phobia about. However, phobias can be divided into two main categories:

    Specific or simple phobias:

    Specific or simple phobias centre around a particular object, animal, situation or activity. They often develop during childhood or adolescence and may become less severe as you get older.

    Common examples of simple phobias include:

    • Animal phobias – such as dogs, spiders, snakes or rodents
    • Environmental phobias – such as heights, deep water and germs
    • Situational phobias – such as visiting the dentist or flying
    • Bodily phobias – such as blood, vomit or having injections
    • Sexual phobias – such as performance anxiety or the fear of getting a sexually transmitted infection 

    Complex phobias:

    Complex phobias tend to be more disabling than simple phobias. They tend to develop during adulthood and are often associated with a deep-rooted fear or anxiety about a particular situation or circumstance.

    The two most common complex phobias are:

    • Agoraphobia
    • Social phobia 

    Agoraphobia is often thought of as a fear of open spaces, but it's much more complex than this. Someone with agoraphobia will feel anxious about being in a place or situation where escaping may be difficult if they have a panic attack.

    Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, centres around feeling anxious in social situations. If you have a social phobia, you might be afraid of speaking in front of people for fear of embarrassing yourself and being humiliated in public. In severe cases, this can become debilitating and may prevent you from carrying out everyday activities, such as eating out or meeting friends.

    How common are phobias? +

    Phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorder.

    They can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex and social background. Some of the most common phobias include:

    • Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
    • Claustrophobia  – fear of confined spaces
    • Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces and public places
    • Social phobia  – fear of social situations

    Who can help? +

    If you have a phobia, you should seek help from your GP. They may refer you to a specialist with expertise in behavioural therapy, such as a psychologist. Or you can refer yourself to a service that helps with Mental Health Challenges.

    CPFT logo NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies - (Self-Refer) - Offer support to those aged 17 and over via a range of brief supported self-help and talking therapy options. The service usually helps people with mild to moderate mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, phobias or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You can self-refer to the service by calling 0300 300 0055 or you can self-refer here.


    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Physical Activity and Mental Health

    How can being active help your mental health?

    Evidence shows that being active is good for your physical health and fitness and can have a positive impact on your mental well being too. Being active does not mean that you need to be spending several hours a day in the gym, if that isn't something you enjoy. You can stay healthy by finding an activity which is, in broad terms, active that you enjoy, and do that instead.

    Scientists believe that being active helps maintain and improve mental and physical well-being. It has been said that physical activity can help people who are living with anxiety and depression. Being active is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help our mood in a positive way. It is also believed that being active helps build self-esteem, confidence and resilience.

    How can you get more active?

    It is generally recommended that an adult over the age of 19 years old should do at least 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) per week of moderate to intensive activity. Find an activity you enjoy doing that involves being active, because this will help you make being active a normal part of your life.

    Some places have programs that are free for people who have been diagnosed with mental health challenges, for example; Invigorate offer a range of different activity groups to anyone who has mental health challenges and their support system, you can find out more here.

    Cambs city logo

    Invigorate - The Invigorate programme provides a variety of activities specifically for adults experiencing mental ill health and those who wish to improve their well-being through exercise. The activities are provided by Cambridge City Council’s Active Lifestyles team and a variety of local partners, who help to support, deliver and facilitate sessions. The activities on offer currently include: Football, t’ai chi, multi-sports activities, pickleball and badminton sessions, yoga, pilates, well-being walks and mental health swims. Some sessions are free; others have a small charge.  Membership to Invigorate may also give you a free BETTER card, giving you 50% discounted pay-as-you-go access to GLL facilities in the City.  Anybody can access the activities, including those living outside of the City boundary.  For more information visit: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/fitness-activities-to-help-improve-your-wellbeing or follow us on facebook @Getmovingcam



    HAY logo
    How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - is a website that brings together everything in the local Peterborough community that is good for mental wellbeing. It includes activities from yoga to singing, sports clubs to arts groups, places to talk or get a cup of tea, plus information about local professional mental health support.


    Lets Get Moving Cambridgeshire Logo
    Let's Get Moving Cambridgeshire - Let's Get Moving Cambridgeshire aims to improve the health of the Cambridgeshire population, specifically by increasing levels of physical activity. This will be done by promoting existing opportunitiesdeveloping new opportunities, and supporting individuals that require support to achieve their goals.  


    Everyone Health Logo

    Everyone Health - Everyone Health have several services available:



    Healthy You Logo

    Healthy You - are a free service for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents who are looking to make changes to their lifestyle. So, whether you want help to stop smoking, lead a more active lifestyle, lose some weight, or simply take advantage of the NHS Health Checks we offer, Healthy You – funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council – can help you.




