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Mental health matters

Mental health support directory

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTUpdated regularly, our directory is made up of the following hide and reveal sections:

  • Helpline Support
  • London LGBT+ Mental Health Support
  • London Mainstream Mental Health Support
  • National Mental Health Support
  • Anxiety, OCD, Eating Disorders, and Self Harm Support
  • Younger Person Support
  • LGBT+ Podcasts
  • More Helplines and Support (National)
  • Networks (National)
  • Selection of Facebook and MeetUp Groups
  • More

Some of us prefer LGBT+ services which, as a rule, are much better at understanding the issues and the context affecting our lives. Others are happy to access mainstream services. This is why we have indicated LGBT+ helplines and services where we can. All health services aim to be welcoming, respectful, knowledgeable, and understanding. The thing is to find a service that’s right for you.

Please let us know if there's a service we've missed or if we've got something wrong. Feel free to email us if you can't find what you are looking for and we will do our best to signpost you to the right support.

Helpline Support

Summary: LGBT+ Switchboard Helpline, Samaritans, LGBT Switchboard (Northern Ireland), LGBT Helpline (Scotland), LGBT Foundation, Albert Kennedy Trust | LGBT+, MindOut Instant Messaging Service (LGBT+ Chat), Mindline Trans Helpline, Mermaids UK, Shout, Childline, Hopeline UK, ReThink Mental Illness, The Calm Zone Helpline, Silver Line Helpline

Calling a helpline for the first time

If it's the first time you have called a helpline, it's perfectly normal to feel nervous. Helplines are there for YOU. They are not there to judge, and you can start and end the call when you want. Making a call is the first step forward. Helplines are there to listen, and you can get support without travelling or having an appointment. You don’t have to give your name, and most helplines are free or cost a local call. People call for different reasons:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or confused
  • Feeling isolated or lonely
  • Feeling unsafe (thoughts of suicide or self-harm)
  • Relationship, boyfriend, friendship or family problems
  • Health or mental problems or concerns
  • Signposting to services
  • Experiencing violence or abuse but if you are in immediate danger call 999
  • Bullying (which doesn't just happen at school)

Switchboard  LGBT+
"Welcome to Switchboard, a place for calm words when you need them most. We’re here to help you with whatever you want to talk about. We understand how anxious you might feel before you pick up the phone."
0300 330 0630
Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline

LGBT Switchboard (Northern Ireland)
Offers a listening ear service to any and all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Northern Ireland who would like to talk to someone, seek information or find out more about groups and events in the LGBT community.
0808 800 0390
Cara Friend

LGBT Helpline (Scotland)
We provide information and emotional support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, friends and supporters across Scotland.
0300 123 2523
LGBT Health Scotland

LGBT Foundation | LGBT+
We all need information and support from a friend in the know and LGBT Foundation's Helpline Service provides thousands of hours of advice and support to thousands of people every year.
0300 330 0630
 LGBT Foundation
5 Richmond Street, Manchester M1 3HF

Albert Kennedy Trust | LGBT+
Supports up to the age of 25, who are (or think you might be) lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex, homeless, sofa-surfing or living in crisis and/ or living in a violent, hostile or abusive home.
020 7831 6562 | 020 7405 6929
Albert Kennedy Trust
London: 020 7831 6562 | 020 7405 6929 | Email
Manchester:  0161 228 3308 | Email
Newcastle: 0191 281 0099 | Email

MindOut Instant Messaging Service | LGBT+
Mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay men, bisexual, trans, and queer people. Its online support service is an instant message service that is confidential, non-judgemental and anonymous. We are open every day including weekends and evenings. The service is run by trained online support workers and mental health advocates who are ready to provide emotional support, information or signpost you in the right direction. You can chat to us about whatever is on your mind, and we will always try and help in whatever way we can.
Instant Messaging Service (Chat) | MindOut (Brighton)
The chat service is national while its other services are for people living in the Brighton area.
MindOut, Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG | 01273 234839

Mindline Trans Helpline | LGBT+
Mindline Trans+ provides a safe place to talk about your feelings confidentially. Doesn't record calls or ask for any personal details. Listeners will try and understand the multitude of feelings and concerns that may be going on for you. Volunteers are trained in telephone counselling skills and have lived experience of being trans or non-binary. Occasionally calls may be taken by trans allies.
0330 330 5468
Mindline Trans

