Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Adults Mental Health Support

All About Mental Health

All about mental health challenges

Find out more information on different mental health challenges and challenges that some people may have in combination with mental health challenges with the links below:

A - Z
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

A


Anxiety

Alzheimer's

Alcohol Misuse

Autism


B


Bereavement


C


Carers


D


Depression

Dementia

Domestic Abuse

Drug and Alcohol Misuse


E


Eating Disorders

Emergency Service Staff


I


Insomnia


L


Learning Disabilities

Long Term Conditions


M


Memory Problems


O


OCD


P


Personality Disorders

Physical Activity

Phobias

Pregnancy

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


R


Retirement


S


Schizophrenia

Self-harm

Sexual Abuse/Violence

Sleep

Social Isolation

Stress

Suicide


V


Victims and Witnesses

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 Supporting Parents 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 - 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 link to their different services here and also a link to their 'contact us' where you can make an enquiry online or on the phone.



    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.


    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.


    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.

    Mental Health Challenges and Older Adults

    Dementia

    Dementia:

    What 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:

    • 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.                                        
    • Dementia Carers Support Service The Dementia Carers’ Support Service (DCSS) provides support for carers of people with dementia throughout the journey of their caring role. This is achieved by linking current carers of people with dementia with those who already have first-hand carer experience. These experienced carers are a befriender or buddy and become Dementia Carers’ Support Volunteer.                        
    • Dementia Support Service Cambridgeshire - The Alzheimer's Society dementia support workers offer information and practical guidance to help you understand dementia, cope with day-to-day challenges and prepare for the future. They offer information to people who are worried about their memory and ongoing support to people affected by dementia face to face, over the phone or in writing.                                                                                                                                                                
    • 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.                                                                                                                                                                            
    • Dementia Compass - Founded in 2010, Dementia Compass works to support individuals with a cognitive impairment and their families and care partners. We are a volunteer-led, not-for-profit organization based in Cambridgeshire, England.                                                                          
    • Dementia Compass - D'Music'a Community Choir - We welcome anyone who loves music, especially those with memory challenges. We are a group consisting of individuals diagnosed with a dementia or mild cognitive impairment, their care partners and people who are keen on singing, having fun, and supporting opportunities for people living with dementia.

    Local Dementia Cafés:

    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.

     

    National Services:

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

    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 www.ageuk.org.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/.

    Retirement

    Retirement is a big event in our lives, for some people is will be a great time. But for some people it can also feel like we’ve lost part of our identity.

    When it comes to retiring there’s often quite a few questions we would like answers to, which is why we’ve put together the most popular ones here for you.

    Question: What age can I retire at? And can my boss/employer force me to retire at a certain age?

    Answer: You can retire at any time you wish, there is no limit to when you can or can’t retire. Your employer cannot legally force you to retire at a certain age anymore; Age UK’s campaign caused the ‘Default Retirement Age’ law to be scrapped in 2011, which means you can continue working if you want/need to.

    Your employer can however force/ask you to retire under the law when a valid reason has been given, for example:

    ·         If the job has, by another law, had an age limit set.

    ·         If your job requires you to have specific physical abilities and mental abilities.

    Should you be forced to retire by your employer then they will have to give you some notice and they will also have to follow fair procedure.

    Employers will still have the right to make dismissals and redundancies if you’re not completing your job roles/duties to the correct standard. These decisions must be based off criteria, regardless of age.

     

    Question: Have I got to tell my boss/employer about my retirement plans?

    Answer: In short no. You do not have to tell your employer about your retirement plans if you do not wish to; however, some employers will ask about your plans as they will be interested in when you plan on leaving the business.

    Retiring takes a few months or more of planning, research and discussions. Everyone take this at their own pace and that is okay, it’s a big life event that will cause a lot of changes. For more information about what lifestyle changes you may come across, visit the Age UK website.

     

    Question: If I continue to work, will I still get a State Pension?

    Answer: You can claim your State Pension when your reach your ‘State Pension Age’. This is determined from your date of birth and your gender. You can find out your State Pension Age here on the GOV.uk website.

    When you are getting closer to your State Pension Age you will be given the option to either claim your State Pension payments or delay them. You can still claim your State Pension whilst you’re working; however, some people like to delay their payments until after they have finished working as this means they often won’t have to pay income tax on it.

    You can also have a workplace/private pension scheme. This can have a different age as to when you can start receiving it, this can also be whilst you’re still working. Every workplace/private pension scheme will differ from one another so you should ask your employer about how your pension is affected if/when your work arrangements change or if you continue to work past your State Pension age.

     

    Question: Have I got to continue paying tax if I continue to work past my State Pension Age?

    Answer: Once you’ve worked past your State Pension age you will no longer have to pay National Insurance; some employers will need some proof of age so they can stop National Insurance tax from being deducted from your pay.

    Depending on your income, there is a chance you will have to continue to pay income tax on your total income. Your total income will include your State Pension, workplace/private pension and your workplace salary. Some people like to delay their State Pension until they have finished working in order to possibly pay less tax.

     

    For more information about retirement, you can visit GOV.uk and Age UK.

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

    Who Can Help?

    If you are worried that you or someone you know may have a mental health challenge, visit your GP for support and you can access the following websites for more information:

    • AgeUK - 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.
    • Alzheimer's Society - This site has great information about getting help and getting involved in supporting people with Alzheimer's.
    • Dementia UK - This site offers support and helpful information about dementia and how you can get in touch for more help and info.
    • 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.
    • MindEd For Families - MindEd for Families supports parents and those caring for children and young people in their family when they are concerned about a young person’s mental health or well-being. They also provide support for older people and their families when they are concerned about mental health and well-being, either their own or other family members.
    • Contact The Elderly - Supported by a network of volunteers, Contact the Elderly organizes monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people aged 75 and over who are dealing with loneliness and social isolation.
    • The Silver Line - The Silver Line is the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK open every day and night of the year. Our specially-trained helpline team offer information, friendship and advice, link callers to local groups and services, offer regular friendship calls and protect and support older people who are suffering abuse and neglect.
    • Independent Age -  As well as offering regular friendly contact and a strong campaigning voice, Independent Age can provide you and your family with clear, free and impartial advice on the issues that matter: care and support, money and benefits, health and mobility.  
      A charity founded over 150 years ago, we’re independent so you can be.
    • Friends of the Elderly - We are dedicated to providing individual care with dignity that meets your needs. We employ an informal, relaxed approach to ensure that we maintain our home from home feel, but we always deliver our care with absolute professionalism. Our homes provide residential, dementia, nursing and respite care.
    • The Women's Institute - The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

    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 www.ageuk.org.uk/ and the services listed.

    Eating Disorders

    About eating disorders

    What are eating disorders?

    Eating disorders are a range of conditions that can affect someone physically, psychologically and socially, regardless of gender, age or size. A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.

    Although serious, eating disorders are treatable conditions and full recovery is possible. The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full recovery. Eating disorders are complex; there’s no single cause and not all symptoms will apply to all people.

    Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are the most commonly spoke about eating disorders. However, there are several types of eating disorders and all of them are important.

    Some of the main eating disorders are as follows:

    • Anorexia Nervosa -

    People who have anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible by not eating enough food or exercising too much, or both. This can make them very ill because they start to starve. They often have a distorted image of their bodies, thinking they are fat even when they are underweight. Men and women of any age can get anorexia, but it's most common in young women and typically starts in the mid-teens. 

    • Bulimia Nervosa - 

    People who have bulimia go through periods where they eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binge eating) and then make themselves sick, use laxatives (medication to help them go to the toilet) or do excessive exercise, or a combination of these, to try to stop themselves gaining weight. Men and women of any age can get bulimia, but it's most common in young women and typically starts in the mid to late teens.

    • Binge Eating Disorder - 

    Binge eating disorder involves regularly eating large portions of food all at once until you feel uncomfortably full, and then often upset or guilty. Binges are often planned in advance and the person may buy "special" binge foods. Men and women of any age can get binge eating disorder, but it typically starts in the late teens or early 20s.

    • Orthorexia -

    It is currently not recognised in a clinical setting as a separate eating disorder, so you would not be officially diagnosed with “orthorexia” at the doctors, but the term would likely be brought up in discussion. Orthorexia refers to an unhealthy obsession with eating “pure” food. Food considered “pure” or “impure” can vary from person to person. This doesn’t mean that anyone who subscribes to a healthy eating plan or diet is suffering from orthorexia. As with other eating disorders, the eating behaviour involved – “healthy” or “clean” eating in this case – is used to cope with negative thoughts and feelings, or to feel in control. Someone using food in this way might feel extremely anxious or guilty if they eat food they feel is unhealthy.

    • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) - 

    It is common for symptoms to not fit with the exact diagnostic criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, so it is classed as an OSFED – OSFED accounts for a large percentage of eating disorders.

    Examples of OSFED's are: 

    -  Atypical anorexia – where someone has all the symptoms a doctor looks for to diagnose anorexia, except their weight remains within a “normal” range.

    -  Bulimia nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration) – where someone has all of the symptoms of bulimia, except the binge/purge cycles don’t happen as often or over as long a period of time as doctors would expect.

    -  Binge eating disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration) – where someone has all of the symptoms of binge eating disorder, except the binges don’t happen as often or over as long a period of time as doctors would expect.

    -  Purging disorder – where someone purges, for example by being sick or using laxatives, to affect their weight or shape, but this isn’t as part of binge/purge cycles.

    -  Night eating syndrome – where someone repeatedly eats at night, either after waking up from sleep, or by eating a lot of food after their evening meal.

     

    Eating disorders do not always involve the physical aspect of being thin, someone with a normal or high BMI may still have an eating disorder; you just may not be able to see it. If you or someone you know could be suffering with an eating disorder, it is important to get help. You can always go to your GP who can pass you on to services and people who can give you support and advice.

     The Centre for Clinical Interventions has several resources available for self help and help for others struggling with an eating disorder along with helpful guidance with other mental health challenges.

    Who can help?

    If you are worried that you may have an eating disorder, visit your GP for support and access the following websites for more information:

    • BeatBeat provides Helplines for people of all ages, offering support and information about eating disorders no matter where you are in your journey. These Helplines are free to call from all phones.

      Our Helplines are open 365 days a year from 1pm – 9pm during the week, and 5pm–9pm on weekends and bank holidays. Support on the Helpline is available by phone, email, webchat (live link) through our social media accounts and by letter. Calls to the helpline are free from landlines and mobile phones within the UK and do not appear on itemised bills.

      Sometimes our lines are busy. If you can't get through immediately, please do try again or try our one-to-one web chat or send us an email.

      If you are in need of urgent help or medical advice for yourself or someone else, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123 if you or someone else is in immediate danger. If you are looking for medical advice, contact your GP or 111.

      Helpline for England: 0808 801 0677

      Helpline for Scotland: 0808 801 0432

      Helpline for Wales: 0808 801 0433

      Helpline for Northern Ireland: 08088 010 434

    • Personalised Eating Disorder Support (PEDS)- (Self-Refer) - offers assessment and support with signposting and where appropriate to service users, families and loved ones and professionals. We offer our service users individual sessions which are tailored to meet the unique needs of each person. We also provide family sessions which include practical help, education and support. We operate mostly remotely and sessions are via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. This includes assessments, 1:1s and groups (service users and carers). Face-to-face sessions, if required, are held at Boroughbury Medical Centre

    • SEED - We are a group of ordinary people with first hand experience of eating disorders, who make a difference to those people whose lives are blighted by this devastating illness. All services can be accessed through self-referral. We provide support and services for people living in Hull East Riding and Out of Area.

    • MaleVoicED - MaleVoicED is a charity providing a platform to all males enabling the sharing of narrative around poor relationships with food and co-morbid conditions. MaleVoicED also shares the experiences of caregivers, friends and associates who have been affected by such poor food related relationships. MaleVoicED hopes that with the sharing of such narratives, services for males will be improved.

    • Overeaters Anonymous - Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and hope are recovering from compulsive overeating. Welcomes everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively.

    • British Nutrition Foundation - Promotes the wellbeing of society through the impartial interpretation and effective dissemination of scientifically based knowledge and advice on the relationship between diet, physical activity and health.

    • Recover Your Life - One of the biggest and best Self Harm Support Communities on the Internet, offers help on a variety of topics surrounding self harm, including self injury, eating disorders, mental health issues, abuse and bullying, as well as drugs and alcohol and first aid.

    • The Mix - The Mix is a website for young adults. It has advice and will help you take on any challenge you’re facing - from mental health, eating disorders to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to them via online, social or their free confidential helpline.

     

    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.

    Signs and symptoms

    You may not feel you relate to any of the below. You could still be struggling and should access help. Eating disorders are not gender specific and can happen to anyone at any age.  

    Symptoms of general eating disorders include: 

    To view general signs and symptoms please click here.+

    • Spending a lot of time worrying about your weight and body shape 
    • Avoiding socialising when you think food will be involved 
    • Changes in eating habits and routines 
    • Going to the bathroom after eating and making yourself sick, taking laxatives after you eat and/or exercising more than usual 
    • Exercising too much 
    • Fascination of food 
    • Physical symptoms could include, feeling cold, tired, or dizzy, pains, tingling or numbness in your arms and legs (poor circulation), feeling your heart racing, feeling faint – sign post to more physical symptoms  
    • Problems with your digestion, such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea 
    • Not getting your period or other delayed signs of puberty 
    • Changes in weight 
    • Lying about how much you have eaten, when you have eaten, or your weight 
    • Wearing loose or baggy clothes to hide their weight and or body 
    • Not wanting to be kind to yourself, including self-care, general hygiene, sleep, nutrients and treating yourself 
    • Socially withdrawn and isolated 
    • Changes in mood, this could include feeling anxious or depressed 
    • Low confidence and self-esteem 
    • Feeling out of control around food 

          https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/behaviours/eating-disorders/overview/  

          Early habits - There can be early signs or habits that are unhealthy for individuals to do. It is a good idea to act quickly. Beat have a 'Know the first signs' poster which you can see to the right or you can download a copy here.

          Physical symptoms include but are not limited to:  
          Tiredness and fatigue, cold skin, sight and eye health issues, weak bones, hair loss, lanugo – fluffy light hair growth, behavioural changes and mood swings, abusing laxatives, low self-esteem, poor nail growth, low concentration, sleeping patterns being disturbed, irritability, feeding others, depression and anxiety, disappearing after mealtimes, poor teeth, skin condition changes, changes to menstrual cycles, dizziness, nose bleeds, anaemia, creating or following rules around food, excessive exercising (even when ill), hyper-vigilant/on edge. 