    Mental Health Matters
    Mental Health Mates - Bryony Gordon established MHM in February 2016 as a safe space for you to walk and talk about mental health problems without fear of judgement. There are walks around the nation and you can find out some more information about the walks here and on their website here.


    Love to Move - Love to Move is a seated exercise and movement programme, packed with fun, music and laughter and specially designed to help improve the fitness of mind and body. This exercise programme is unique in the UK and proven to have significant physical, emotional and cognitive benefits for all participants, particularly those living with dementia. Each session lasts one hour and is delivered by an experienced and enthusiastic tutor.


    Psychosis

    What is Psychosis?

    Psychosis is when people lose some contact with reality. this can involve hearing or seeing things that other people can't and believing things that are not actually true.

    What are the symptoms of Psychosis?+

    Psychosis has 2 main symptoms:

    • Hallucinations – this is where a person sees, hears and, sometimes, feels smells or tastes things that don't exist outside their mind, but they can feel very real to the person who is affected by them. A common example of this is hearing voices.
    • Delusions – this is where a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others. A common delusion is someone believing there's a conspiracy to harm them

    The combination of these symptoms can cause severe distress and changes in behaviour. Experiencing the symptoms of psychosis is often referred to as having a psychotic episode.

    Causes of psychosis +

    It's sometimes possible to identify the cause of psychosis as a specific mental health condition, such as:

    • schizophrenia – a condition that causes a range of psychological symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions
    • bipolar disorder – a mental health condition that affects mood; a person with bipolar disorder can have episodes of low mood (depression) and highs or elated mood (mania)
    • severe depression – some people with depression also have symptoms of psychosis when they're very depressed

    Psychosis can also be triggered by:

    How often a psychotic episode occurs and how long it lasts can depend on the underlying cause.

    Treating psychosis +

    Treatment for psychosis involves using a combination of:

    • antipsychotic medicine – which can help relieve the symptoms of psychosis
    • psychological therapies – the 1-to-1 talking therapy cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has proved successful in helping people with psychosis, and family interventions (a form of therapy that may involve partners, family members and close friends) have been shown to reduce the need for hospital treatment in people with psychosis
    • social support – support with social needs, such as education, employment or accommodation

    Some people are recommended to take antipsychotics on a long-term basis (and possibly for the rest of their lives). Other people may be able to gradually reduce their dosage and then stop taking them altogether if there is a marked improvement in symptoms.

    Do not stop suddenly taking any prescribed medicines as this could trigger a relapse of your symptoms.

    If a person's psychotic episodes are severe, they may need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

    Who can help? +

    If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of psychosis, see your GP as soon as possible. The earlier psychosis is treated, the better. It's usually diagnosed after an assessment by a mental health care professional, such as a psychiatrist.

    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder which you may develop after being involved in, or witnessing, traumatic events. The condition was first recognized in war veterans and has been known by a variety of names, such as 'shell shock'. But it's not only diagnosed in soldiers – a wide range of traumatic experiences can cause PTSD.

    When is it diagnosed? +

    When you go through something you find traumatic it's understandable to experience some symptoms associated with PTSD afterwards, such as feeling numb or having trouble sleeping. This is sometimes described as an 'acute stress reaction'.

    Many people find that these symptoms disappear within a few weeks, but if your symptoms last for longer than a month, you might be given a diagnosis of PTSD. Your GP might refer you to a specialist before this if your symptoms are particularly severe.

    Are there different types of PTSD? +

    If you are given a diagnosis of PTSD, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe PTSD. This explains what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently – it's not a description of how frightening or upsetting your experiences might have been.

    PTSD may be described differently in some situations:

    • Delayed-onset PTSD – if your symptoms emerge more than six months after experiencing trauma, this might be described as 'delayed PTSD' or 'delayed-onset PTSD'.
    • Complex PTSD – if you experienced trauma at an early age or it lasted for a long time, you might be given a diagnosis of 'complex PTSD'. (See our page on complex PTSD for more information.)
    • Birth trauma – PTSD that develops after a traumatic experience of childbirth is also known as 'birth trauma'. (See our page on PTSD and birth trauma for more information.)

    There are lots of misconceptions about PTSD. For example, people may wrongly assume it means you are 'dwelling' on past events. They might even suggest that you should 'get over it' or 'move on'. But having PTSD isn't a choice or a sign of weakness, and it's important to remember that you are not alone.

    Who can help?+

    CPFT logo NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Talking Therapies - (Self-Refer) - Offer support to those aged 17 and over via a range of brief supported self-help and talking therapy options. The service usually helps people with mild to moderate mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, phobias or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. You can self-refer to the service by calling 0300 300 0055 or you can self-refer here.