Mermaids UK | LGBT+
Supports children and young people up to 19 years old suffering from gender identity issues, their families and supporting professionals. Support includes a helpline, email service, direct support, online forums for parents and teens, plus local and national meetings.
0808 801 0400
Mermaids UK

Samaritans
You can talk to them any time you like, in your own way, and off the record, about whatever is getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. Every six seconds, somebody contacts them. They are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year around the clock. They keep everything confidential and they are not a religious organisation.
116 123
 Samaritans | Samaritans
Local Drop-In Branches | Samaritans

Childline
Private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything - no problem is too big or too small. Call them free, have a 1-2-1 chat online or send an email. Go to their website for more.
0800 1111 | 24/ 7
 ChildLine

Hopeline UK
For children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. For anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.
0800 068 4141
Text 7860039967
Hopeline UK | Papyrus

ReThink Mental Illness
Provides expert, accredited advice and information to everyone affected by mental health problems. When mental illness first hits you or your family, it can be hard to know who or what to trust. Gives people clear, relevant information on everything from treatment and care to benefits and employment rights.
0300 5000 927
Rethink Mental Illness

Shout
Shout is a 24/7 UK crisis text service available for times when people feel they need immediate support. By texting ‘SHOUT’ to ‘85258’ a Texter will be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV) who will chat to them using trained techniques via text. The service is designed to help individuals to think more clearly and to take their next steps to feeling better.
Text SHOUT’ to 85258
Shout

The Calm Zone Helpline
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. And 75% of all UK suicides are male.
Nationwide Helpline: 0800 58 58 58
London Helpline: 0808 802 58 58
Chat
The Calm Zone Helpline

The Silver Line Helpline
Operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.
The Silver Line Helpline | 0800 470 8090
The Silver Line Helpline 

Click for details

 

London LGBT+ Mental Health Support

Summary: London Friend | LGBT+, The Metro Centre | LGBT+, Spectra | LGBT+, East London Out Project (ELOP) | LGBT+, Outcome | LGBT+, Pink Therapy | LGBT+, The Albany Trust | LGBT+, Gay Men's Therapy | Gay men, Impulse Group | Gay men

London Friend | LGBT+
Counselling service provides one-to-one counselling sessions to LGBT+ people and for those who may be questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. Counsellors who volunteer their time for London Friend all identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.
London Friend
020 7833 1674
86 Caledonian Road, Islington, London N1 9DN | Map 

The Metro Centre | LGBT+
Counselling service offers both short-term and long-term counselling, giving you an opportunity to explore, discover and clarify ways of living more resourcefully and with greater satisfaction. Aware that everyone's circumstances are different even when you are working, so anything that you can reasonably afford is most welcome. Please do not have any concerns over this as it can be discussed with the counsellor and a mutually acceptable agreement will be reached.
Mental Health and Crisis Support Drop-In
020 8305 5000
141 Greenwich High Road, London, Greenwich, London SE10 8JA | Map

Spectra | LGBT+
Offer services to support the sexual health and wellbeing of marginalised communities, including men who have sex with men (MSM) trans and non-binary people, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
0800 587 8302 / 020 3322 6920
Spectra
St Charles Centre For Health and Wellbeing, Exmoor Street, London W10 6DZ | Map

East London Out Project (ELOP) | LGBT+
Holistic lesbian and gay centre that offers a range of social, emotional and support services to LGBT communities, and our core services include counselling and young people’s services. Also offers individual, couples and youth counselling.
ELOP
020 8509 3898
56-60 Grove Road, Walthamstow, London E17 9BN | Map

Outcome | LGBT+
Outcome @ MIND aims to provide a sanctuary for LGBT people, somewhere safe where they can be themselves, socialise free from discrimination, receive therapies to improve their mental health, learn new skills and acquire knowledge to improve their quality of life. Offers therapies such as psychotherapy, counselling, one-to-one and group art therapy, alternative therapies and a wide range of activities.
Outcome @ MIND
020 7272 5038
35 Ashley Road, Islington, London N19 3AG | Map

Pink Therapy | LGBT+
Aims to promote high-quality therapy and training services for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and others who identify as being gender or sexual diversities. There is a whole spectrum of different gender and sexual expressions and we welcome those who are engaged in consensual, albeit transgressive sexualities who are seeking a place to understand and be understood."
Pink Therapy
020 7836 6647
BCM 5159, London WC1N 3XX | Map