          The above signs and symptoms are across most eating disorders. This list is not inclusive, you may find that what you are experiencing is different from this and are still concerned. You may also find that you are experiencing symptoms across several eating disorders.  

          Individual experiences of eating disorders may vary. You may not identify with the below definitions or find that you connect with more than one definition. 

          For more information on:  

          Anorexia  

          The NHS defines Anorexia as 'An eating disorder and serious mental health condition. People who have Anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible by controlling their intake of food through not eating enough food or exercising too much, or both. This can make them very ill because they start to starve. People may often have a distorted image of their bodies' (NHS, 2021).  

          Sometimes the goal is not to reduce or have a low weight, but our weight is affected as a result of the illness. You can still be diagnosed with Anorexia but not be medically classed as underweight. 

          Links to more information: 
          https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/anorexia/overview/ 

          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/anorexia  

          .

          Binge Eating  

          The NHS defines Binge Eating Disorder as the following 'Binge eating disorder involves regularly eating a lot of food over a period of time until you're uncomfortably full. Binges are often planned in advance, usually done alone, and may include "special" binge foods. You may feel guilty or ashamed after binge eating' (NHS, 2020). You may feel out of control and unable to stop. 

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/binge-eating/overview/ 

          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/binge-eating-disorder  

          .

          Bulimia  

          The NHS defines Bulimia as 'An eating disorder and mental health condition. People who have bulimia go through periods where they eat excessive amounts of food (binge eating) and then make up for this by purging what they have eaten e.g. by making themselves sick, using laxatives (medicine to help them go to the bathroom) or doing excessive exercise, or a combination of these, to try to stop themselves gaining weight.' (NHS, 2020).  

          Links to more information: 
          https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/bulimia/overview/ 

          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/bulimia 

          .

          Diabulimia 

          Diabetes UK define Diabulimia as 'An eating disorder that only affects people with Type 1 diabetes. It’s when someone reduces or stops taking their insulin to lose weight. But when you have Type 1 diabetes, you need insulin to live. So without it, there can be life-threatening consequences' (Diabetes UK).  

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/life-with-diabetes/diabulimia  

          https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/diabulimia-5  

          ..

          Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) 

          BEAT define ARFID as 'A condition characterised by the person avoiding certain foods or types of food, having restricted intake' (BEAT, 2019). A person will avoid certain types of food by drastically reducing their intake. People may do this for a number of different reasons, for example disliking certain textures, tastes or smells, having a distressing experience around food or being unable to identify when you are hungry.  

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/arfid  

          https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/arfid 

          https://www.arfidawarenessuk.org/copy-of-what-is-arfid-1  

          .

          Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) also known as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) 

          BEAT define OSFED as when a person’s symptoms don’t exactly fit the expected diagnosis for any of these three specific eating disorders - Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder. They may have symptoms from a variety of different eating disorders. In that case, they might be diagnosed with an 'Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder' (OSFED) (BEAT, 2020). 

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/osfed  

          https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/osfed  

          .

          Orthorexia 

          BEAT define Orthorexia as 'An unhealthy obsession with eating “pure” or clean food. Food considered to be “pure” or “impure” can vary from person to person. This person may then only consider eating foods they consider to be clean, cutting out other groups of food completely, for example refined sugars or processed foods etc. It is not currently recognised in a clinical setting as a separate eating disorder, so someone who visited the doctor with the symptoms would not be officially diagnosed with “orthorexia”, although the term may be brought up when discussing their illness' (BEAT, 2020). This can become an unhealthy and unbalanced diet due to missing key nutrition and vitamins that comes with a balanced diet.  

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/orthorexia  

          https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/other/orthorexia  

          .

          Rumination Disorder 

          BEAT define Rumination disorder as 'An illness that involves repetitive, habitual bringing up of food that might be partly digested. It often occurs effortlessly and painlessly and is not associated with nausea or disgust' (BEAT, 2019).  

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/rumination-disorder  

          https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/rumination-disorder

          Pica 

          BEAT define Pica as 'A feeding disorder in which someone eats non-food substances that have no nutritional value, such as paper, soap, paint, chalk, or ice. For a diagnosis of pica, the behaviour must be present for at least one month, not part of a cultural practice, and developmentally inappropriate' (BEAT, 2020).  

          Links to more information:  
          https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/types/pica 

          https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/other/pica  

          .

          Bigorexia/Muscle Dysmorphia  

          Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) Foundation, describe Muscle Dysmorphia 'As sometimes used to describe BDD in which the person is preoccupied with muscle size, shape and leanness. People with muscle dysmorphia often believe that they look small, when in reality they look normal or may even be more muscular than average' (Body Dysmorphia Disorder Foundation).  

          Links to more information:  
          More about BDD – BDDF (bddfoundation.org)

          https://www.verywellmind.com/bigorexia-muscular-dysmorphia-reverse-anorexia-2328475

          Bigorexia: Never Buff Enough | BBC Newsbeat - YouTube

          If you're living with an eating disorder

          Eating Disorders Group Image with a speech bubble saying \'Eating disorders can affect anyone at any stage of life\'

          Disclaimer - The information on this website is not absolute. It has been created by individuals who have experienced eating disorders and from their observations of their journey through recovery, so some of the text may not resonate with you. The information on this page may be triggering. If you need urgent mental health crisis support, call NHS111 Option 2.

          Contents:

          .

          Warm words

          Welcome to our page.  

          Are you currently facing challenges surrounding eating, your relationship with yourself and your body? This website has been put together by those who have experienced different eating challenges and recovered or in recovery. We want you to know you are not alone and support is available. 

          .

          Words of encouragement  

          • You matter and your feelings are valid 
          • You are not the eating disorder; you are still yourself You are enough illustration
          • You are loved and will always be loved 
          • You have top-notch qualities, don’t forget about them 
          • Recovery is possible and there is life after an eating disorder. You can write down your reasons to recover 
          • Stay connected with your support network 
          • Reach out. You are worthy of help 
          • Talk to yourself as you would to someone you love 
          • There are times of joy beyond the eating disorder 
          • Each day is a new day 
          • Small steps are still progress 
          • Be proud of yourself for how far you have come  
          • You can still be a friend, partner, employee 
          • People will listen 
          • There is no one or reason to blame 
          • Find reasons to love yourself 
          • Small steps are still progress, celebrate them 
          • Every journey is different, but the end goal is the same 
          • Your eating disorder doesn’t have to fit in a specific box 
          • It’s ok to speak out, don’t be ashamed, your mind wants to silence you. You wouldn’t be ashamed of breaking your leg 
          • Forgive yourself 

                .bBack to top/menu

                  Explaining eating disorders

                  ‘An eating disorder is a mental health condition where you use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations. Anyone can get an eating disorder, but teenagers between 13 and 17 are mostly affected. With treatment, most people can recover from an eating disorder’ (NHS, 2021)  
                  Click here for more information from the NHS explaining eating disorders.  

                  Who could develop an eating disorder? Anyone, of any age, race, culture, gender, or ethnic background,

                  BEAT Eating Disorders First Signs Tips Poster

                  Types of Eating Disorders – Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Diabulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) / Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), Orthorexia, Rumination Disorder, Pica, Bigorexia.

                  Causes: Eating disorders are complex. There is no single reason. There can be a range of factors that could combine to make it more likely any one person could develop this condition.

                  Further explanations: Eating disorders are ever changing and different for everyone. Unhealthy eating behaviours may include but aren’t limited to eating too much or too little or worrying about your weight or body shape. 

                  So many things can be going on at the same time and you can feel like things are so out of control.

                  You may feel the urge to want to put things in a box or label things you don’t understand, to normalise or minimise what you are experiencing.

                  Eating Disorders can become a crutch and feel like it is all you have got.

                  You do not have to focus on recovery if this feels like a long way off. Consider small more manageable steps to help you on the journey of recovery. Small steps are still steps.

                  Often there are religious holidays, festivals, rituals or periods of our lives that are focused on food. These can be difficult so don’t be afraid to ask for support.

                  Individual’s experience eating disorders and feelings differently. You could do certain behaviours or experience thoughts and activities that are unhealthy but make you feel good. It can be hard to let that go as that’s a coping mechanism.

                  Early habits - There can be early signs or habits that are unhealthy for individuals to do. It is a good idea to act quickly. Beat have a 'Know the first signs' poster which you can see to the right or you can download a copy here.

                  .Back to top/menu

                  Myths and truths 

                  To view all of the myths please click here.+

                  • Mental illnesses, especially eating disorders are somewhat more ‘accepted’ now, more 'normal' and common. Still not everyone understands. It is an illness. You’d get treatment for a physical illness, so this is the same 
                  • Individuals may feel alone as eating disorders are so specific and different for everyone. It can feel like others around you have it together and you don’t  
                  • The reality of eating disorders being far from the stereotype. Anyone can have an eating disorder, for any reason. It is not about will power or self-control 
                  • Myth - Eating disorders are about food and body image
                    Truth - It is often the complete opposite 
                  • Myth - It’s your fault and is your decision  
                    Truth - Cause can be varied. It is complicated. There are a variety of things that effect whether someone goes on to develop an eating disorder 
                  • Myth – You must be a below a certain BMI to get help
                    Truth - BMI shouldn’t determine if you’re getting treatment or not, that isn’t the only way to measure at eating disorder 
                  • Myth – It is just a phase and will pass  
                    Truth - Don’t wait for yourself to get worse. – early intervention will help you recover
                  • Myth – I haven’t accessed help before so this will mean I won’t get support because I am not ill enough 
                    Truth - It doesn’t matter if you’re going to your GP or anyone for help for the first time or have a long-term condition, you can get help 
                  • Myth - You’ll have this forever
                  • Truth - You can recover 
                  • Myth – All eating disorders are anorexia and are all about being skinny.  
                    Truth - There is no standard eating disorder. People of all shapes and sizes can experience an eating disorder
                  • Myth - You have to be underweight to have an eating disorder. You can see if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them 
                    Truth - Eating disorders are about more than food and weight. You can have an eating disorder at any weight or size. Eating disorders can’t always be seen. What you do see isn’t the whole picture. The issue is much deeper than food 
                  • Myth- Eating disorders are a choice  
                    Truth - Eating disorders are an illness. You can recover. There are so many things that contribute to an eating disorder, like biology/genetics, cultures, trauma 
                  • Myth - Eating disorders only affect young girls
                    Truth - There is no standard eating disorder. It can happen to anybody of any age, gender identity, culture, and ability. BEAT say that in the UK there are around 1.25 million people who have an eating disorder. 25% of those affected by an eating disorder are male. 
                  • Myth - Something or someone is to blame 
                    Truth - Eating disorders happen for several reasons and are nobody’s fault. There can be lots of contributing factors, trauma, genetics, stress, biology, surroundings, psychology (core reasons) 
                  • Myth - I will be like this forever 
                    Truth - It may be in your life for now, however recovery is possible 

                  .Back to top/menu

                    Physical health = Mental health

                    It is a common misconception that eating disorders are about physical looks. Whilst there are physical aspects such as weight loss or gain, bingeing, and vomiting, over or under eating, or over exercising, eating disorders are a mental health illness affecting thoughts and feelings. Physical and mental health are closely linked, and it is important to look after both.  

                    Physical and Mental Health representation.

                    Quiz

                    Back to top/menu

                    Signs and symptoms

                    Anyone can have an eating disorder; you don’t have to experience all symptoms to be struggling with one. Individuals who have their own experiences with eating disorders have put together a list of signs and symptoms to look out for, alongside a list of different eating disorders and their descriptions which you can view here.

                    .

                    How to start a conversation  

                    Who to talk to.
                    When considering who to talk to about any concerns you might have with food, eating, your weight or shape, it is important to find someone you can trust and who can listen to you without judgement. This might be a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member. You might also want to talk to a healthcare professional such as a GP. Choosing a time when you don't feel rushed can be important, and perhaps avoiding mealtimes or other potentially difficult times can be helpful too. 

                    What to say? Helpful phrases and sentence starters+

                    • ‘I am struggling with…’ 
                    • ‘I am finding things hard …’ 
                    • ‘I think I need help…’  
                    • ‘I am worried that I am not coping, can I talk to you…’ 
                    • ‘Have you got some time for me to talk about something I’m going through…’ 
                    • ‘I am not feeling myself at the moment. Can I talk to you?’ 
                    • ‘…I’m actually not fine’ – you don’t have too always be ok 

                      You can ask someone to come to an appointment with you.

                      Helpful things to know:

                      • People may not understand or react how you’d hope or expect. Try not to let this put you off. Try someone else. Trust someone will listen  
                      • Their reactions are about them and their understanding, it is not about you. It depends on their mental state and capacity at the time but does not mean they will never understand, listen or be there 

                      .Back to top/menu

                      What might happen if you ask for help? 

                      We know that speaking about this topic with healthcare professionals might seem overwhelming. We want to share some pointers as to what might happen at your appointments.  

                      • Trust yourself at the GP surgery. You can have a say in your appointment. If your GP suggests you’re fine and you know you are not, don’t take no for an answer, you can ask at the reception to see another doctor/a doctor that is good with mental health. It is also ok to take someone with you to support you. You can also write down specific points you want to say
                      • Professionals will want to check your health. They need to get a clear understanding about your physical wellbeing to view you in a holistic way (all aspects of your whole self). Some may take blood tests, ECG’s, (recording of your heart activity) blood pressure, and weigh you. You can ask for this to not be shared with you if you choose, and you don’t have to look while they do these tests
                      • You may be referred to other services and specialists, and you may go on waiting lists. This may mean you could come across different professionals and specialists in your journey such as counsellors or therapists, specialist eating disorder staff, mental health staff, social workers, health care assistants, nurses or psychologists/psychiatrists
                      • Try not to be put off by professionals if they do not understand or if your experience isn’t as positive as you had hoped. Sometimes the advice you get might not always work for you. Professionals do not always get it right first time. Please don’t let any of this put you off asking for other support

                        .Back to top/menu

                        Wellbeing tool kit 

                        Selfcare illustrationSelf-care  

                        • Breaking the cycle, if may be helpful to look at the cycle of change - Beat has helpful information on this that can be viewed here 
                        • Look after your physical health. If you are physically unwell don’t avoid seeing  a health care professional 
                        • Basic self-care, like brushing your teeth or having a shower is important for your physical and mental health in helping you feel better. Try to set yourself small goals, like getting dressed and washing your face or accepting that you’re allowed to look after yourself 
                        • Prioritise yourself, this includes giving yourself time to rest and sleep, self-acceptance and self-love 

                        Jigsaw Puzzle illustration

                        Healthy distractions

                        • Puzzles, games, reading a book, listening to some music, meditation, taking a bath, yoga, Pilates, tai-chi  
                        • Put your favourite film, TV program or music on 
                        • If your ways of coping include self-harming or inflicting pain on yourself, try less damaging alternatives such as pinging an elastic bands, writing on your skin or holding ice cubes. These physical distractions could help 
                        • Volunteer/charity work – this can be a great way to boost your confidence and aid your recovery 

                          Eating Disorders - Talk To Someone Mobile Phone IllustrationConnecting - Is there someone you can talk to? 