    Everyturn Mental Health logo - previously called Insight Healthcare
    Everyturn Mental Health (previously Insight) - (Self-Refer) Free, confidential NHS Talking Therapies that you can refer yourself to. Call 0300 555 0888 or online www.everyturn.org


    Group Therapy Centre

    Group Therapy's Alone Together Support Groups - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have set up a number of online ‘Alone Together’ support groups to help people during this challenging time.  Although these aren’t therapy groups as such, the group therapists will allow you space to reflect on your experiences with other people and will introduce interventions if they feel they would be useful.  

    The support groups offer the chance to gain back some kind of community and connection with other individuals. They are for anyone who is feeling alone, isolated or struggling with life in general, and would like to join a group to share their experiences and connect with others. 



    Combat stress logo
    Combat Stress - Charity providing free services for ex-servicemen and women with conditions such as post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorder.Support can be residential, community based or financial.


    British transport police logo
    Road Victims Trust - (Self-Refer) - Supporting the victims of serious road collisions with emotional and practical support. Takes direct referrals from the Road Police Team or self-referral.(Offers Counselling)


    File:National Health Service (England) logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

    NHS - NHS website with helpful info on PTSD and other mental health issues.



    Back Home PTSD UK - PTSD UK is a charity which aims to educate and raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; it's causes, symptoms and the treatments available, to help everyone experiencing PTSD.


    The Warriors Journey - This service focuses on helping people who are ex-forces with their ptsd. The vision of The Warrior’s Journey is that warriors and their families will live in wholeness and be equipped to navigate the issues of life.


    About Us - Anxiety UK Anxiety UK - Anxiety UK was established to promote the relief and rehabilitation of persons suffering from agoraphobia and associated anxiety disorders, phobias and conditions, in particular, but not exclusively, by raising awareness in such topics.


    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Schizophrenia

    What is Schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a severe long-term mental health challenge. It causes a range of different psychological symptoms.

    Doctors often describe schizophrenia as a type of psychosis. This means the person may not always be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.

    Symptoms of schizophrenia +

    • Hallucinations – hearing or seeing things that don't exist
    • Delusions – unusual beliefs not based on reality 
    • Muddled thoughts based on hallucinations or delusions
    • Changes in behaviour

    Some people think schizophrenia causes a "split personality" or violent behaviour. This is not true. The cause of any violent behaviour is usually drug or alcohol misuse. When someone with schizophrenia is hearing voices they are not always violent or angry, they can be playful, friendly and funny.

    What treatments are there? +

    Schizophrenia is usually treated with a combination of medication and therapy tailored to each individual. In most cases, this will be antipsychotic medicines and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

    People with schizophrenia usually receive help from a community mental health team, which offers day-to-day support and treatment.

    Many people recover from schizophrenia, although they may have periods when symptoms return (relapses). Support and treatment can help reduce the impact the condition has on daily life.

    If schizophrenia is well managed, it's possible to reduce the chance of severe relapses.

    This can include:

    • Recognising the signs of an acute episode
    • Taking medication as prescribed
    • Talking to others about the condition

    There are many charities and support groups offering help and advice on living with schizophrenia. Most people find it comforting talking to others with a similar condition.

    Who can help? +

    If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, see your GP as soon as possible. The earlier schizophrenia is treated, the better. There's no single test for schizophrenia. It's usually diagnosed after an assessment by a mental health care professional, such as a psychiatrist. You can also refer yourself to services that offer help and support for people with Schizophrenia and other Mental Health Challenges.

    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Self-harm

    What is Self-Harm?

    Self-harm is when someone chooses to inflict pain on themselves in some way. It is a sign of distress and can take many forms. Often self-harm is someone's way of coping with feelings and is a sign that something is wrong. Self-harm can be dangerous, and it is a sign that there is an underlying problem, therefore you should get help.

    It is important to realise that self-harm is not the same as suicide, with self-harm there is not always an intention to end life like in suicide. The intention is more often to punish themselves, express their distress or relieve unbearable tension. Sometimes the reason is a mixture of both. Although the intention may not be to end life when self-harming, it is important to still get help.

    Treatment for people who self-harm usually involves seeing a therapist to discuss your thoughts and feelings, and how these affect your behaviour and wellbeing. They can also teach you coping strategies to help prevent further episodes of self-harm. If you're badly depressed, it could also involve taking antidepressants or other medication.

    Who can help? +

    If you're self-harming, you should see your GP for help. They can refer you to healthcare professionals at a local community mental health service for further assessment. This assessment will result in your care team working out a treatment plan with you to help with your distress.

    Below are some organisations that give more information on ways to cope with self-harm, you can also speak to your GP for further support.