The Albany Trust | LGBT+
The charity offers a range of therapy and counselling including a low-cost clinic for people who are unemployed or on low income; longer-term one-to-one/individual psychodynamic counselling; a couples counselling clinic focusing on conflicts around sex, gender and sexuality; and LGBT+ counselling: one-to-one; for couples; in groups. Also offers a limited number of sessions to the LGBT+ British Sign Language community.
The Albany Trust
020 8767 1827
239A Balham High Road, Tooting Bec, London SW17 7BE | Map 

Gay Men's Therapy | Gay men
Specialist psychotherapy and counselling service for gay men and men attracted to men. Group of therapists with extensive experience of working with gay men and we’ve come together to provide a safe environment, with the right kind of understanding, to allow you to explore your life and your relationships.
Gay Men’s Therapy
07564 512052
16 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0AF | Map

Impulse Group | Gay men
Founded in 2009, Impulse Group is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to building a stronger and healthier community for gay men. Hosting over 400 events annually in 25 cities across the globe, Impulse seeks to create a brave space to engage, support and connect our community.
Impulse Group

More
Side by side | Mind
Get Out and Active A-Z Listings | MEN R US]

Click for details

 

London Mainstream Mental Health Support

Summary: Thrive LDN, Good Thinking

Thrive LDN
London wide movement to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all Londoners. It is supported by the Mayor of London and led by the London Health Board partners.
Tools and resources to help your mental health and wellbeing | Thrive LDN
Coronavirus updates and guidance | Thrive LDN

Good Thinking
Designed for anyone living or working in London to improve mental health and wellbeing with over 120 online resources are signposted to through its website, including wellbeing information sources; guides to improving mental health; courses on and offline; mobile apps and other therapy approaches.
Good Thinking | NHS, London’s borough councils and Public Health England
Coronavirus and mental health

Click for details

 

National Mental Health Support

Summary:  LGBT Foundation | LGBT+, MIND, Mental Health Foundation, Rethink, NHS, SANE, NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT), Support Line, Blurt, Vent, Free Psychotherapy Network, Black, African, and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN), Every Mind Matters, Sex Addicts Anonymous in the UK (SAA)

LGBT Foundation | LGBT+
Supports the needs of the diverse range of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans. Nationally recognised charity firmly rooted in our local communities of Greater Manchester and provide a wide range of evidence-based and cost-effective services.
LGBT Foundation
Why LGBT people are disproportionately impacted by COVID | LGBT Foundation | April 2020

MIND
National charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. It campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
LGBTIQ+ mental health | MIND
Coronavirus and your wellbeing | MIND

Mental Health Foundation
Work includes a wide range of mental health publications, community and peer programmes, research; public engagement; and advocacy. Takes a public mental health approach to prevention, finding solutions for individuals, those at risk and for society to improve everyone’s mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Foundation | Mental Health Foundation
Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak | Mental Health Foundation

Rethink
Delivers a better life for people severely affected by mental illness by meeting their mental health needs and but also helping them to improve their physical health, take control of their lives and establish a sense of belonging to their community. Vision for equality, rights, the fair treatment and maximum quality of life for all those affected by mental illness, their carers, family and friends.
Rethink | Rethink
LGBT+mental health | Rethink Mental Illness

NHS
National Health Service (NHS) information and resources.
Mental health and wellbeing | NHS
Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19) | NHS

SANE
Works to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness. Provides care and emotional support for people with mental health problems, raises awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, and promote and hosts research into the causes and more effective treatments.
SANE
Living with COVID: the strategy

BBC Headroom Mental Health Tookit
"We know we can’t solve all your troubles, but we can give you tools to help: whether it's everyday tips, sounds to relax your mind, strategies to cope with parenting right now or films to get you talking. We're here for you. And if you think you could benefit from extra advice, visit BBC Action Line for mental health organisations offering information and support."
Headroom Mental Health Tookit | BBC

NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT)
If you live in England, you can refer yourself to an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT). IAPT services offer NICE recommended therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), for common problems involving stress, anxiety and depression. Anyone who is registered with a GP can access IAPT services on the NHS. If you're not registered with a GP, search for a GP.
NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) | NHS

Support Line
Provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue; primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis.
Support Line
01708 765200