                          • Have a catch up with a friend or family member. Contact someone you trust, it doesn’t have to be a phone call, and you can talk about anything  
                          • Beat have a helpfinder on their website to help you find support in your area
                          • Beat has helplines you can call which are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays and they also have online chatrooms, one-to-one online advice chat options, 'Blossom' - which is an online structured group to help support those who are managing their eating disorder whilst waiting for NHS treatment and 'Invicta' - which is an online unstructured chat group where others with similar experiences can share helpful advice for recovery and their experiences, the chat room is moderated by BEAT employees so posts are approved before being 'published' to the group to ensure no posts are triggering or inappropriate

                            Eating disorders - Get Out In Nature Trees illustrationMindful- Find what works for you — gratitude, appreciating the little things  

                            • Try to step back and reflect on what is going on for you right now. You might find it helpful to write this down 
                            • Get some fresh air. Take in your surroundings—connect with nature  
                            • Writing down things to look forward to, reasons to recover 

                            Eating disorders - Journaling illustrationGet creative — journal, scrapbook, write down your reasons to recover, paint, draw, crochet, or knit  

                            • Write down your own positive affirmations and gratitude. You can do this on post-it notes, in a journal or on your phone 
                            • Doing things that make you happy 

                            Use recommended sites like NHS, Mind, BEAT, PEDS. Information can be damaging and unhealthy. Being aware of unhealthy sites that encourage negative behaviours/thoughts/actions. There can be negative and positive information online. 

                                          .Back to top/menu

                                          Pandemic  

                                          BEAT worry tree imageCoping with the change during the pandemic. It is a worrying time at the moment for many people, so anxieties are bound to be heightened, try and take things one step at a time (BEAT has information about shopping, routines and anxiety during the pandemic). You can write a worry list or worry tree here.  

                                          Beat has a section on their website with information on how to cope during the pandemic which you can view here.  

                                          • Being eligible for a vaccine. For information on vaccinations please click here
                                          • Not wanting to get help with your physical and/or mental health challenges because of the effect the pandemic has had. Your wellbeing is important so you should still seek help, click here to go to view resources available to support you
                                          • You might not initially see a medical professional face to face due to the pandemic, however you might get a phone or video call. This may change depending on the restrictions in place at the time you make contact
                                          • Worrying about life post pandemic and social interactions can be triggering. Try not to rush yourself, trust how you are feeling and be kind to yourself when you are entering a difficult situation. Perhaps you could speak to a friend about your worries to set some goals for yourself. Try not to feel that as lockdown is easing you have to say yes to making plans or going out, you can say no if you don’t feel ready. You can make plans within the limits that you feel comfortable with
                                          • Routines and rules changing can be disturbing. Setting yourself a healthy routine to provide some structure to your time can be useful
                                          • You may be concerned about shopping. It could help you to make a shopping list for the items you need or want to buy. You can go shopping at quieter times in the day depending on opening hours (between 7am-9am and 7pm-9pm)
                                          • Campaigns, advice and social media messages can be overwhelming. Advice and information from the government and other organisations are blanket messages that do not cover individual aspects of health. They aren’t always relevant to everyone and often can miss important aspects. Take a break from the news, you don’t have to engage with everything all the time
                                          • Whether there is a pandemic or not you are worthy of help and there is support. It just might look different
                                          • The pandemic will not last forever
                                          • Pressure of being encouraged to exercise, socialise and ‘be happy’ because everything is returning to normal. This can be hard to manage and work through so be kind to yourself and focus on your mental wellbeing

                                            .Back to top/menu

                                            Support information 

                                            There is appropriate support and help for what you are going through.

                                            Things you can do to make it easier for you when/with getting help: 

                                            • Ask someone to come to an appointment with you 
                                            • Making notes/plan of what you want to say 
                                            • Plan something nice after your appointment
                                            • Choose a time and a place you are comfortable with 
                                            • Take it slow – you do not have to say it all in one appointment. Remember it is the start of a conversation and what’s important is getting it out in the open 

                                            What to do if you are unhappy with the service you access/can’t access:

                                            • Firstly, you could speak to the service themselves through their complaints process. Don’t worry, this won’t prevent you from accessing further services if you require them
                                            • If you wish not to speak to the service yourself, you are welcome to contact The SUN Network or you could go to Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
                                            • There are a variety of other support services out there so if the one you are currently with isn’t working for you don’t worry

                                            While you wait:

                                            You could have been: referred and are on a waiting list, moving out of/into areas, moving back to home after being away, moving into community, inpatient or outpatient services or you could be between children and adult services and waiting to get support.

                                            • Monitored chat rooms – Beat has helplines you can call which are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays and they also have online chatrooms, one-to-one online advice chat options, 'Blossom' - which is an online structured group to help support those who are managing their eating disorder whilst waiting for NHS treatment and 'Invicta' - which is an online unstructured chat group where others with similar experiences can share helpful advice for recovery and their experiences, the chat room is moderated by BEAT employees so posts are approved before being 'published' to the group to ensure no posts are triggering or inappropriate
                                            • Self-care
                                            • You can speak to your GP. They can help in different ways, they may offer to sign you off work
                                            • Occupational support may be offered
                                            • There are private healthcare avenues available
                                            • You could access other local voluntary sector organisations
                                            • There are helplines available to call

                                            .Back to top/menu

                                            Services (what is on offer) 

                                            • Support groups - PEDS and BEAT have support groups. These can be accessed through self-referrals, GP referrals and online portals. Due to the limited amount of support groups available, they can be at times difficult to access. There are however other support services you can go to and other resources you may find useful
                                            • Support services - Keep Your Head has a list of support services for mental health and wellbeing
                                            • The SUN Network co-produced some information leaflets, with the help of carers of loved ones with eating disorders and individuals who had lived experience of an eating disorder. The two free information leaflets can be accessed via this link and a leaflet about medical monitoring with eating disorders can be read and download here
                                            • School/college/uni
                                            • NHS - Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) Eating disorder services. CPFT run the Eating Disorder Service locally. Most people will be seen as outpatients, with a small number requiring a hospital inpatient stay. To access support for an eating disorder, please visit your GP.
                                            • CPFT's Keeping Safe Programme - The Keeping Safe programme is the first step in your treatment. It has been developed to provide information to help you begin to make sense of your difficulties and to encourage you to take steps to minimise any potentially harmful effects caused by your eating disorder whilst you are waiting for treatment. The aims of the Keeping Safe programme are:
                                              • to provide information about eating disorders
                                              • to promote a better understanding of the effects of eating disorders
                                              • to give guidance and harm minimization tips to help you keep yourself safe whilst you are waiting for treatment
                                            • Primary Care Mental Health Service (PCMHS) - is a service that covers all surgeries in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The service provides specialist mental health support for GP surgeries so that patients with mental ill health can access prompt advice and support, receive help in a community setting and experience a more joined-up approach to care.  
                                            • Your GP surgery
                                            • Beat have a helpfinder on their website to help you find support in your area

                                            Voluntary organisations: 

                                            • Peds logoPersonalised Eating Disorder Support - PEDS - (Self-Refer) - offers assessment and support with signposting and where appropriate to service users, families and loved ones and professionals. We offer our service users individual sessions which are tailored to meet the unique needs of each person. We also provide family sessions which include practical help, education and support. We operate mostly remotely and sessions are via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. This includes assessments, 1:1s and groups (service users and carers). Face-to-face sessions, if required, are held at Boroughbury Medical Centre
                                            • CPSL Mind logoCPSL 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
                                            • Centre 33 logoCentre 33 — exists to help every young person in Cambridgeshire fulfil their potential and overcome problems through a range of free and confidential services - including housing, sexual health, family problems, and bullying
                                            • lifecraft logoLifecraft is a user-led organisation for adults in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who experience mental health difficulties. They offer a range of free mental health services to help and support individuals in their wellbeing and recovery
                                            • Illuminate logoIlluminate is an organisation specialising in mental health coaching and training to help make positive changes
                                            • BEAT logoBeat – Beat provides Helplines for people of all ages, offering support and information about eating disorders no matter where you are in your journey. These Helplines are free to call from all phones.

                                              Our Helplines are open 365 days a year from 1pm – 9pm during the week, and 5pm–9pm on weekends and bank holidays. Support on the Helpline is available by phone, email, webchat (live link) through our social media accounts and by letter. Calls to the helpline are free from landlines and mobile phones within the UK and do not appear on itemised bills.

                                              Sometimes our lines are busy. If you can't get through immediately, please do try again or try our one-to-one web chat or send us an email.

                                              If you are in need of urgent help or medical advice for yourself or someone else, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123 if you or someone else is in immediate danger. If you are looking for medical advice, contact your GP or 111.

                                              Helpline for England: 0808 801 0677

                                              Helpline for Scotland: 0808 801 0432

                                              Helpline for Wales: 0808 801 0433

                                              Helpline for Northern Ireland: 08088 010 434

                                            • Seed logoSEED – (Support and Empathy for people with Eating Disorders) are a voluntary organisation and registered charity whom have first-hand experience of eating disorders and make a different to others who are challenged with this illness

                                                  .Back to top/menu

                                                  Resources 

                                                  Books: Authors of lived experience and carer books:  

                                                  Books Illustration

                                                  • Hope Virgo
                                                  • Emma scrivener 
                                                  • Jenny Langley
                                                  • Tina McGuff
                                                  • The Invisible Man - A Self-help Guide for Men With Eating Disorders, Compulsive Exercise and Bigorexia
                                                  • Samuel Pollen - author of The Year I Didn’t Eat
                                                  • Christopher Eccleston - I Love the Bones of You
                                                  • Rhik Samadder - I Never Said I Loved You 
                                                  • Andrew Walen - Man Up to Eating Disorders 
                                                  • MaleVoiced - this website is specifically for male ED suffers and has some brilliant resources including this great list of books 
                                                  • Beat have suggested books
                                                  • Mindful Eating: A guide to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food - By Jan Chozen Bays
                                                  • Life without ED by Jenni Schaefer
                                                  • 8 keys to recovery by Geneen Roth
                                                  • The Inside Scoop on eating disorder recovery: Advice from two therapists who have been there by Colleen Reichmann and Jennifer Rollin
                                                  • Goodbye ED, Hello Me: Recover from your eating disorder and fall in love with life by Jenni Schaefer
                                                  • Body Image Workbook
                                                  • The secret language of eating disorders, Peggy Claude-Pierre
                                                  • The War of art - Steven Pressfield
                                                  • Sick enough: A guide to the medical complications of eating disorders by Jennifer L Gaudiani
                                                  • Thinsanity by Glen Mackintosh 
                                                  • Janet Treasure books - aimed at carers

                                                    Podcasts:

                                                    Apps:

                                                    Websites:  

                                                    Websites illustration

                                                    There are resources for carers which can be viewed here.

                                                    .

                                                          Helplines:  

                                                          Eating Disorders - Talk To Someone Mobile Phone Illustration

                                                          • Lifeline - 11am-11pm every day 0808 808 2121 
                                                          • NHS First Response Service. In a mental health crisis? Call NHS 111 option 2 
                                                          • Samaritans - 24hours a day, 365 days a year. Free line 116 123  
                                                          • Beat (Adults) - Call for eating disorder support - 0808 801 0677 
                                                          • Beat (Student Line) - 0808 801 0811 
                                                          • Beat (Under 18's) - 0808 801 0711 
                                                          • SEED Advice Line - (01482) 718130 
                                                          • National Centre for Eating Disorders - 0845 838 2040
                                                          • Your GP surgery 

                                                              Caring for someone with an eating disorder

                                                              Eating Disorders Group Image with a speech bubble saying \'You are not alone\'.Welcome

                                                              Do you provide care or support for a loved one, friend or colleague with an eating disorder?

                                                              Here are warm words and ideas from parent/carers to help you support someone with eating challenges.

                                                              You are not alone.

                                                              The information on this page has been collected from discussions at carer support groups. The summaries of these conversations are linked throughout the page and also in our resources section under books.

                                                              Note - This guidance relates to adults. Many of the ideas are relevant to children and young people, too, but parents should always ask the person who is treating their child how best to help.’

                                                              Signs and symptoms

                                                              Anyone can have an eating disorder; you don’t have to experience all symptoms to be struggling with one. Individuals who have their own experiences with eating disorders have put together a list of signs and symptoms to look out for, alongside a list of different eating disorders and their descriptions which you can view here.

                                                              Early habits - There can be early signs or habits that are unhealthy for individuals to do. It is a good idea to act quickly. Beat have a 'Know the first signs' poster which you can see the the right or you can download a copy here.

                                                              Questions you may be asking yourself:

                                                              Here are some questions you may be asking yourself image

                                                              We are worried that our loved one might have an eating disorder – what should we do? +

                                                              Scenario

                                                              There are a wide range of symptoms and signs of an eating disorder, you may have noticed a few of these when with your loved one. Eating disorders are a serious illness and it is important to catch them early on before they can develop further; recovery is possible and more likely the earlier an eating disorder is identified and treated.

                                                              What can we do to help?

                                                              • Start up a conversation about what you’ve noticed and express that you’re concerned for your loved one’s health and wellbeing
                                                              • Use open questions to help your loved one understand how they are feeling and why they may be doing certain behaviours
                                                              • Your loved one may get defensive and not wish to speak about how they’re feeling and acting, be patient and ask the big questions in a low stress moment
                                                              • Ask your loved on if they would be willing to talk to someone about how they are feeling and inform them on how serious eating disorders are
                                                              • You can encourage your loved one to speak to their GP, another health professional or support service

                                                              Anything Else?

                                                              Find out about eating disorders. Beat are the eating disorder charity for the UK. NHS also have information on their websites about eating disorders.

                                                              More Ideas

                                                              See pages 11 and 12 of Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-82663-2. 2

                                                              Carers support group summary

                                                              What is the best way of caring for our loved one? +

                                                              Scenario

                                                              On the face of it this may seem a strange question but anyone with lived experience will tell you how counter-intuitive caring for a loved one with an eating disorder is.  For example, for many sufferers, especially in the early days, their eating disorder gives them something positive, i.e. a way of coping with unbearably strong emotions, thoughts and feelings.  We see eating more healthily as a way of getting better but they see taking away their eating disorder as a threat and something to be resisted.  One carer described it as a ‘topsy turvy world’ where ‘you will almost certainly have to learn some new skills’.