    There are organisations that offer support and advice for people who self-harm, as well as their friends and families. These include:

    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Sexual and Domestic Violence

    What is Sexual Violence? +

    Sexual assault is any sexual act that a person did not consent to, or is forced into against their will. It is a form of sexual violence and includes rape (an assault involving penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth), or other sexual offences, such as groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse or the torture of a person in a sexual manner.
    Sexual assault is an act that is carried out without the victim’s active consent. This means they didn’t agree to it. It is not uncommon for a victim of sexual assault to have no physical injuries or signs of their assault. But sexual assault is still a crime and can be reported to the police in the same way as other crimes.

    What to do if you need help:

    If you've been sexually assaulted, there are services that can help. You don’t have to report the assault to police if you don’t want to. You may need time to think about what has happened to you. However, consider getting medical help as soon as possible, because you may be at risk of pregnancy or sexually transmiitted infections (STIs). If you want the crime to be investigated, the sooner a forensiic medical examination takes place, the better.

    Try not to wash or change your clothes immediately after a sexual assault. This may destroy forensic evidence that could be important if you decide to report the assault to the police.

    The following services will also provide treatment or support, and can refer you to another service if you need more specialist help (such as a sexual assault referral centre also referred to as SARC):

    Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) offer medical, practical and emotional support. They have specially trained doctors, nurses and support workers to care for you.

    What is Domestic Abuse? +

    Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone. Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

    Domestic violence can happen against women and against men, and anybody can be an abuser. If you're worried someone might see you have been on this page, please click the 'hide this page' button on the top left of your screen.

    Signs of domestic violence and abuse:

    These are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about having power and control over you. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship. 

    Emotional Abuse +

    Does your partner ever: 

    belittle you, or put you down?
    blame you for the abuse or arguments?
    deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
    isolate you from your family and friends?
    stop you going to college or work?
    make unreasonable demands for your attention?
    accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
    tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
    control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

    Physical Abuse +

    Does your partner ever:

    threaten to hurt or kill you?
    destroy things that belong to you?
    stand over you, invade your personal space?
    threaten to kill themselves or the children?
    read your emails, texts or letters?
    harass or follow you?

    Sexual Abuse +

    Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.

    Does your partner ever:

    touch you in a way you don't want to be touched?
    make unwanted sexual demands?
    hurt you during sex?
    pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
    pressure you to have sex?

    If you decide to leave

    The first step in escaping an abusive situation is realising that you're not alone and it's not your fault. If you're considering leaving, be careful who you tell. It's important your partner doesn't know where you're going.

    Before you go, try to get advice from an organisation such as:

    Services here to help +

    Cambridge Rape Crisis | The Survivors Trust Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre - Deliver a range of support services to women and children in Cambridgeshire who are survivors of rape, sexual abuse and violence.


    PRCCG logo Peterborough Rape Crisis Centre is committed to supporting and empowering female survivors of rape and sexual abuse, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, age and other discriminatory factors respecting individual lifestyles through the provision of a confidential telephone help line, a face to face support service and other appropriate support mechanisms.


    Shop | IMPAKT Housing & Support

    Following a procurement exercise, Cambridgeshire County Council has commissioned IMPAKT Housing and Support to provide a countywide mobile advocacy/outreach service offering a range of support to victims and survivors.

    The new Domestic Abuse Support Service (DASS) will work in a trauma informed way to understand the needs and wishes of the individual and develop appropriate support and safety plans. DASS will offer support with issues around home security to help survivors remain safely in their own homes where appropriate, accessing benefits and signposting or referral to specialist services such as legal representation, mental health and substance misuse. DASS will also be offering drop-in services in partnership with other specialist services across the county.

    Survivors can self-refer to the confidential service by: Email: DASSreferrals@IMPAKT.org.uk

    A freephone number will be available soon, in the meantime please use 01234 264109

    Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership have information on their website to support victims/survivors, friends and family and professionals www.cambsdasv.org.uk



    Victim Support Victim Support - As an independent charity, we work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve. We help people feel safer and find the strength to move beyond crime. Our support is free, confidential and tailored to your needs.


    The Survivors Trust | The Survivors Trust The Survivors Trust - Living with the consequences of rape and sexual abuse can be devastating. At TST, we believe that all survivors are entitled to receive the best possible response to their needs whether or not they choose to report.


    Womens Aid Women's Aid - We believe everyone has the human right to live in safety and free from violence and abuse. Women are the overwhelming majority of victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is a violation of women and their children’s human rights. It is the result of an abuse of power and control, and is rooted in the historical status and inequality of women in in society.


    SurvivorsUK Survivors UK - We offer individual counselling, group work and helpline services from our base in Shadwell, London E1 for men who have been victims of domestic and sexual abuse.