Blurt
"Blurt exists to make a difference to anyone affected by depression. Being diagnosed can be overwhelming – there’s a lot to learn and plenty of prejudice to battle. Telling people is tough, and not everyone will understand. That’s why we’re here for you, whenever you need us, for anything at all. We’ll help you understand depression and what it means for you. We’ll support you, listen to you and introduce you to people who’ve been where you are. We’ll help you break down barriers and broach the subject with those closest to you. We’ll help you help yourself, with a little knowing nod."
 Blurt
Coronavirus and your mental health

Vent
"Vent’s mission is to provide a safe space where everyone, but especially men and boys can express themselves; break down the stigma around mental health, and start conversations."
Vent
Vent

The Free Psychotherapy Network
Free psychotherapy for people on low incomes and benefits
The Free Psychotherapy Network

The Black, African, and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)
Independent UK organisation to specialise in working psychologically, informed by an understanding of intersectionality, with people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean.
The Black, African, and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)

Every mind matters | NHS
There are little things you can all do to help look after our mental health. Having good mental health helps relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. Expert advice and practical tips from NHS to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, so discover what works for you.
Every mind matters

Sex Addicts Anonymous in the UK (SAA)
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) welcomes people of any sexual identity or orientation, whether they are gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, transgender or questioning. SAA offers a message of hope and recovery for sex addicts in the LGBTQ+ communities. SAA is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other in order to find freedom from addictive sexual behaviour and help others recover from sex addiction. Our programme is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, though we are not affiliated with AA or any other organisation.
Sex Addicts Anonymous in the UK

Click for details

 

Anxiety, OCD, Eating Disorders, and Self Harm Support

Summary: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder UK, No Panic, BEAT Eating Disorders, LifeSIGNS, Anxiety UK

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder UK
National charity working for children and adults affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Provides advice, information, and support services for those affected by OCD, and campaign to end the trivialisation and stigma of OCD. User-led service where everyone involved in the organisation have personal experience of OCD, either directly or through a loved one.
 OCD UK | OCD UK
OCD and coronavirus survival tips | OCD UK

No Panic
Helps people who suffer from panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders and other related anxiety disorders including those people who are trying to give up tranquillizers
No Panic
0844 967 4848

BEAT Eating Disorders
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity with resources including tips and advice on recovery in the face of uncertainty, seven ways to keep working towards recovery during the pandemic, and making sure your extra kind and patient with yourself. BEAT exists to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. A champion, guide and friend to anyone affected, giving individuals experiencing an eating disorder and their loved ones a place where they feel listened to, supported and empowered.
BEAT Eating Disorders | Beat Eating Disorders
Eating disorders and coronavirus | Beat Eating Disorders

LifeSIGNS
Voluntary organisation managed and led by people with personal experience of self-injury, and we are non-judgemental, non-directional, and respectful of our members’ and visitors’ life experiences and perceptions. Aims to support all people who are affected in any way by self-injury within the UK and beyond. Supports people using self-injury, and family and friends of people who self-injure, and professionals (including health care workers) who are interested in self-injury. LifeSIGNS has been gay run since its founding in 2002.
Life Signs
LGBT+SI Blog 

Anxiety UK
National registered charity for those affected by anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression whether you have anxiety, stress, anxiety-based depression, or phobia that’s affecting your daily life.
Anxiety UK
08444 775 774

Click for details

 

Younger Persons Support

Summary: Mermaids UK | LGBT+, The Mix | under 25s, Voice Collective, Nightline for Students, Hopeline, Vent

Mermaids UK | LGBT+
Supports children and young people up to 19 years old suffering from gender identity issues, their families and supporting professionals. Support includes a helpline, email service, direct support, online forums for parents and teens, plus local and national meetings.
0808 801 0400
Mermaids UK

The Mix | under 25s
Takes on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts you have. Gives you the information and support you need to deal with it all. Because you can. Because you’re awesome, says the Mix
The Mix
Coronavirus: tips and information
0808 808 4994

Voice Collective
UK-wide, London-based project that supports children and young people who hear voices, see visions, have other ‘unusual’ sensory experiences or beliefs. Also, offers support for parents/families, and training for youth workers, social workers, mental health professionals and other supporters.
Voice Collective

Nightline | for Students
Confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directive and non-advisory support services run by students for students. Any university student can contact the Nightline at their institution.
Nightline