                                                              What can we do to help?

                                                              At a support group meeting, two former sufferers talked about their recovery journey, the important role their families played and how best we as parent/carers can help:

                                                              • Unconditional love - being there and listening; being non-judgemental
                                                              • Showing that you care - one described how her mother put notes under her bedroom door at times when discussing her illness more openly was difficult, which demonstrated that she was not blind to her struggle
                                                              • Connecting - about non-eating disorder subjects / activities, so that the illness does not define the entire relationship
                                                              • 'Nudging' - making an appointment for her and telling her about it but leaving it up to her as to whether she attended or not

                                                                'Be more dolphin' in her book (see below) Janet Treasure uses animal metaphors to describe our behavioural and emotional responses.  The dolphin, who nudges our loved one’s head above the water but lets them do the work of getting safely to shore, is contrasted with the rhino, who charges in with the answer and makes our loved one back into a corner.  The kangaroo, who puts their loved one in their pouch to protect them – a perfectly natural parent/carer reaction – is also unhelpful because our loved one never has to face up to getting better. These metaphors are really helpful.

                                                                Anything else?

                                                                • Remember the ‘3 Cs’ - stay Calm, be Compassionate, show you Care
                                                                • Sometimes you will need to step back before you step in again – count to ten and say the third thing that comes into your head, not the first

                                                                More ideas

                                                                • See Chapter 5 of ‘Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder’ by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-82663-2.  2nd Edition
                                                                • See the videos signposted in the Carers Support Leaflet

                                                                What should we do if our loved one becomes overwhelmed / distressed? +

                                                                Scenario

                                                                There are many occasions when our loved one might become extremely upset. Not surprisingly, mealtimes can be a flash point. Shouting, screaming, hitting themselves, throwing food – sometimes this happens. Something could trigger your loved one to react in a distressed or overwhelmed way, this could be shopping, a social occasion. Anxieties can build up over a varying length of time. 

                                                                What can we do to help?

                                                                • In advance of a situation, encourage our loved one to a use a calming strategy e.g. meditation, taking the dog for a walk
                                                                • During a situation there are other strategies to help that can be applied, e.g. breathing techniques or agree a distraction, such as watching the television
                                                                • Validate and empathise so that they know they are not making it up and that you recognise how difficult it is
                                                                • Advanced planning and discussions at a calm time prior to events or situations, about what your loved one may find helpful 

                                                                Anything else?

                                                                • Stay calm, don’t get drawn into the fight
                                                                • Step back if necessary, step in later when you feel up to it
                                                                • Look after yourself

                                                                More ideas

                                                                See pages 188-191 of ‘Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder’ by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-82663-2.  2nd Edition. 

                                                                Carers support group summary, 26th May 2020, page no: 24 and 6th October 2021, page no: 9.

                                                                Our loved one keeps asking for reassurance – what should we say? +

                                                                Scenario

                                                                Most carers will have experienced their loved one seeking reassurance by constantly asking the same question.  ‘Do I look fat?’  ‘Do these clothes fit alright?’  ‘Does it matter if I go out for a run?’  It is understandable that we want to reassure our loved one that they are not fat, that their clothes do fit and that it doesn’t matter if they go out for a run.  However, although this relieves their (and our) immediate anxiety it does not help in the long run; they will simply come back to us and keep asking.  This is what is called ‘the reassurance trap’.

                                                                What can we do to help?

                                                                • Discuss the ‘reassurance trap’ in a low stress moment.  Listen to their concerns and help them ‘name their feelings’.  Talk about how their anxiety will pass and won’t be so much of a problem next time.  Agree what you are going to say the next time they ask you a particular question
                                                                • Respond with empathy, warmth and, if appropriate, your agreed response: ‘‘I can see you are really anxious, as we discussed it’s not helpful for me to answer this question’.  ‘I know you are really anxious, I know you can make the decision about this’.  ‘I understand you are worried, you know the answer to that question’
                                                                • Be consistent, don’t ‘give in’.  You may need to be like a stuck record (remember those?), playing the same line again and again

                                                                Anything else?

                                                                • Stay calm.  Your loved one may become very distressed – it will pass
                                                                • Praise occasions when your loved one successfully manages to cope with their anxiety

                                                                More ideas

                                                                You can read more about ‘Reassurance Seeking’ here.

                                                                What should we do if we get overwhelmed/distressed? +

                                                                Scenario

                                                                Looking after a loved one who is unwell or going through an emotionally and physically demanding illness may take a toll on your wellbeing. You may experience challenging times, barriers or inconveniences that cause you to become overwhelmed and/or distressed. It could be a very draining time that you are going through and it is natural to feel sometimes exhausted from everything. 

                                                                What can we do to help?

                                                                • Self-Care
                                                                • You may want to seek professional help for yourself
                                                                • Be open and honest with your loved one about needing support from the people around you. It is important to respect their confidentiality. Equally they need to understand what you are going through and what will help you

                                                                  Anything else?

                                                                  Setting boundaries is also important – please see the next question for more information on setting boundaries.

                                                                  You are human and are likely to experience your own challenges. Remind yourself that it is ok to have rest days.

                                                                  More ideas

                                                                  You can view different support services for yourself here.

                                                                  Carers support group summary, 1st September 2020, page no: 75, 3rd November, page no: 34 and 9th February 2021, page no: 121.

                                                                  How do we prevent our loved one’s eating disorder taking over our lives? +

                                                                  Scenario

                                                                  When living with a loved one with an eating disorder it is easy to slip into the role when you will do anything to help your loved one. Acting like this is accommodating the illness and does not help in the long term.

                                                                  You can spend a lot of time (and money) around food; planning, shopping, preparing, cooking and eating.

                                                                  • Buying the right ingredients – e.g. a particular brand of bread with the lowest calories even if that means visiting several shops to find it
                                                                  • Prepping in a very specific way, with arguments about how food should be prepared, if there is enough/too much. Then the demands about how, where and when the meal is eaten and with whom

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    Know and set boundaries:

                                                                    • These are ground rules unique to your family, and can be difficult to enforce if clear rules not agreed upon and backed up by all family members, e.g. Agree to a shopping list and if that brand is not available buy an alternative and calmly explain why you can’t go to several shops (have to get to work, need time for hobby/dog walk).
                                                                    • Model keeping family life as normal as possible

                                                                    Family problem solving

                                                                    • Talk to individuals before bringing everyone together, pay particular attention to any siblings
                                                                    • When everyone is calm, make a list of things that are expected (from everyone), and things that are unacceptable to refer to for confidence and consistency when challenged
                                                                    • Make this a set of family ‘House Rules’ (rather than eating disorder-specific boundaries)

                                                                    Try to hold the important boundaries, the lines you will not cross.

                                                                    • But roll with it if it is not working, try again at a calmer moment, be prepared to re-negotiate 

                                                                    Anything else?

                                                                    Stay calm.

                                                                    Look after yourself by regularly setting aside time to spend with your partner/friends/relations when you don’t discuss the eating disorder.

                                                                    Focus on the individual, not their illness.

                                                                    Show unconditional love.

                                                                    We are only human, so we need to allow ourselves to have time for us.

                                                                    More ideas

                                                                    Beat website

                                                                    FEAST website

                                                                    Information on why boundaries are important in eating disorder recovery

                                                                    Skills based caring for a loved one with an eating disorder. Page 105-106 and 205. - Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane.  Routledge.  ISBN 978-1-138-82663-2.  2nd Edition.

                                                                    Information and skills for when you may be falling into eating disorder traps, for example portion sizes, safe foods, activity/exercise, pretending you didn't see something and shopping for the eating disorder.

                                                                    Carers support group summary

                                                                    How can we keep going – we’re feeling done for and this illness goes on for such a long time? +

                                                                    Scenario

                                                                    It can take a long time to recover from an eating disorder and there are many ups and downs along the way.  As a carer this is emotionally and physically exhausting.  All you want is for your loved one to be better, but the finish line seems nowhere in sight.  How do you keep going? 

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    • Maintain your hobbies and interests that are nothing to do with the eating disorder, so that they become a sanctuary where you can recharge your batteries
                                                                    • You might find using a notepad to write everything down to be helpful as it can be used to get thoughts and feelings out of your system
                                                                    • Stay in touch with a small number of trusted friends
                                                                    • Sometimes it is important to stop, step back and pause before you step in again

                                                                    Anything else?

                                                                    • Remember to tell yourself that recovery is the most likely outcome
                                                                    • Keep active.  A walk will improve your mood.  Proof? Note how you feel before you go and when you get back

                                                                    More ideas

                                                                    Watch the ‘Carer Fatigue’ video here.

                                                                    Where can I get support for myself? +

                                                                    Scenario

                                                                    The constant pressures involved with living with and supporting a loved one with an eating disorder can be overwhelming. It can take over your life leaving you exhausted, pressured and hopeless. It may be difficult to share what you are going through with others, so you could feel alone.

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    • Look after yourself. Be prepared to seek professional help yourself
                                                                    • Be open to connecting with people who have similar experiences. Support groups can be invaluable. Share the burden with others

                                                                    Anything else?

                                                                    More ideas

                                                                    How can we talk with / respond to our loved one about topics or questions that might provoke an angry or negative response? +

                                                                    Scenario

                                                                    There are many occasions when what we think is the most sensible thing to do is not what our loved one wants to hear and/or they ask us a question and we know they will not like our answer. They may become angry or upset and the outcome is unlikely to be positive. Arguing doesn’t work, our loved one will come up with more ideas for why they are right, and you are wrong, making the problem worse.

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    • Be curious rather than judgemental.  For example, if our loved one is threatening to discharge themselves from hospital against advice, ask ‘How are you going to manage at home?’ rather than saying ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea’
                                                                    • Refer to the higher authority.  ‘Your doctors have agreed what’s best for your treatment, we’re here to support you with that’.  The ‘higher authority’ can be something you’ve read or something that you’ve heard
                                                                    • Pick a calm moment - if emotions are high, it is unlikely that any discussion will be productive
                                                                    • If your loved one keeps asking the same question, answering might help them in the short term but not in the long term. Plan what you are going to say in advance e.g., ‘We agreed I wouldn’t answer that question again because we have discussed it before’. ‘I understand you are worried; you know the answer to that question’

                                                                    Anything else?

                                                                    • Difficult conversations need lashings of empathy, e.g. 'I see that this is really hard for you to talk about, and I am so pleased that we are having this conversation.  How best can I help?'
                                                                    • Remember the ‘3 Cs’ - stay Calm, be Compassionate, show you Care
                                                                    • Ask yourself, ‘What would a good Dolphin do?’  In other words, don’t charge in with the answer, like a Rhino, or avoid the question, like an Ostrich… Do use open questions to encourage your loved one to find their own answers

                                                                    More ideas

                                                                    Although more targeted at children and young people than adults, this link has some very relevant advice about non-combative communication styles.

                                                                    What do I need to know about consent and confidentiality? +

                                                                    Note - Confidentiality is very important. Confidential information about a patient should only be shared with their explicit consent. Confidential information about, or provided by us as parent/carers should only be shared with our explicit consent.

                                                                    This guidance relates to adults.

                                                                    Scenario

                                                                    At the beginning of any treatment, whether at the GPs, with a Community Team or in a specialist inpatient unit, our loved ones will be asked if they give consent to share information with us. Quite often they do not, or give consent for only some information to be shared, or only with some people. This can make us feel as if we are providing support ‘in the dark’. It can also make us feel side lined, despite the efforts we are making, and this can lead to resentment. How do we deal with this?

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    • Be reassured - confidentiality should and will be breached if your loved one’s life, or someone else’s life, is at risk
                                                                    • In the absence of consent staff are encouraged to share non-confidential information with parents/carers because the more we know and understand about our loved one's illness and treatment the better we can support – ask if this doesn’t happen
                                                                    • If you have information that is important to your loved one’s recovery you can always pass it on in confidence - you might not get a response, but it will be taken into consideration; the team supporting your loved one’s recovery would rather know than not

                                                                    Anything else?

                                                                    • Try to plan. In the depths of the illness, or the heat of an emergency admission, your loved one’s response may be different to their view in healthier, calmer moments
                                                                    • Asking permission can be very helpful: ‘What would you want me to do if....?’  Your loved one may be willing to write this down so that the professionals do not have to take your word for it
                                                                    • Consent should be regularly reviewed by the professionals – you can ask if this is happening

                                                                    More ideas

                                                                    • All service providers will have a Consent and Confidentiality Policy. You could ask to see this if you had concerns
                                                                    • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has produced a ‘Common Sense Confidentiality’ leaflet that explains clearly what should happen and what you should do if you have concerns

                                                                    Long distance caring - How can we help our loved one if they live away from us? +

                                                                    Scenario

                                                                    Often our loved ones may not live with us; they may be moving in with a friend, a partner or relative, they may be at university or have a new job and move away. It can be a worry as not being able to physically see a loved one can leave you wondering how they are (as when they are close, spotting signs are easier). It also can be challenging if they do not talk to you about their eating disorder.

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    • They are adults; this is their chance to test out real life managing an eating disorder. Give them support and have belief in them and offer unconditional support. ‘I think you’re really brave getting this job and moving away, if you need us we are here for you’
                                                                    • Check in with them by text, phone or video call; ask open questions ‘How has your week been?’ ‘How are you feeling?’ They can choose how they respond and sometimes a text or quick call talking about something other than the eating disorder can open channels for more conversations
                                                                    • Ask permission to ask questions, ‘Would you mind if I ask you a question about your eating disorder?’ ‘Can I ask you about how you are getting on with your meal plan? Its ok if you don’t want to discuss it with me.’ Giving them choice to answer

                                                                    Anything else?

                                                                    • Often you can get a feel for how someone is doing by a quick message; ‘I’m wondering if you are struggling a bit, you seemed a bit anxious on our call, I’m here if you need to chat?’  This can keep the channels of communication open

                                                                    More ideas

                                                                    Motivational interviewing techniques can be helpful. E.g., when you are talking on the phone ask lots of open questions, check that you’ve understood what they are saying (that will help them to sort out their own thoughts, too), listen, listen, listen, pull it all together and don’t give an opinion unless asked.