    Cambridge & Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership Logo Cambridgeshire Independent Sexual Violance Advisor (ISVA Service) - ISVA offers a Professional support and advise and a counselling service to survivors. Accepts Self and Professional referrals. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) is trained to look after your needs, and to ensure that you receive care and understanding. Click here for info about - who are ISVAwho are CHISVA and ISVA's Service Guide.


    Back to Galop homepage GALOP - LGBT+ anti-violence charity. If you’ve experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, we’re here for you. We also support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.


    Refuge Charity – Domestic Violence Help Refuge - helpline: 0808 2000 247 (freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run with Women’s Aid), helpline@refuge.org.uk


    Respect | Home Respect Men's Advice Line - helpline: 0808 801 0327 (Mon to Fri: 9am to 5pm), info@mensadviceline.org.uk, Confidential helpline for all men (in heterosexual or same-sex relationships) experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner.


    Respect Phoneline | Respect Respect - helpline: 0808 802 4040 (Mon to Fri: 9am to 5pm), info@respectphoneline.org.uk, Runs support services and programmes for people who inflict violence in relationships, including young men and women. Also runs the men's advice line, as above.


    ManKind - Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence, call weekdays 10am to 4pm on 01823 334 244.



    Respect not Fear Respect not fear - Website for young people about domestic violence.


    The Hide Out The Hide Out - Women's Aid website to help young people understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it's happening to them.


    gov-uk-logo – UKDC The Forced Marriage Unit - helpline: 020 7008 0151, fmu@fco.gov.uk, Joint initiative between the Foreign Office and Home Office. It assists actual and potential victims of forced marriage, as well as professionals working in the social, educational and health sectors.


    Ashiana - click to view home page Ashiana Sheffield - helpline: 0114 255 5740, info@ashianasheffield.org.uk, aims to help prevent murder and serious harm to black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee women in England, Wales and Scotland as a result of domestic abuse and forced marriage and 'honor'-based violence. Also supports children and young people.


    Group Therapy Cambridge

    Group Therapy's Alone Together Support Groups - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have set up a number of online ‘Alone Together’ support groups to help people during this challenging time.  Although these aren’t therapy groups as such, the group therapists will allow you space to reflect on your experiences with other people and will introduce interventions if they feel they would be useful.  

    The support groups offer the chance to gain back some kind of community and connection with other individuals. They are for anyone who is feeling alone, isolated or struggling with life in general, and would like to join a group to share their experiences and connect with others. 



    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Sleep

    Sleep allows your mind to unwind and de-stress. It also helps your brain to make sense of the day, and enables your body to fight illnesses better. Sleep and mood effect each other, so try and boost how much good quality sleep you are getting each night.

    A few tips to help you sleep well:

    • Try making a list of the things you need to do tomorrow before you go to bed so that they aren’t on your mind when you are trying to sleep.
    • If you can’t sleep, then don’t lie in bed worrying about it, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy before returning to bed.
    • Moderate exercise (that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster and feel warmer) on a regular basis can help to relieve tension and aid sleep.
    • Cut down on caffeine, particularly in the evenings, as it can interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try switching to a warm milky drink or herbal tea instead.
    • Try to have a regular routine for your sleep – going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day can really help.
    • Avoid using phones, tablets or watching TV for around an hour before bed.
    • Think about the room you are sleeping in – is it a good temperature? Is it dark enough?

    For more tips and advice on sleep visit the Better Health NHS website.

    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Social Isolation

    man walking aloneWhat Is Social Isolation?

    Spending time alone is a good thing, and some people require more alone time than others. Introverts, for example, enjoy spending lots of time alone and can feel drained through social interaction, whereas extroverts prefer the company of others and are recharged through social interaction.

    Social isolation is typically considered unhealthy when people spend excessive time alone, particularly when they no longer benefit from time spent alone. Socially isolating oneself can mean staying home for days, not talking with friends or acquaintances, and generally avoiding contact with other people. Any form of contact, however limited, is likely to remain superficial and brief, while more meaningful, extended relationships are missing.

    Social isolation can increase a person’s feelings of low self-worth, shame, loneliness, depression, and other mental health concerns. Isolation itself is not a diagnosis, but it can be a symptom of depression, social anxiety, or agoraphobia. Other things that impair social skills can lead to isolation, though not necessarily by choice, for example; physical disabilities, homelessness or hoarding.

    When deciding to tackle your isolation, remember to take it slowly. Here are some tips you could try+

    • You can start by going somewhere where you won’t be expected to talk to people but still be around them, like going to the cinema.
    • Talk to your GP, you may be able to do some social anxiety treatments to help you manage any other mental health challenges that may be holding you back.
    • Catch up with a family member or friend and let them know how you’re feeling.
    • You could find a class or group that involves a hobby you enjoy, and take along someone you know for support.
    • Volunteer at a local charity or community project. Helping others is great for improving your mental health.
    • Join an online community. This is a good start when meeting new people as going out to meet new people in person can be daunting.