Hopeline
Confidential support and advice service for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.
0800 068 41 41
Email
07860 039967

Vent
"Vent’s mission is to provide a safe space where everyone, but especially men and boys can express themselves; break down the stigma around mental health, and start conversations."
Vent
Vent

Click for details

 

LGBT+ Podcast

Summary: Bottoming

Bottoming
LGBTQ+ podcast exploring mental health (and dealing with your own rock bottom) presented by Brendan Geoghegan and Matthew Riley. Relaxed and very listenable. Podcasts cover an eclectic mix of topical issues including conversion therapy, exercise and fitness (does it really matter), BlackOut UK, LGBT+ History Month, queer youth making up a quarter of the youth homeless population, and news about the first LGBT+ affirming retirement community in the UK.
Bottoming
Bottoming

Click for details

 

More Helplines and Support (National)

Summary: Staying Safe (from suicidal thoughts), Bipolar UK, Alcoholics Anonymous, Drinkline, Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, Narcotics Anonymous (UKNA), Anger Management (British Association of Anger Management), Cruse Bereavement Care

Staying Safe (from suicidal thoughts)
Resources to get you through feelings that your life is not worth living.
Staying Safe

Bipolar UK
Support to enable people affected by bipolar disorder/manic depression to take control of their lives.
0333 323 3880
Bipolar UK

Alcoholics Anonymous
Free helpline for alcohol issues.
0800 9177 650
Alcoholics Anonymous

Drinkline
If you are worried about your drinking, call this free helpline in complete confidence.
0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm)

Gamblers Anonymous
Confidential help with a gambling problem. Chatline and meeting details are on the website.
Gamblers Anonymous

GamCare
Provides support to anyone suffering through a gambling problem. Free helpline through to a trained advisor.
0808 8020 133
GamCare

Narcotics Anonymous (UKNA)
Recovering addicts who help each other stay clean. Meetings in person or online.
0300 999 1212
Narcotics Anonymous (UKNA)

Anger Management (British Association of Anger Management)
0845 130 0286
British Association of Anger Management 

Cruse Bereavement Care
Support, information, advice, to enable anyone bereaved to understand grief and cope with loss.
0808 808 1677
Cruse Bereavement Care

 

Click for details

 

Networks (National)

Summary: National Survivor User Network (NSUN), Hub of Hope

National Survivor User Network (NSUN)
Network of people who have and do experience mental distress who want to change things for the better. Connects people and influences policy, practice and perceptions by amplifying the experiences and aspirations of our members. Set up to build a more united and confident mental health service user movement. Recognises the isolation, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by mental health service users and their needs beyond clinical treatment.
National Survivor User Network (NSUN)
NSUN Covid-19 update

Hub of Hope
National mental health database which brings together organisations and charities, large and small, from across the country who offer mental health advice and support, together in one place.
Hub of Hope

Click for details

 

Selection of Facebook and MeetUp Groups

Summary: Men's Mental Health | Private, Men’s Mental Health | Private, Men's Health | Open, Black Gay Men's Wellness Month | Open, Gay Health Network | Open, LGBT Mental Health Providers | Private

Click for details

 

More

Short films on mental health, Psych2Go Channel on YouTube, Wanna Talk About It | Netflix

Short films on mental health

Why do so many LGBT people suffer from mental health problems? | BBC Newsnight | 28 Jul 2017 | 6m 39s
How to practice emotional first aid | Guy Winch | TED Talks | 16 Feb 2015 | 17m 28s
Confessions of a depressed comic | Kevin Breel | TED Talks | 27 Sep 2013 | 10m 56s
What's So Funny About Mental Illness? | Ruby Wax | TED Talks | 10 Oct 2012 | 8m 44s

Psych2Go Channel on YouTube
A "weekly dose of fun and interesting psychology, creepy psychology, psychopaths, serial killers, pop psychology, political psychology. Pretty much whatever you learn in school, but just in a way that you can apply and relate."
Psych2Go

Wanna Talk About It | Netflix
It came as a bit of a surprise when we found that Netflix has a website with support on sexual violence and abuse, mental health and well-being and self-harm and suicide. It's limited with a heavy US focus. Organisations taking part include the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, The Trevor Project, Crisis Text Line and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Wanna Talk About It | Netflix

Click for details

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