                                                                    What can we do about partners / friends / family who react differently to our loved one’s illness? +

                                                                    Scenario

                                                                    This is very common and very complex.  If one partner has had the lead caring role, the other may feel left out, or begrudge receiving less attention.  Friends may not understand why you don’t just tell your loved one to snap out of it and eat properly. Family may say unhelpful things unwittingly, e.g. ‘You’ve put on weight, You’re looking so much better’. 

                                                                    What can we do to help?

                                                                    • The best thing you can do is share and spread the load. Be open and honest about the situation and the illness, and how it is affecting you as a family. Include your loved one in this decision
                                                                    • Make sure that you prioritise time for the relationship, whether it is with your partner / a parent / a special friend.  Relationships need nurturing
                                                                    • Make a real effort to talk as a family.  If you don’t help them they will probably say the wrong thing
                                                                    • If you have been the main carer, be generous and supportive if your partner, or a friend, wants to be more involved. This can feel a bit threatening - 'Am I not good enough?' - but it could be really helpful, to you and them

                                                                      Anything else?

                                                                      • Remember that recovery is not only possible, it is the most likely outcome. It will not be like this for ever
                                                                      • Don't feel guilty. Relationships sometimes fail even in that 'normal' world outside of the strange world we inhabit

                                                                      More ideas

                                                                      See ‘Eating disorders: a guide for friends and family’ on the BEAT website.

                                                                      Carers support group summary, 23rd March 2021, page no: 141.

                                                                      How can we best support our loved one’s siblings? +

                                                                      Scenario

                                                                      When you have a loved one who is struggling with a serious mental illness, a lot of focus can be around them and what they need. For your loved one’s siblings it can be shocking to see their sibling’s health decline and to learn of how they have been struggling. Our loved ones siblings may need some support too.

                                                                      What can we do to help?

                                                                      • Reassure them that they have not done anything to contribute to their illness, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and they don’t need to feel guilty about getting on with their life and enjoying themselves. In fact by doing this  they are actually showing what ‘normal’ is and are being a good role model for their sibling
                                                                      • Check in with your loved one’s siblings on how they are feeling. Give time and space for them to ask questions
                                                                      • Keep lines of communication open about ‘normal life’. Don’t let the eating disorder be the focus of every conversation, enjoy some things that are nothing to do with the eating disorder

                                                                      Anything else?

                                                                      • Beat have an online video based peer support group called Solace, which is hosted over zoom, and it is for anyone who is supporting someone with an eating disorder
                                                                      • Support them to help and contribute as much as they feel able without pushing them

                                                                      More Ideas

                                                                      Carers support group summary, 18th August 2020, page no: 65 and 9th March 2021, page no: 137.

                                                                      Our loved one is stuck- how can we help motivate them to make the next step in their recovery? +

                                                                      Scenario

                                                                      Throughout your loved ones eating disorder there may be times that they become stuck and may find it hard to make changes. They may be in an action phase where they are trying to introduce new foods and are unable to make that change; they may be attempting to go out for a coffee and introducing a snack as well and feel overwhelmed; they may be stuck in a binge purge cycle or they may be over exercising unable to decrease their activity.

                                                                      It can feel challenging as someone attempts to make changes and becomes stuck, provoking a range of emotions in our loved ones such as fear, anxiety, failure, frustration, and also in you as a carer.

                                                                      What can we do to help?

                                                                      • Understand how big a challenge making changes can be to someone. Empathise and acknowledge how hard it can be to make that change. It may take a few attempts before change happens, your loved one may feel disappointed with themselves and feel like they are letting you down too
                                                                      • Active listening- use open questions; ‘How are you feeling about going for a coffee?’  Reflect what they have said to you, to show you have listened and try not to offer advice
                                                                      • Give feedback – ‘I can see you are thinking about trying to add a snack in, that’s great that you are thinking about trying, I can see it’s making you anxious.’ ‘I thought that was really brave you going out for a coffee with your friend.‘ 
                                                                      • Allowing our loved to come to their own conclusions about a decision, ‘On the one hand you really want to stop running every day because the doctor has said you are at a really low weight, and I understand it’s not that easy to just stop. I wonder if you have any ideas on how to work on that?'
                                                                      • Try and recognise the emotions that are generated by being stuck and trying to implement change. Offer words of support and encouragement ‘I can see it’s causing you some anxiety that you haven’t done any exercise today. That’s not a great feeling, would you like to watch a film or play a game?
                                                                      • Motivation- a life to get well for. Model living your life, invite them to join activities that you both enjoy. Focus on the positives in their life; ‘Your day volunteering is really tiring, and your body needs energy to do that, have you any ideas to help you?’

                                                                        Anything else?

                                                                        Small steps are key to making changes, maybe just going to a coffee shop and sitting there, and even if your loved one couldn’t achieve their plan, acknowledge that you thought they did well to join you and reiterate you will support them to try again when they are ready. Being patient and accepting that being stuck is a hard place to be, for both them and you.

                                                                        More ideas

                                                                        Motivational interviewing, see pages 94-99 of Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-82663-2. 2nd edition.

                                                                        You can watch a video about the stages of change here.

                                                                        Our Loved one is being discharged from a specialist inpatient unit- how should we prepare for this and what should we do? +

                                                                        Scenario

                                                                        An inpatient admission stay can vary in length of time. Before discharge your loved one will be invited to a Care Plan Assessment (CPA) with all the professionals involved in their care to discuss how their treatment will be continued. Attending the CPA (with consent) will be helpful to support your loved one on the next stage of their journey. An inpatient stay will have involved lots of support around mealtimes, snacks, and many other areas of the eating disorder; it will have been very structured and your loved one may feel anxious or apprehensive at having to continue their recovery at home. It may be that your loved one struggles to stick to their meal/ snack plan and that causes them some distress. It also may be an anxious time for you.

                                                                        What can we do to help?

                                                                        • Offer to make a plan together; how would your loved one like to be supported by the family? What might be helpful/ unhelpful? Do this at a mutually agreed time, away from mealtimes
                                                                        • If they struggle to stick to their meal plan - acknowledge that following it may be difficult, praise their efforts with how hard they have worked to get this far, empathise how challenging it is to do this themselves and offer your support, 'How can we help you around mealtimes?'
                                                                        • Try not to show your anxiety or disappointment around missed snacks or meals. Empathise, try and offer a non- judgemental response. 'I understand this might be difficult to eat your snack and you’re disappointed you couldn’t eat it, I wonder if there is a way I can help you next time?'
                                                                        • Refer to the medical professionals if you have concerns, they may not be able to share any information but you can tell them if you notice any worrying signs of the illness

                                                                        Anything else?

                                                                        Don’t be surprised to find there may be ups and downs in recovery. Your loved one’s recovery may not follow a linear path after their inpatient stay and they may still have work to do, this can create anxiety for them and you.

                                                                        Try and focus on activities that you can do together that aren’t based around food. What are their interests?

                                                                        Model living a normal life. Go to the cinema, have days out, invite them and also allow yourself time off too, supporting someone in their recovery can be challenging.

                                                                        More ideas

                                                                        Be open to connecting with people who have similar experiences. Support groups can be an invaluable. Share the burden with others.

                                                                        BEAT have a range of support services available - helplines, peer-support, echo - BEAT's peer support network and on online chat service. Services for Carers (beateatingdisorders.org.uk)

                                                                        Our loved one is self-harming as well as not eating – what can we do? +

                                                                        Scenario

                                                                        An aspect of an eating disorder could be causing other physical harm to themselves as a way of coping. Self-harming can often be a way of feeling something at a time when someone is feeling nothing or is experiencing negative thoughts.

                                                                        What can we do to help?

                                                                        • You can look out for warning signs, tissues, scarring or wounds, or broken razors/sharpeners, hiding arms or legs more than usual. You could suggest less harmful ways of relieving pain like elastic band twanging or holding ice cubes
                                                                        • Look into stress relief toys for adults
                                                                        • Try to stay Calm, be Caring and show Compassion. Recognise some triggers for your loved one and empathise with them to help them express their feelings. You can approach their self-harming in a way that is caring by saying ‘That burn looks like it might need dressing’ or ‘Your cut may need some care’ as they can then decide what to do

                                                                          Anything else?

                                                                          Be curious for the reasons your loved one is doing this behaviour, think about what purpose it serves. They may be trying to say something but can’t express it which is something we can help with.

                                                                          More ideas

                                                                          How do our loved ones co-occurring mental health conditions affect their treatment and the support we should give? +

                                                                          Scenario

                                                                          Alongside an eating disorder your loved one may be suffering from other mental health disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, OCD, Self-harm, Substance or Alcohol abuse. These may have been present before the eating disorder began or may have developed as a result of the eating disorder.

                                                                          Your loved one may be experiencing acute anxiety when they are faced with making changes, which may also extend out into their wider life such as school or work. The physiological changes of an eating disorder may also impact on your loved ones mental health. Self- harm may be a coping strategy to manage their distress. For more information on this click here. All of these things are incredibly hard to watch someone you love go through.

                                                                          What can we do to help?

                                                                          • The three Cs- Caring, Calm and Compassion. Acknowledge their struggle, empathise with how they feel and stay calm. Anxiety can be very distressing to watch and high levels of anxiety come down naturally with time. Holding the space whilst your loved one sits with these uncomfortable feelings is difficult and often just being present is comfort in itself to them
                                                                          • If your loved one is experiencing other mental health disorders, they can be addressed with their GP and may be prescribed anti-depressants or other medications. They may need support or gentle guidance to seek extra medical advice, ‘I can see you are so anxious. I wonder if you saw the GP they may be able to give you some support’
                                                                          • Don’t get caught out with the reassurance trap if your loved one has anxiety
                                                                          • Get out in nature - beneficial and within 20 minutes of being in nature stress hormone levels come down.  Sit under a lovely tree or take a walk in a wood

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            Keep yourself well. Supporting someone with an eating disorder is a marathon not a sprint. Give yourself time out.

                                                                            If your loved one is experiencing a crisis, ring NHS 111 and press option 2 (only in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire) to speak to the mental health First Response Service.

                                                                            More Ideas

                                                                            For information on mental health support services click here.

                                                                            Our loved one is using/taking a substance, like alcohol or drugs, more then they usually would – what should we do? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Mental health illnesses can sometimes go hand in hand with other challenges like alcohol consumption, drug taking or addictions. This is not a given, however it is common. Drinking more alcohol then usual or taking substances may be a way of your loved one coping with something they are experiencing.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            You could speak to your loved one about your concerns. Try not to judge them or be hard on them about this. Work on understanding what is going on for them to maybe they can share why they are drinking or taking a substance.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            You can signpost your loved one to a support service. Change Grow Live (CGL) are the leading drug and alcohol support service for Cambridgeshire and are called Aspire in Peterborough. For CGL Cambridgeshire’s services follow this link.

                                                                            For Aspire Peterborough follow this link.

                                                                            More ideas

                                                                            The SUN Network have video addiction recovery stories from individuals in recovery from addictions including eating disorders.  You can watch their videos here on addiction here and their videos on eating disorders here.

                                                                            The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) have information on this available here.

                                                                            What should we do if our loved one is over-exercising? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Typically exercise brings physical and mental benefits. Excessive exercise causes physical and/or mental harm. Many people with an eating disorder use excessive exercise as a way of controlling weight / feelings / body shape.  This can place them in physical danger. As carers we cannot make our loved ones stop exercising, although we can support them.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • If our loved one cannot contemplate changing their exercise regime, we can work towards creating an awareness of the problem. Ask yourself what the costs for them are so that you can feedback to them, e.g. are they very tired, or in pain.  You can try to share observations in a calm moment, e.g. ‘I’ve noticed that you are very tired’.
                                                                            • If they are receptive to change, at least to some extent, we can create ambivalence, e.g. ’On the one hand you want to go running and on the other you’ve not got enough energy to do as well as you would like to’.  Use open questions ‘Why is exercise so important to you?’.
                                                                            • If they are serious about change, you can be more directly involved if they want you to.  Remember to validate their feelings, e.g. ‘I see that this is very hard for you, I'm here for you’

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            • Relapse - if your loved one returns to over-exercising help them to get back on track by reminding them of their past successes and that you are there to support them

                                                                            More ideas

                                                                            See the information about compulsive exercise here.

                                                                            Carers support group summary, 29th December 2020, page no: 80.

                                                                            How can we help make our loved one’s transition to university a success? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Our loved one wants to go to university / college in a different region away from home and their support network. Possibly going against professional advice.

                                                                            This is a big change that makes us and our loved one anxious.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            Try to find out and understand their thoughts and feelings. They may be in two minds about going. It can be helpful to use conversations to explore the discrepancy:

                                                                            ‘On the one hand you really want to start your course, and on the other you are worried that you might not have the energy for a full day’s study or be able to join in with the other students’.  

                                                                            Let the thought sit with them. Let them draw their own conclusions.

                                                                            The team supporting your loved one, the place of work, the college - all want to put measures in place so that things go well.  They should welcome any information you can provide that will support them in this goal, and although this is better done with your loved one’s consent it could be done in confidence.

                                                                            Plan ahead with your loved one in low stress moments, for example, having a routine, registering with a GP.

                                                                            Make your own plans in advance. For example, how will you react if the move to university fails (answer calmly and learn from it!); how are you going to keep in touch (weekly call, facetime, email, text).

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            • Our loved ones have to learn to manage their illness themselves; they have to take their own decisions, even if it is against professional advice. Experienced carers have shared that loved ones were failing at university initially, but succeeding subsequently, often on a different course and/or at a different university, or apprenticeship
                                                                            • Listen to their hopes and concerns; validate their worries, don't try to fix them; encourage them to think about how they have coped with this and/or other anxiety provoking situations before; help them to find their own way forward
                                                                            • More validation - most people find making friends in a new place an anxious time - hearing from you, for example, that most people feel anxious when they join a club or society but this will pass, and is a good way to get to make new friends, may be very helpful
                                                                            • Offer support from a distance. To quote Janet Treasure, 'They alone can do it, but they can't do it alone’

                                                                            More ideas

                                                                            It can be helpful to explore the range of support services available to students with your loved one, including: 

                                                                            • Out of hours care
                                                                            • Phone lines
                                                                            • Counselling, both academic and pastoral support.

                                                                            All this information can be found out on the university websites.

                                                                            Mental health matters - A national charity delivering mental health and social care services.

                                                                            Student Minds - The UK’s student mental health charity.

                                                                            The Mix - The UK’s leading support service for young people.

                                                                            Carers support group summary, 14th July 2020, page no: 46, 15th September 2020, page no: 84 and 22nd September 2020, page no: 87.

                                                                            How do we cope with family celebrations; Birthdays, Weddings, Religious holidays etc? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            There is a big family birthday coming up, with visitors, lots of food and drink, changes to routines and lots of socialising.