    Here are some services that are here to help tackle social isolation and some of its causes.+

    CPSL Mind logo Mind - Cambridge MIND have a mentoring scheme through which volunteer mentors can assist existing service users towards achieving a particular goal/s. What exactly is involved is agreed together with the mentor, client and one of our project workers when they set up the mentoring agreement. The main point to take is that to access this mentoring scheme the individual would need to be accessing our services as a client initially. Mind also have support for loneliness which can be found here.


    HAY logo How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - is a website that brings together everything in the local Peterborough community that is good for mental wellbeing. It includes activities from yoga to singing, sports clubs to arts groups, places to talk or get a cup of tea, plus information about local professional mental health support.


    Tempo Time Credits Tempo - Tempo Time Credits is a registered charity. We build local and national networks of organisations, bringing people together in their local communities to carry out valued and important voluntary work. Our volunteers earn Tempo Time Credits as part of a reward and recognition scheme for the invaluable work they do within their communities. These Credits can be exchanged for a range of services and activities provided by our local and national Recognition Partners through our corporate charity partnerships. 


    Wintercomfort For the HomelessHome - Wintercomfort For the Homeless Wintercomfort - Wintercomfort supports people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes in Cambridge. They offer a safe place where people can feel welcome and valued, basic amenities such as meals, showers and laundry facilities. The also offer a range of educational and recreational activities, opportunities to access other agencies (e.g. health service), legal advice and meaningful work and volunteering opportunities through our social enterprises.


    SEW Positive logo
    Sew Positive - Sewing, Sewcialise, Mending and Upcycling. We offer a term-time weekly drop in and other creative courses - some on Social Prescription - using sewing for people experiencing depression, anxiety and/or other mental health problems, and people who face social isolation. Led by a creative tutor and volunteers, we offer the chance to learn and work with a wide range of materials and techniques, including sashiko, boro (slow stitching and repair), visible mending, upcycling, basic sewing machine skills, embroidery, making a lampshade from upcycled fabrics, textile art and reducing textile waste. Sessions usually last for two hours and are open to all abilities – no experience necessary – you will work on something creative, stimulating and absorbing to increase well-being. For more information on our services visit our website or Linktree.


    Cambridgeshire Community Arts logo

    Creative Fenland logo

    Cambridge Community Arts (CCA)- (Self-Refer)Cambridge Community Arts (CCA) - (Self-Refer) – CCA is a social inclusion charity Empowering People Creatively in Cambridge. They support personal growth and improved health through quality creative arts activities. Courses are run in accessible community centres by talented and experienced artists and creative practitioners. Activities improve art-form skills, confidence, wellbeing and develop creative and supportive communities. They particularly welcome learners with experience of health conditions, disabilities and/or unpaid caring responsibilities. For more information visit www.camcommarts.org.uk or phone 07763 280 029.

    Creative Fenland - (Self-Refer) –  Creative Fenland is a project of Cambridge Community Arts. They use the transformational power of creative arts to connect with people and communities, improving health and wellbeing. They provide creative arts activities for wellbeing in the Fenland area, including Wisbech, March, Chatteris and Whittlesey. Activities improve art-form skills, confidence, wellbeing and develop creative and supportive communities. They particularly welcome learners with experience of health conditions, disabilities and/or unpaid caring responsibilities. For more information visit www.creativefenland.org.uk or phone 07707 972 721.



    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Stress

    stress written in red pencilIf you are feeling stressed, you're not alone. Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, and pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or difficult, but too much stress can take its toll.

    There are things you can do, and people or services that can help you to get on top of what is causing you to worry. Check out Better Health NHS information on stress and try some of these top tips:

    Talk to Someone - Sharing how you feel can really help. Start by telling a friend, family member or someone else you can trust just how you feel. If you've tried self-help techniques and they aren't working, you could speak to a health professional who will be able to give you more guidance and suggest other sources of support.

    Take Control of Money Worries - A common root of many people’s worries is money problems. There are lots of organisations that can help you manage your situation, so don’t feel alone. Visit the NHS Choices website for information on charities that can help.

    Stopping Smoking - Stopping smoking is not only beneficial to your physical health, but can also improve your mental health and relieve stress. It’s a myth that smoking helps people to relax, it actually can increase anxiety and stress. There is lots of help available to support you. As a first step call the local Stop Smoking service on:

    Cambridgeshire - 0800 018 4304

    Peterborough - 0800 376 56 55

    Get Active! Being physically active can boost your mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reduce your risk of stress. Often the easiest way to build activity into your day is through walking or cycling instead of taking the car. Visit the Better Health website for more information on ways to get active or visit:

    Be Well Cambridgeshire

    Healthy Peterborough

    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

     

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Victims and Witnesses

    vBeing a victim of a crime and witnessing a crime can be very traumatic. This can cause harm to your mental health, this can happen instantly or develop over time. Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of. 