                                                                            Some of the thoughts running through your head may be:

                                                                            • What can you feed your loved one?
                                                                            • How can you support your loved one?
                                                                            • How can you cope with critical relatives?
                                                                            • How can you make sure the event is enjoyable for all family members?

                                                                            Remember; family celebrations are a challenge for you, the family and of course your loved one experiencing an eating disorder. It can be very stressful for everyone

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            Plan!

                                                                            Use a problem-solving framework to define the problem, think of ideas to solve the problem creatively and then list the pros and cons for each solution. Pick the best idea and plan it (and add a few backups).

                                                                            Ask everyone what they would like to do on this occasion; pay attention to any sibling’s thoughts. Try to include some of these ideas. Discuss and negotiate with your loved one how they would like to manage the event. For example, if planning a sit-down meal having the chair nearest the door so they can leave if it gets too much without causing a physical disruption.

                                                                            Prepare relatives in advance. Perhaps suggest and prepare some ‘What to say’ ‘What not to say’ ideas.

                                                                            Organise some non-food activities.

                                                                            Take some time out for yourself.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            Plan!

                                                                            Have a back-up plan … or two.

                                                                            Be prepared to be flexible.

                                                                            Try to bring some humour into the event; for example, play ‘Disaster bingo’ – think of all the things that could go wrong / be said … and then tick them off as the day progresses.

                                                                            Review how it went; consider the good and bad and remember them for next time.

                                                                            More ideas

                                                                            Delegate some tasks to others to share the burden.

                                                                            BEAT Guide for friends and family.

                                                                            Carers support group summary, 8th December 2020, page no: 70.

                                                                            How can we help our loved one cope with Christmas? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Christmas can be a particularly stressful time for people with eating disorders. It’s not just that the celebration centres so much on food and drink but also that it is a big social occasion with all the anxieties that brings, e.g. friends and family might not know how things are, and what to say. For parents and carers, we want to help our loved ones as much as possible and we also need to manage our own stress levels that would probably be high even under normal circumstances.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to help. A good way forward is to take an inclusive problem-solving approach. ‘Flip’ your mindset to ask, ‘How can we make Christmas good for everyone, including ourselves?’, rather than just asking, ‘How can we make Christmas good for our loved one?’ The following ideas came out of a support group discussion in December 2020.

                                                                            Ask everyone 'What is the one thing you'd like to do this Christmas?'

                                                                            Everyone suggests the food they want to eat.

                                                                            Discuss / negotiate with your loved one how they are going to manage the meal itself, e.g. having the chair nearest the door so that they can leave if it gets too much without causing a physical disruption.

                                                                            Organise a few non-food activities you can do together as a family - board games, films, charades, Desert Island Discs. Similarly, play some party games not to do with food.

                                                                            Christmas 'disaster bingo' - think about all the things that could go wrong / be said… and then tick them off as the day progresses. (Editor's note: this seemed to be alarmingly popular!)

                                                                            Plan the day carefully, with timings.

                                                                            Prepare grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends/family in advance.

                                                                            Ask siblings what they are worried about/what you can do to help, do not make assumptions; and involve then in the preparations/activities.

                                                                            Have contingency plans(plural).

                                                                            Include a walk as part of the plan.

                                                                            Play some music together!

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            List the pros and cons of each of the ideas, e.g. for 'What is the one thing you'd like to do this Christmas?' Advantage: everyone will feel that they've had a chance to have their say and therefore have a stake in the occasion. Disadvantage: some of the ideas might not be feasible, or might be incompatible, leading to disappointment.

                                                                            Having worked through all of the ideas it will then be possible to give them a score out of ten so that you can rank them and draw up a list of the top three or four things to do.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            With siblings it is important to listen to their concerns / worries and to validate these - it is rotten for them and that is a perfectly normal reaction, they should not feel guilty about it. Unless you know what they are thinking and feeling you are flying blind and they won't feel that their views are being taken into account.

                                                                            If your loved one is in an inpatient unit over Christmas and will therefore not be with you, it is not going to feel the same as usual and this has to be acknowledged. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to look after yourselves, to relax the best you can, and not feel guilty.

                                                                            If it gets too much, have a bit of time out and then come back. To misquote Shakespeare, although I'm sure it's what he intended to say, 'Exit, as would a dolphin', i.e. calmly swim out of view for a few moments!

                                                                            To help friends and family understand eating disorders better, send them a copy of BEAT’s guidance for friends and family.

                                                                            (And remember, ‘All Things Must Pass’. At the end of the day, it’s no longer, or shorter, than any other day.)

                                                                            Our loved one finds it difficult to food shop for themselves/decide what to buy - How can we best help them? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            This is a common question.  Our loved one can be anxious about one or more of a number of things, e.g. calorie content, not wanting to be seen carrying a large grocery shop, not buying the food they would like because they feel they do not deserve it, being overwhelmed by the sheer choice available. 

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Writing a shopping list as part of menu planning - the ideas for meals could come from a range of sources, e.g. online recipes that list ingredients.
                                                                            • Going to smaller shops / supermarkets where the choice is less than at large ones.
                                                                            • Reducing the amount of choice if you are shopping with them, but not taking the final decision, e.g. 'You decide between these two, I am happy with either'.
                                                                            • Shopping at quieter times of the day.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            The ability to food shop independently is very much a part of the recovery process and generally improves alongside other gains in our loved one's health.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            Meal-kit companies, e.g. 'Hello Fresh' and ‘Simply Cook’ offer meal boxes where you choose meals online and the ingredients are delivered to your door, with cooking instructions.  Carers have reported that these have helped their loved ones.  They have to choose the meals and are responsible for their preparation, so they are fully involved, but they do not have the potential stress of shopping for a lot of different ingredients.  They can progress to buying their own ingredients for the recipe cards. 

                                                                            There are foods our loved one really enjoys but they just can't bring themselves to buy and/or eat them - how can I help? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            This is a very common issue.  It is a positive sign that our loved one wants to change their behaviour, but how best to help them?

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • In a low stress moment, discuss the support your loved one would like.  Ask what is helpful and unhelpful to say or do.  Be prepared for the first response to be ‘nothing’.  Let it hang.  Very often they will return to the conversation later.  
                                                                            • If your loved one is making a change, e.g. introducing a food that they would like to eat but find difficult, organise ‘wrap around care’.  This means, ideally, having a calming activity prior to the meal and something they really like doing planned for after the meal.
                                                                            • ‘Nudge’ the conversation in a calm moment, e.g. ‘I’ve noticed that you no longer have pizza but you used to really like that’.  Be prepared to leave the question hanging - do not insist on a response.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            Some carers have reported that ‘food challenge jars’ have been helpful: your loved one writes the foods they would like to eat, one each on a piece of paper, pops them in a jar and pulls out one or two a week to re-introduce into their diet.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            BEAT has suggested ‘Mindful Eating: A guide to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food’ - By Jan Chozen Bays.

                                                                            We are worried that our loved one might be slipping backwards but they do not talk to us about their weight, or monitoring results - what can we do? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Many of us have faced this situation.  In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough blood results for patients monitored by the service are always checked by a medical specialist.  If there is any cause for concern, e.g. an aspect of blood chemistry that is significantly abnormal, the patient will be contacted - this is important reassurance for us as carers. 

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Practice varies around the country, so this is something you should ask your loved one about and encourage them to ask if they do not know. 
                                                                            • Confidentiality means that even if you were to ask for their medical monitoring information it would not be provided and trying to find out behind your loved one’s back would unnecessarily risk your relationship, so this is something to avoid doing. 
                                                                            • It is important not to ignore the issue - this will send the wrong message to your loved one, i.e. ‘They’ve not said anything, so I must be alright’.  Find a calm moment to be brave and gently offer an observation, e.g. ‘You’re probably not going to like me saying this but I’ve noticed that…..  Perhaps there is something I can do to help?’ 

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            Carers have reported some interesting and original ways to work with their loved ones, e.g. entering results on a shared spreadsheet, or a weekly weigh-in on Zoom if they are living away from home.

                                                                            The SUN Network has put together a leaflet about medical monitoring with eating disorders, which you can read and download here.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            It is helpful to understand that recovery is rarely linear and ‘lapses’ are common.  Treat these as part of recovery, this link has some useful information.

                                                                            Our loved one struggles when their routine changes: how can we help? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Carers often talk about their loved ones struggling when their routine changes, e.g. at the weekend, or at the end of term.  It is perhaps not surprising that 'forced' breaks like these are difficult.  Suddenly our loved ones are faced with a period with nothing organised for them and there is a risk they start dwelling on their eating disorder or get anxious because 'they are not doing anything'.  Research has consistently shown that routines help people manage stress and anxiety because they give structure and control.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • As carers we can encourage our loved ones to plan an alternative routine that includes activities they enjoy and will give a sense of achievement, however small.
                                                                            • 'Activity scheduling' can help, e.g. putting together a plan for the day that includes some ‘necessary’ activities, such as the laundry, with ‘pleasurable’ activities, e.g. time to pursue a hobby. 
                                                                            • We can also help our loved ones understand that weekends, for example, are there for a reason - people need recovery time from work.  Getting up late, watching a few movies on the television and catching up with some friends on the phone is normal and necessary.  
                                                                            • Validate: 'I'm not surprised you're exhausted after the week you've had'; 'It was a really good idea to watch the rugby on the television this afternoon, my guess is you feel less tired for that'. 
                                                                            • Also… model good practice!

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            It's really good to have non-eating disorder interests to talk about and engage with and 'downtime' can be a good time for these, e.g. a football match, a museum trip.  These can be planned into days off, giving structure and something else to talk about.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            This website has some interesting and useful ideas about routines and how to establish them, which could be adapted to different circumstances.

                                                                            How do we help our loved ones when they 'want to do more' but can't bring themselves to do it? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            This is a common scenario in the early stages of recovery when our loved one is contemplating change.  This is positive, but for carers it can be very frustrating because what they should be doing seems so obvious and straightforward.  However, it is important not to step in and take over because this is likely to result in resistance.  Our loved ones may well be scared of what they are going to lose, e.g. being protected from their emotions, or being cared for.  It is important to take time to understand our loved one’s anxieties so that we can best support them.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Whenever they want to talk, seize the moment. Be curious, ask open ended questions, ask how you could help and try to find out what they fear… but stay calm and don't be overbearing.
                                                                            • Help them find their motivation. Something worth getting well for' is a powerful spur for recovery. One way to do this is to explore 'pros' and 'cons', e.g. 'On the one hand you want to be a bridesmaid at your sister's wedding and on the other you are worried about the costume fitting and whether you will have enough energy for the big day'. Let it hang, there is no need for an answer or response, it is all about helping them clarify their thoughts.
                                                                            • Make connections between their eating disorder and its consequences on their health, behaviour, and activity. Present these in a factual, not a judgmental, way, e.g. 'If a person hasn't had enough to eat it is difficult for them to concentrate' rather than 'You can't concentrate because you don't eat enough'.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            Discuss possible plans of action, i.e. what they could do. If you're anything like me you'll be desperate for your son or daughter to agree to x, y and z and sign on the dotted line, but it is essential that the decision is theirs, and in their own time.  It really is a moment to stay calm and patient.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            Read about the Change Cycle on BEAT’s website here.

                                                                            Our loved one is having trouble sleeping, is there anything we can do to help? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            This is a common question because an eating disorder (lack of food, too much food) affect sleeping patterns. It can cause our loved one’s great distress and make it more difficult for them to think clearly and to have the energy they need at the right times of the day, e.g. when they have a treatment session.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Carers have reported that their loved ones have found weighted blankets helpful to reduce stress and improve sleep. A google search will show you many possible suppliers, for example calming blankets.  Weighted animals perform a similar function, which you can read more about here.
                                                                            • The NHS has some very useful advice here.
                                                                            • Not napping during the day, a regular bedtime and getting up time and avoiding caffeine after midday were also mentioned as having been helpful.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            There are many apps that offer guided self-help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.  For example, the CALM app was recommended at a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Carers Support Group.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            Read the Sleep Hygiene leaflet produced by the Centre for Clinical Interventions in Australia, which covers 15 tips for better sleep here.

                                                                            How can you help family members (and yourself) to not feel blame or guilt? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            It is very common when people have an eating disorder that parents/carers/family members feel they are to blame for their loved one’s illness, but there is no evidence that this is the case. Eating disorders are a complex mental illness; many factors contribute to eating disorders like genetics, brain structure, cultural elements, reactions to trauma and biology. Parents/carers/family members can also feel guilt for things that they do, e.g. going out for a meal with their partner, not driving another two miles to buy the 'perfect food', going to a concert without their brother or sister. This feeling of guilt can become overwhelming.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            If it is someone you are trying to support:

                                                                            • Validate – Say to the person who is feeling blame or guilt, 'It's absolutely understandable that you feel like that, it's perfectly normal for parents/carers/family members to feel a responsibility for their loved one's health'.
                                                                            • Talk - ask open questions to explore their feelings.
                                                                            • Reflect - say what you think you have heard, to help them make sense of their thoughts, and to check your understanding.
                                                                            • Affirm - praise something that they have said or done that will develop their self-confidence, e.g. being brave, or honest, or open.

                                                                            If it’s you… practice self-compassion:

                                                                            • Take breaks, pause.
                                                                            • Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, don't ignore them.
                                                                            • Find your strategy for creating some 'headspace', e.g. mindful breathing, visualising your ‘safe/favourite’ place.
                                                                            • Look after yourself.

                                                                            Anything else?

                                                                            Remember - it is normal to feel guilt and it is important to allow people to have feelings - success is helping them to express these feelings, not fix them.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            Here are details of two books on self-compassion that have been recommended by a local carers support group. The first book: ‘Self- Compassion' by Kristen Neff (paperback, hardback, Audible, Kindle) is aimed at everyone, the second: 'Fierce Self-Compassion' by Kristen Neff (hardback, Audible, Kindle & paperback from 7 July 2022) at women.

                                                                            People are avoiding us, and my social support network is collapsing - what can I do? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            This is, unfortunately, a common scenario - people, including close friends and family, stop inviting you to social occasions. They start leaving you out because they don't know how to react to you / your loved one, and/or what to say. This makes a difficult situation worse because a social support network is important to anyone’s resilience. Now is the very time when you want as many people on your team as possible, helping as much as they can.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Ideally, you need to sit down with some key friends and family members and explain how you are feeling, what you understand about eating disorders and how they can best help you and your loved one. This is not always possible but there is some very good information that you can give friends and family, e.g. BEAT's ‘Guide for Friends and Family', which you can encourage them to read.
                                                                            • FEAST’s ‘A Guide for Family and Friends’ has a very interesting list of twenty suggestions for how friends and family can help

                                                                            Anything Else?

                                                                            There will always be some people who 'don't get it' and will say the wrong thing, e.g. the aunt or uncle who says, 'Wow, you're looking better, you've put on so much weight'….. This is so predictable that it is something that you should discuss in advance with your loved one, in a calm moment, so that they (and you) can prepare your reaction – it’s part of the process of developing resilience. This will help social occasions go better.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            A close family member is critical of your approach and/or the treatment your loved one is receiving and its causing worry and upset, for you and your loved one – what can you do? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            This scenario has been raised several times at support group meetings. It could be your former partner, your mother, your father-in-law – they are not as involved as you are, but they think you are doing it wrong and that their ideas are better. The trouble is, they really don’t understand what an eating disorder is, or what you are having to do.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • You might not want to, but it is important to validate their concern – it is good that they are taking an interest, it means they are a potential source of support. Experience suggests that they will be more likely to listen to you and you can do this without agreeing with their suggestions.
                                                                            • Avoid ‘but’, use ‘and’. This makes the conversation less confrontational, and it makes you more proactive and less reactive. For example, ‘I really appreciate that you want to help, and it would be great if you would xxxxx’.
                                                                            • It's important to be assertive (rather than passive, or aggressive) - be clear and open about what you think and feel without being blamey or critical of the other person. It may be necessary to put some boundaries in place if they are needed.
                                                                            • If the conflict is unsettling your loved one, give them opportunities to talk about it, and be honest about how you feel.

                                                                            Anything Else?

                                                                            • Don't feel guilty. It's not your fault. You are not responsible for what other people think. If you are being blamed for your loved one’s illness, remember that an eating disorder is a complex mental health illness and there is no evidence that eating disorders are caused by parents and carers. Perhaps the other person does not know or understand this. Carers have reported that something as simple as providing BEAT's Friends and Families booklet has been helpful.
                                                                            • Get support for yourself if you need it. Caring for a loved one with an eating disorder is stressful enough as it is, and there is only so much anyone can cope with by themselves.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            If you google ‘what not to say to someone with an eating disorder’, you will get a lot of results. This site has a useful list, and it also says what you should say and do. It could be an eye-opener for someone who thinks you are doing things wrong.

                                                                            Should people with an eating disorder go on holiday to a destination where there could be some health risks, e.g. from contaminated water or food? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Although a holiday abroad can be very challenging for someone with an eating disorder because it takes them away from their support network and routines, at a point in their recovery it can be very motivating. The question in this FAQ came up in relation to a family holiday that had been planned before their loved one became ill but it could apply to travel to any region where visitors are advised to take extra precautions and/or have specific vaccinations / take medication such as malaria tablets. The concern, of course, is avoiding unnecessary risks, e.g. our loved one getting a stomach bug when they are already underweight.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • What are the medical risks?  It’s important that you and/or your loved one have a discussion with their clinician, or GP.
                                                                            • What does your love one think about it?  If it’s a family holiday, you don't want them to think that they are the reason for you not going, so there needs to be some sensitive discussion.  Their motivation is vital and if there is a medical risk, you can appeal to the higher authority, i.e. 'the doctor said… it's not you or me'.
                                                                            • If it’s a family holiday, what do you and the rest of the family think?  If you are going to be too worried to enjoy it you are almost certainly setting things up for failure, but this is something that you would have to explain to your loved one.
                                                                            • Ask yourself 'What is the worst thing that could happen?'  You may well feel that you/they could plan to deal with this.
                                                                            • Reduce risk by drinking bottled water, maintaining good hand hygiene, being careful about where you eat, avoiding food that you are not sure of, avoiding meat, take medication for upset stomachs.

                                                                            Anything Else?

                                                                            • Could you/they go somewhere else equally exciting but less 'risky'?  And whatever you/they decide, be honest with the travel insurance company, unless you can meet the financial risk of medical bills yourself; specialist insurance is available.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            There is an interesting account, related to this question, on the BEAT website https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/your-stories/travelling-overseas-eating-disorder/ .

                                                                            The community team are recommending our loved one is admitted to an inpatient unit: should we be worried about this? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Most people with an eating disorder are treated as outpatients. The decision to offer inpatient treatment is based on a range of indicators that mean our loved one’s health cannot be managed safely in the community.  These include physical factors, e.g. rate of weight of loss, abnormal blood results, blood pressure, core temperature and strength tests, as well as psychological factors, i.e. our loved one’s state of mind.  You shouldn’t be worried about inpatient treatment, although your concern about your loved one’s health is understandable.  As carers we should be reassured that our loved one is getting appropriate, specialist care.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Inpatient treatment has advantages and disadvantages for our loved one, e.g. it is more intensive, but it is more disruptive of normal life.  You could offer to help with some of the practicalities, e.g. pet care, keeping an eye on the flat.
                                                                            • As carers we should take the opportunity of a reduced caring responsibility to recharge our batteries: this is important.
                                                                            • Being worried about our loved one’s return home is quite understandable.  However, this will be a managed (usually staged) process.  We are never left on our own without a number to ring.  There is always a discharge plan, and this will involve us as carers unless there are exceptional circumstances.
                                                                            • Inpatient admission can have practical implications for us as carers, e.g. time out of work / additional expenses in order to attend meetings / visit.  The inpatient unit can arrange a formal Carers Assessment for you that may be able to provide support, including financial help and respite care.

                                                                            Anything Else?

                                                                            • Inpatient treatment is not a quick fix.  It is part of a process of recovery that can take a long time.  It’s important that we manage our expectations.
                                                                            • Some patients are unable to maintain their health on discharge and require a second admission.  This is a very worrying time for carers.  It is important to remember that most people do recover, recovery can take a long time and it is a roller coaster with ups and downs.  Therefore, it is important that we look after ourselves.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            The inpatient unit that will be treating your loved one will have information for carers, and service users, so do ask for this if it hasn’t already been provided.  This link contains some useful information, as does the rest of the site, which was advised by some respected names in eating disorders provision in this country https://healthtalk.org/eating-disorders/staying-in-hospital.

                                                                            I worry about my loved one's health, but I don't know what to say because I've said it all before: what can I do? +

                                                                            Scenario

                                                                            Recovery from an eating disorder can be a long, slow process.  Especially in the early days of the illness, when the ‘eating disorder voice’ is at its strongest, progress can be very slow.  Understandably, this is an intensely worrying time for carers, and it can feel as if our support and advice is falling on deaf ears.  This can lead to frustration, which can boil over into anger and upset.  However, there are things we as carers can do, although it will be necessary to think about the eating disorder a little differently.

                                                                            What can we do to help?

                                                                            • Don't feel compelled to say something.  Success is helping our loved ones to express their feelings; it's not fixing their problems.  They may not want us to say anything – be there, be present – that in itself is really hard work.
                                                                            • Ask rather than say, e.g. 'There is no need to answer straight away, have a think, and let me know what I could do to help’.
                                                                            • Validate their concerns and affirm any positive actions they are taking, however small, e.g. 'I'm not surprised you're finding meals difficult now that you’re home, it's different to being in hospital, and I am really impressed with your determination'.
                                                                            • Try to talk about something not to do with the eating disorder.

                                                                            Anything Else?

                                                                            If this is the scenario you are facing it is highly likely that your loved one is in either the ‘pre-contemplation’, or the ‘contemplation’ stages of the Change Cycle.  Some things we can do as carers in addition to the ideas already mentioned include:

                                                                            • Providing factual, non-judgemental, feedback about their health, e.g. ‘I can see that you’ve lost weight’, rather than ‘I’m really disappointed that you’ve lost weight again, it’s because you’ve not been sticking to your meal plan’.
                                                                            • Discuss the pros and cons of change, e.g. ‘On the one hand you want to join your friends on holiday and on the other hand you’re too tired because your body is lacking the energy it needs’. There is no need to follow up this statement, leave your loved one to work out their own conclusion.
                                                                            • If they do show a desire to start changing their behaviour, discuss possible action plans, but don’t jump ahead and begin detailed planning, i.e. ‘what could you do?’ rather than ‘what will you do?’
                                                                            • And don’t forget to look after yourself – exhausting yourself will mean that you are less able to help when your loved one is ready for change.

                                                                            More Ideas?

                                                                            Have a look at the FAQ on this website ‘Our loved one is stuck - how can we help motivate them to make the next step in their recovery?  It has some ideas that might be relevant to this scenario.  It also mentions these two resources about the Change Cycle:

                                                                            • Motivational interviewing, see pages 94-99 of Skills-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder by Janet Treasure, Grainne Smith and Anna Crane. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-82663-2. 2nd edition.
                                                                            • Eating Disorders: Stages of Change Video

                                                                            Other helpful links to further information +

                                                                            Two people sitting on a bench chatting - carers

                                                                            Services information

                                                                            Peds logoPEDS - Personalised Eating Disorder Service is a charity based in Peterborough, who offer support to people experiencing eating challenges. 

                                                                            CPFT logoCambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust for Carers (NHS)This is the local branch of the NHS for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who offer support for carers. Some of the services CPFT provide for carers are if your loved one is currently accessing support and others are if your loved one has been referred into services.

                                                                            CPFT's Keeping Safe Programme - The Keeping Safe programme is the first step in treatment. It has been developed to provide information to help you begin to make sense of your difficulties and to encourage you to take steps to minimise any potentially harmful effects caused by your eating disorder whilst you are waiting for treatment. This programme also has a workbook for family and friends of those struggling with an eating disorder.

                                                                            CPSL Mind logoCPSL Mind - Cambridgeshire Peterborough and South Lincs Mind are a local charity that is part of Mind’s national charity. They deliver various services to support individual’s mental wellbeing. Relate Cambridge logoRelate - Deliver counselling for people living in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough.  

                                                                            CGL logoCGL Cambridgeshire (Change Grow Live Cambridgeshire) - are the main provider for substance addiction support in Cambridgeshire 

                                                                            Aspire Peterborough - is part of Change Grow Live (CGL) who provides substance addiction support in Peterborough. 

                                                                            NHS 111 option 2First Response Service Mental health crisis support NHS 111 option 2, 24-hour support service for people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Upon calling you speak to trained mental health staff. 

                                                                            Rethink logoRethink Carers Support - Advice and support for those caring for someone with a mental health illness and those experiencing a mental health illness. You can view the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Rethinks here. You can view their carers information hub here.  

                                                                            CPFT logoCPFT 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 1Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4.

                                                                            Carers Direct Helpline - If you are a carer, the helpline advisers can give you information to help make decisions about your personal support needs and the needs of the person you're looking after. This information includes assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets, time off and maintaining, leaving or going back to work or education. The Carers Direct helpline doesn't however; provide personal financial, medical or legal advice and doesn't provide casework, advocacy, representation or counselling.

                                                                            Carers trust logoCarers 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.Making space logoMaking 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.Pinpoint logoPinPoint - 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

                                                                             

                                                                            Mental health matters logoMental Health Matters - A national charity delivering mental health and social care services. 

                                                                            Student minds logoStudent Minds The UK’s student mental health charity.

                                                                            The mix logoThe Mix - The UK’s leading support service for young people.

                                                                            Nightline logoNightline - a listening, emotional support, information and supplies service, run by students for students. 

                                                                            Resources

                                                                            Eating Disorder Booklets Illustration

                                                                            Leaflets

                                                                                Books Illustration

                                                                                Books

                                                                                The below books/authors were recommended by those with lived experience of eating disorders:

                                                                                • Hope Virgo
                                                                                • Emma scrivener 
                                                                                • Jenny Langley
                                                                                • Tina McGuff
                                                                                • The Invisible Man - A Self-help Guide for Men With Eating Disorders, Compulsive Exercise and Bigorexia
                                                                                • Samuel Pollen - author of The Year I Didn’t Eat
                                                                                • Christopher Eccleston - I Love the Bones of You
                                                                                • Rhik Samadder - I Never Said I Loved You 
                                                                                • Andrew Walen - Man Up to Eating Disorders 
                                                                                • MaleVoiced - this website is specifically for male ED suffers and has some brilliant resources including this great list of books 
                                                                                • Beat have suggested books
                                                                                • Mindful Eating: A guide to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food - By Jan Chozen Bays
                                                                                • Life without ED by Jenni Schaefer
                                                                                • 8 keys to recovery by Geneen Roth
                                                                                • The Inside Scoop on eating disorder recovery: Advice from two therapists who have been there by Colleen Reichmann and Jennifer Rollin
                                                                                • Goodbye ED, Hello Me: Recover from your eating disorder and fall in love with life by Jenni Schaefer
                                                                                • Body Image Workbook
                                                                                • The secret language of eating disorders, Peggy Claude-Pierre
                                                                                • The War of art - Steven Pressfield
                                                                                • Sick enough: A guide to the medical complications of eating disorders by Jennifer L Gaudiani
                                                                                • Thinsanity by Glen Mackintosh 

                                                                                Websites illustration

                                                                                Websites

                                                                                Videos illustration

                                                                                Videos

                                                                                Podcast illustration

                                                                                Podcasts

                                                                                Eating Disorders Group Image with a speech bubble saying \'And don\'t forget to look after yourself\'.

                                                                                Stories from those with lived experience of eating disorders

                                                                                Here are a series of videos from those with lived experiences of eating disorders, talking about how they reached out for support, what helped them, and why recovery is worth it.

                                                                                Beth's Story +

                                                                                Kim's Story +

                                                                                Naomi and Sarah's Stories +

                                                                                Jill's Story +

                                                                                Adam's Story +

                                                                                Charlotte's Story +

                                                                                Eating Disorder Information Leaflets

                                                                                Leaflet: Warm words and support for those with eating challenges - written by individuals with lived experience and The SUN Network.

                                                                                Leaflet: Warm words and support for those with eating challenges - written by individuals with lived experience and The SUN Network.

                                                                                Available in:


                                                                                Leaflet: Are you caring for a loved one with an eating disorder? - written by individuals with lived experience and The SUN Network.

                                                                                Leaflet: Are you caring for a loved one with an eating disorder? - written by individuals with lived experience and The SUN Network.

                                                                                Available in:


                                                                                Leaflet: Personalised Eating Disorder Support (PEDS)

                                                                                Peds logo

                                                                                Available in:

                                                                                Self-Help

                                                                                Self-Help

                                                                                Looking After Your Wellbeing +

                                                                                There are lots of things you can do to help yourself stay well and have good wellbeing: including eating well, spending time with others, getting a good night's sleep and taking some regular exercise. Many of the things that are good for our physical health are also good for keeping our minds well too.