    If you report a crime you will be asked questions to find out how you have been affected by the crime. You may be asked about your personal circumstances to help identify if there is any additional support that you might need and to understand how you'd prefer to be contacted thereafter.

    You will usually receive either a letter with information about the support available to you as a victim of crime, or a telephone call from a skilled victim and witness care coordinator.  They will work with you to assess your needs and create a personalised plan to help you cope and recover from the effects of crime. They will also ensure you receive your entitlements under the Victim’s Code of Practice, acting as your single point of contact, should you need them.

    This support is also available to victims who do not wish to report a crime. If you have been a victim of a crime but don't want to report it, you can still speak with a member of the Victims and Witness’ Support coordinators. You can also go online to your local authority and they will have a victim and witness information and support area for you.

    Everyone copes with the after-effects of crime differently and can vary from person to person depending on their personality, the support of friends and family and their personal circumstances. All reactions to crimes are completely normal and you should not be embarrassed.

    Anyone can become a victim of crime. A victim is defined as “a person who has been harmed (physically, financially or emotionally), injured or killed as a result of a crime, accident or other event or action”. The definition of a victim can also include;

    • Families or friends of a person who has died as a result of criminal conduct
    • Families or friends of victims in fatal road collisions
    • Nominated representatives of a business that has been the subject of a criminal activity.

    If you have seen or been a victim of a crime, you will be called a witness. As a witness, you play a vital role in helping solve crimes and deliver justice. The criminal justice system cannot work without witnesses and are the most important part in bringing offenders to justice. Witnesses can be:

    • Victims of crime
    • Someone who saw a crime or incident
    • Someone who knows something about a crime or incident
    • Someone with specialist knowledge
    • Someone who knows someone involved in a case, known as a character witness.

    There are lots of support services out here for you; the different support services will be able to offer advice and support to help you manage your mental health challenges, we listed a few below:+

    Cambridgeshire Police Live Chat - Live Chat Directory The Cambridgeshire Constabulary - Provides a Hub of support and advice for victims and witnesses to help them get through the after-effects of crimes.


    Victim Services Logo Cambridgshire & Peterborough Victim Services - You don't need to have reported your crime to the Police to receive support. For free, confidential and tailored advice on which service can best suit you you can visit this website.


    Victim Support

    Victim Support (VS) - Give you the support you need to move forward. Our services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened. Choose from a number of ways to contact us.

    You & Co - You & Co is Victim Support’s youth programme that helps young people cope with the impact and effects of crime. You do not have to report the crime to the police to get support from us.



    gov-uk-logo – UKDC

    GOV Website - Get free help and advice if you’ve been a victim of crime.

    The Forced Marriage Unit - helpline: 020 7008 0151, fmu@fco.gov.uk, Joint initiative between the Foreign Office and Home Office. It assists actual and potential victims of forced marriage, as well as professionals working in the social, educational and health sectors.


    Logo Crime Stoppers UK - an independent charity helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. We have an anonymous 24/7 phone number, 0800 555 111, that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send us information anonymously via our Giving Information Form. You don't have to give your name or any of your personal details. We do not trace calls or track IP addresses.


    SAMM SAMM - SAMM is a national UK Charity (No 1000598) supporting families bereaved by Murder and Manslaughter. We also provide advice and training to many agencies on issues relevant to the traumatically bereaved.


    Karma Nirvana - is an award-winning British human rights charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. Honour crimes are not determined by age, faith, gender or sexuality, we support and work with all victims.


    Stand Against Racism & Inequality (@SARIcharity) / Twitter SARI Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) is a service user/community-oriented agency that provides support and advice to victims of hate, and promotes equality and good relations between people with protected characteristics as defined by law. Most SARI staff have some direct experience of dealing with hate motivated behaviour and all staff have a clear understanding of and commitment to the objectives of SARI.


    Stonewall (charity) - Wikipedia Stone Wall - We're here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone. We believe we're stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain - in some of our greatest institutions - so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.


    FASO - Stamp Logo for False Allegation Support Organisation FASO - FASO is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting anyone affected by false allegations of abuse. False allegations affect people in all walks of life, in personal or professional contexts, and often without any warning or forewarning.  FASO is here to support you.


    Murdered Abroad Murdered Abroad - A support group for families, partners and friends of the victims of murder and manslaughter abroad.


    Logo light True Vision - True Vision is here to give you information about hate crime or incidents and how to report it. On this website, you can find out what hate crimes or hate incidents are, find out about the ways you can report them, report using the online form and find information about people that can help and support you if you have been a victim.