                                                                                Some people find the '5 Ways to Wellbeing' a useful way of thinking about how you can look after your wellbeing:

                                                                                1. Connect with the people around you and make time for family or friends.                  

                                                                                2. Be active - Go for a run, play football, cycle to college or sign up for a dance class...whatever it is, make sure it is something you enjoy. 

                                                                                3. Take notice – Pay attention to your senses – what can you see, feel, taste, smell and hear?

                                                                                4. Keep learning – Try something new, be it a new recipe or taking up an evening class.

                                                                                5. Give - Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile :) Volunteer your time. It can be incredibly rewarding.

                                                                                Making a few small changes to your lifestyle could make a big difference, these websites might be able to help:

                                                                                better health logo Better Health NHS - Whether it’s getting more active, quitting smoking or reducing how much alcohol you drink this website can help!  


                                                                                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.


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

                                                                                Quick Meditations +

                                                                                Here are some quick meditations you can listen to to help with anxiety, stress and panic attacks.
                                                                                Male voice: Female voice:

                                                                                Mental Health and Wellbeing Apps +

                                                                                Technology is becoming more and more prominent in everyday life, and it can be a great resource when we need a little bit of support. So here we've made a list of some great apps for your wellbeing and mental health:

                                                                                Headspace logo Headspace. (Anxiety, Meditation, Sleep, Focus, Mindfulness) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Dare: Anxiety and Panic Attack Relief. (Anxiety, Panic Attacks) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Calm | Investment | Insight Partners Calm. (Meditation, Sleep, Stress, Mindfulness, Focus, Relationships) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Reasons2. (Community, Wellbeing) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image  Catch It. (Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Wellbeing, Confusion) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image  Calm Harm. (Self-Harm) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image Stay Alive. (Suicide Prevention) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                SAM Self-Help For Anxiety Management. (Anxiety) Google play badge



                                                                                icon  Fear Tools - Anxiety Kit. (Anxiety) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image  Couch to 5K. (Healthy Lifestyle, Wellbeing) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                better health logo Smart Recipes. (Healthy Lifestyle, Wellbeing) Google play badge



                                                                                Icon image Recovery Record. (Eating Disorder) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image MindShift. (Anxiety, Fear) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image  Hub of Hope. (Mental Health Directory) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image My House Of Memories. (Dementia & Memory based) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



                                                                                Icon image MeetUp. (Social) App Store badgeGoogle play badge



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

                                                                                Books and Online Support +

                                                                                Books:

                                                                                Reading Well

                                                                                Books on Prescription

                                                                                Reading Well Books on Prescription helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries.

                                                                                Mood Boosting Books

                                                                                Reading Well Mood-boosting Books is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are all recommended by readers and reading groups.



                                                                                shelf help logo Shelf-Help is a global book club and community dedicated to self-help and self-development, the Shelf Help mission is to connect as many people as possible with books, ideas and experts that will inspire them to look at themselves in a different, more positive way. And then to connect these people with each other, through online and offline meetups and author events.


                                                                                 

                                                                                Online:

                                                                                NHS inform | NHS 24

                                                                                NHS inform is a website that enables you to download CBT based self help booklets. A free online CBT interactive programme for anxiety and depression.



                                                                                Branding – People's History of the NHS You can view and download self-help leaflets by the NHS for a range of mental health challenges 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.


                                                                                Living Life to the Full Living Life To The Full is a free online interactive programme for anxiety and depression.


                                                                                This Way Up | One Mind PsyberGuide MoodGym is a CBT based resource for anxiety and depression tailored for 16-25 year olds.


                                                                                If you need to isolate, here is a list of resources to prevent boredom/ existential angst:

                                                                                The Silver Line. Helpline for older people. The Silver Line is a telephone befriending service for the elderly.


                                                                                Living Life to the Full LLTTF is an online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) site.


                                                                                Young Minds - Local Offer Young Minds is a children and adolescent mental health support resource


                                                                                Headspace logo Headspace is for meditation/ relaxation and sleep resources


                                                                                MIND logo MIND has wellbeing advice


                                                                                Cruse Bereavement Support Cruse has bereavement counselling


                                                                                Samaritans - Local Offer Samaritans hear to listen 


                                                                                CPFT logo CPFT have lots of self-help videos available on their YouTube.


                                                                                Coursera Vector Logo | Free Download - (.SVG + .PNG) format -  SeekVectorLogo.Com Course RA is an online resource for skills building


                                                                                Youtube Logo Vector Art, Icons, and Graphics for Free Download Youtube has complete online free music concerts


                                                                                StageIt | Live Performances | A front row seat to a backstage experience.™ Stage It has online theatre productions


                                                                                Drama Online Logo Drama Online Library has online plays and theatrical performances


                                                                                Duolingo logo and symbol, meaning, history, PNG Duolingo is a free website for learning languages which can be very useful if you're looking to learn a new language.  Also comes in a phone app which is very good


                                                                                logo Wikisource Free old novels and short story collections can be found on Project Gutenberg and Wikisource:
                                                                                https://www.gutenberg.org/
                                                                                https://wikisource.org/wiki/Main_Page


                                                                                Our Brands: Travel + Leisure Group — Travel + Leisure Co. Virtual museum tours


                                                                                Get Self-HelpProvides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy self-help and resources.


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

                                                                                Crisis

                                                                                Who Can Help

                                                                                You, or someone you know, might be in crisis if:

                                                                                • You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option.
                                                                                • Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
                                                                                • You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.

                                                                                Who can help in a mental health crisis +

                                                                                Call 111 and select the mental health option when prompted for Mental Health service for the First Response Service -

                                                                                A 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The phone will be answered by a trained mental health professional who will be able to listen to your concerns and help you get the support you need.  They can offer advice over the phone, put you in contact with the crisis services or even refer you to a Sanctuary - safe places run by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL Mind). 

                                                                                The Peterborough and Cambridge Sanctuaries offer short-term practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am, seven days a week. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary.

                                                                                Who can call?

                                                                                If you aren't able to make the call yourself then anyone can call on your behalf, for example a friend, carer, loved one or even your GP. The service is available to anyone, of any age, currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in a mental health crisis.

                                                                                For more information click here. 

                                                                                There are lots of people who can help if you're suffering with a Mental Health Challenge! 

                                                                                There are several local services here to help - you can find them on the What Services Can Support Me Page!

                                                                                There is also a wide range of national services available to you - find these on our National Services Page!

                                                                                You can check out loads of local services available in Cambridgeshire in the Lifecraft Mental Health Handbook. The Handbook is a directory of local and national mental health services, and is regularly updated. It also includes some useful services that are not specific to mental health. There are also chapters that explain relevant law and theory, plus information about statutory mental health services and professionals. You can download a free pdf version of it here!

                                                                                Self help books are also out there for you if you would prefer to go down the self help road. There is the option of getting books on prescription -Reading Well Books on Prescription helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries. You can also try mood boosting books - Reading Well Mood-boosting Books is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are all recommended by readers and reading groups.

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

                                                                                Information About Suicide +

                                                                                Not everyone who thinks about suicide will tell someone and there are some people who give no indication at all of their intention. However, there are warning signs that we can all look out for. These include if a person is:

                                                                                • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
                                                                                • Actively looking for ways to kill themselves.
                                                                                • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
                                                                                • Talking about being a burden to others.
                                                                                • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
                                                                                • Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs.
                                                                                • Suddenly very much ‘recovered’ after a period of depression.
                                                                                • Visiting or calling people unexpectedly to say goodbye either directly or indirectly.
                                                                                • Making arrangements; setting their affairs in order.
                                                                                • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

                                                                                The STOP Suicide website has lots of information on what to do if you are worried about someone or you need help yourself.

                                                                                You can also visit the Zero Suicide Alliance website and complete a 20 minute suicide prevention course which can give you some extremely helpful information on how you can talk to someone who may be feeling suicidal along with some helpful resources.

                                                                                There is also lots of support for people who are struggling with bereavement through suicide. Below are lots of services, helplines, groups and books that offer lots of help and advice:

                                                                                Helplines +

                                                                                • CPFT1st Response Service - Call 111 and select mental health - Supports people experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental health care, advice, support and treatment. (24-hour access, 7 days a week, 365 days a year)

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

                                                                                • Samaritans - 116 123 (freephone) - Offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. (10:30am - 10:00pm)

                                                                                • Winston’s Wish - 08088 020 021 (freephone) - For children. Giving hope to grieving children. With the right support at the right time, a child can face the future with confidence and hope. (Mon – Fri 9am -5pm, except bank holidays)

                                                                                • Childline - 0800 1111 (freephone) - For children and young people in the UK. You can talk to us about anything. No problem is too big or too small.  However you choose to contact us, you're in control. It’s confidential and you don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to. The number won't show up on your phone bill. (24 hours a day, everyday)

                                                                                • Papyrus HOPE Line UK - 0800 068 41 41 (freephone) - For children, teenagers and young people up to 35. National Confidential Helpline.  If you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. (Mon-Fri 10am - 10pm, Weekends: 2pm - 10pm, Bank Holidays: 2pm - 5pm)

                                                                                • CALM - Nationwide 0800 58 58 58, London 0808 802 5858 (freephone) - For men. The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. (5pm – Midnight, 365 Days per year)

                                                                                • Support Line - 01708 765200 - For everyone. Provides emotional support and details of support groups, helplines, agencies and counsellors throughout the UK.

                                                                                • Cruse National Helpline - 0808 808 1677​ (freephone) - Staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement.  To help you talk things through, or signpost you to your local Cruse service and other sources of information. (Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays) Tues, Wed &Thursday 9.30am – 8pm)

                                                                                • Maytree - 020 7263 7070 - A sanctuary, supporting people in suicidal crisis in a non-medical setting. Free 4-night/5-day stay, and the opportunity to be befriended and heard in complete confidence, without judgement and with compassion. (24 hours a day, 365 days a year.)

                                                                                Local Groups +

                                                                                • Lifecraft - Suicide Bereavement Support Service. Contact point for family and friends for support and information on bereavement by suicide. Email: sbs@lifecraft.org.uk or Call 01223 756 958

                                                                                • Mind Cambridgeshire & Peterborough - A range of services to support those recovering from mental health challenges. Email: enquiries@cpslmind.org.uk, Cambridge: 01223 311 320, Peterborough: 01733 362 990, St Neots: 01480 470 480

                                                                                • Cruse - Bereavement care with a helpline to talk to someone about bereavement. Email: cambridge@cruse.org.uk, 9.30am - 1.30pm Monday to Friday, call: 01223 633 536
                                                                                • NHS Cambridge & Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) - Suicide bereavement support group. Warm welcome assured, contact Jane Pope (07973 883 511) or Mary Hanna (07887 655 713). Email: chaplaincyteam@cpft.hns.uk6pm – 7.30 Monday monthly in Peterborough, call: 01733 776 080

                                                                                • Compassionate Friends - Support group for parents bereaved through suicide. Email Rosemary Wilson at: p.wilson34@ntlworld.com, 7.30pm – 9.30pm Cambridge 1st Tues of each month

                                                                                Websites +

                                                                                • Hub of Hope - A place to go to for those who are struggling, to locate the nearest service available to you, as well as national organisations. A web based app makes it as easy as possible for people to find help and support around them.  Simply enter the post code and search.
                                                                                • Support After Suicide - For everyone. We are a network of organisations who support people who are affected by suicide.

                                                                                • If U Care Share - IUCSF offers the opportunity to speak to other people who have life experience around suicide. We offer 1 to 1 practical and emotional support. We are also available to offer practical advice on the procedures that take place when there is a death by suicide. Helpline: 0191 387 5661

                                                                                • Bereavement UK - We aim to provide you with bereavement support and information when you need it the site is available at your fingertips.

                                                                                • Students Against Depression - Students Against Depression provides you with the resources you need to find a way forward from stress, low mood, depression or suicidal thinking.

                                                                                • The Way Foundation - For men and women aged 50 or under when their partner died. It’s a peer-to-peer support group run by a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age themselves.

                                                                                • NHS Choices - For everyone.  It may be difficult at this time, but it's important to know you're not beyond help and you're not alone.  Many people who've had suicidal thoughts have found with support and treatment they have been able to allow the negative feelings to pass.

                                                                                • CHUMS - CHUMS Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Service for Children and Young People provides therapeutic support in a variety of ways.

                                                                                • Alliance of Hope - For Suicide Loss Survivors provides healing support for people coping with the shock, excruciating grief and complex emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one to suicide.

                                                                                • Keep Your Head - Keep Your Head brings together reliable information on mental health and wellbeing for children, young people and adults across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

                                                                                Books and Literature +

                                                                                • Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort by Adele Ryan McDowell, Whiteflower Press
                                                                                • Healing After the Suicide of a Love One by Ann Smolin, Simon & Schuster
                                                                                • Healing After the Suicide of a Relative by Ann Smolin, Simon & Schuster
                                                                                • A Special Scar: The Experiences Of People Bereaved By Suicide by Alison Wertheimer, Taylor & Francis Ltd
                                                                                • No Time to Say Goodbye by Carla Fine, Bantam Doubleday Dell 
                                                                                • Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide by Cobain & Larch, Simon & Schuster
                                                                                • Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort by Edwin S Shneidman, Oxford University Press
                                                                                • Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide by Lukas & Seidon, Jessica Kingsley
                                                                                • Touched by Suicide: Hope and Healing After Loss by Myers & Fine, Jessica Kingsley

                                                                                General Grief Books and Literature

                                                                                • Death and how to survive it. A practical and uplifting guide to coming to terms with the loss of your partner. by Boydell,K (2005), London Vermilion
                                                                                • Widow to Widow. Thoughtful, Practical ideas for Rebuilding Your life by Ginsburg, GD (1997), Tuscon AZ: Fisher Books
                                                                                • Overcoming Grief: Joining and Participating in a Bereavement Support Group by Munday J S (2005), Skokie IL : ACTA Publications
                                                                                • I  Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye by Noel & Blair PA (2008), Naperville IL Sourcebooks
                                                                                • My True Son An anthology by Hartley Jill (2008), Morleys Print and Publishing
                                                                                • Aspects of Loss. A companion for Bereaved Parents and their families by Hartley Gill. ( 2011), Morleys Print and Publishing

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

                                                                                What Services Can Support Me?

                                                                                Support Services

                                                                                .

                                                                                Local Support +

                                                                                National Support +

                                                                                Carer Support +

                                                                                Services you can get in contact with for support +