    Welcome to the human rights tracker | Human Rights Tracker Equality Human Rights - We are an independent statutory body with the responsibility to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote the human rights of everyone in Britain. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation – these are known as protected characteristics.


    hundredfamilies.org Hundred Families - Offer accurate information and practical advice for families bereaved by people with mental health problems along with evidence based resources for mental health professionals and others interested in serious violence by the mentally ill.


    Supportline.org.uk Support Line - SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse.


    Jobs with SUZY LAMPLUGH TRUST | CharityJob Suzy Lamplugh - Our mission is to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support. We help and support people to stay safe from violence and aggression through the provision of free safety tips, managing the National Stalking Helpline and delivering community projects.


    ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040 Action Fraud - Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime.


    British Transport Police - Wikipedia British Transport Police - We police Britain’s railways, providing a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers across the country. This website provides advice, information and support to anyone who has been affected by a crime whilst on British Transport.


    Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Working in Emergency Services

    If you’re someone that works within the emergency services, it’s likely you’ve been face to face with difficult and potentially traumatic situations. It’s important to keep your mental wellbeing healthy, as you live with this day-in day-out, and it’s what gets you through the stressful situations you see every day in your job.

    Working in an environment where you are helping other peoples traumatic and stressful situations every day doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have mental health challenges of your own. Mental health challenges are completely normal and are different for everyone. Your mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing, and you need to maintain both in order to stay fit and healthy.

    Your mental wellbeing can be affected by work-related factors like:

    • Repeated exposure to traumatic events
    • Workload pressures
    • Long working hours
    • Lone working
    • Dealing with people who may be physically or verbally abusive

    There are lots of ways you can get some help if you feel that you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing. You can talk to your GP, refer yourself to mental health services or you can talk to friends and family about it.

    Here’s a list of services available to help:

    Policing Services +

    The Police Treatment Centres provide timely and effective treatment and support for our police family patients, in order to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing.


    Which Way Now is fundraising for Blue Lamp Foundation Blue Lamp Foundation  Blue Lamp Foundation helps support our injured emergency services heroes.


    Flint House Flint House The flint house provides planned rehabilitation services for both mental and physical health to warranted serving police officers, retired police officers, special constables, PC SO’s and designated detention officers.


    Disabled Police Association | Join The Police Disabled Police Association Our Association seeks to ensure the fair treatment of everyone in the police service, but works particularly hard to ensure that it is the ability of disabled officers and staff that is recognised, rather than the employee’s limitations.


    Mind Blue Light (@mindbluelight) / Twitter MIND Blue Light Infoline The Blue Light Infoline offers confidential, independent and practical support, advice and signposting around mental health and wellbeing. The Infoline is just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families, to help keep you or those you care about well for work.


    Ambulance Services +

    TASC logo The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC) We provide confidential, impartial and independent advice and access to a range of support services, including rehabilitation when recovering from illness or injury, mental health support; bereavement support; debt and welfare advice; financial grants and other support.


    Which Way Now is fundraising for Blue Lamp Foundation Blue Lamp Foundation  Blue Lamp Foundation helps support our injured emergency services heroes.


    Mind Blue Light (@mindbluelight) / Twitter MIND Blue Light Infoline The Blue Light Infoline offers confidential, independent and practical support, advice and signposting around mental health and wellbeing. The Infoline is just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families, to help keep you or those you care about well for work.


    Fire and Rescue +

    The Fire Fighters Charity Shop The Fire Fighters Charity Provides support with rehabilitation, health and wellbeing, nursing, recuperation, children/family, advice, support and much more.


    Women in the Fire Service UK Women In The Fire Service Formally known as Networking Women in the Fire Service, WFS was formed in 1993.  It is a voluntary, not for profit organisation with members from across all roles within the FRS community which offers support and advice.


    Which Way Now is fundraising for Blue Lamp Foundation Blue Lamp Foundation  Blue Lamp Foundation helps support our injured emergency services heroes.


    Mind Blue Light (@mindbluelight) / Twitter MIND Blue Light Infoline The Blue Light Infoline offers confidential, independent and practical support, advice and signposting around mental health and wellbeing. The Infoline is just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families, to help keep you or those you care about well for work.


    Search and Rescue +

    Which Way Now is fundraising for Blue Lamp Foundation Blue Lamp Foundation  Blue Lamp Foundation helps support our injured emergency services heroes.


    Mind Blue Light (@mindbluelight) / Twitter MIND Blue Light Infoline The Blue Light Infoline offers confidential, independent and practical support, advice and signposting around mental health and wellbeing. The Infoline is just for emergency service staff, volunteers and their families, to help keep you or those you care about well for work.


    *Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.

    Taylorfitch website