If you're looking to support one of the UK's mental health charities, this guide can help. Image: Unsplash
Mental health is no longer the taboo it once was, and May 15 marks the start of Mental Health Awareness week 2023. But an increase in awareness has also meant an increase in the number of people seeking help. If you’re looking for somewhere to turn, there are a range of mental health charities in the UK which can help.
With one in six people aged 16 or over experiencing symptoms of a common mental health problem, those who do are by no means alone. And with both the pandemic, cost of living crisis and climate crisis all having an impact on the country’s state of mind, you might be looking for ways to help someone you know.
The Big Issue has compiled a list of the UK’s top mental health charities, all providing support in a range of different ways.
Perhaps the UK’s most prominent mental health charity, Mind was founded in 1946 and counts Stephen Fry as its president.
It provides confidential information and advice through its InfoLine, as well as information on mental health-related law through its Legal Line.
These can be contacted by calling 0300 123 3393 or emailing email@example.com for its InfoLine and 0300 466 6463 for its Legal Line.
Mind also has around 125 local, affiliated Mind associations, offering specialised support for communities, which can be found here.
You can donate directly to support Mind through this link. Mind also runs charity shops across the country – you can support them by donating or shopping.
On November 2 1953, a vicar named Chad Varah answered a phone call from somebody thinking of suicide. Nearly 70 years on, over 20,000 Samaritans volunteers help operate its 24-hour helpline, taking calls from those needing help.
Samaritans also produces research on how at-risk groups can be supported, and provides media guidelines for journalists, ensuring coverage of suicide avoids making the problem worse.
You can apply to become a volunteer for their hotline, providing support for those who desperately need it, here. Samaritans also accept text donations, following the instructions here.
Its free hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can be reached at 116 123.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the UK’s lockdowns have put a renewed focus on the mental health of the country’s young people.
YoungMinds works to make sure every young person is properly supported with their mental health, and aims to stop young people reaching a crisis point.
It has a series of guides for young people on mental health conditions, coping with life, medications, and more, which can be found here. There is also support for parents, with a helpline on 0808 802 5544 open from 9.30-4, Monday to Friday and a web chat service available here.
Founded in 1879, making it one of the country’s oldest mental health charities, Together focuses on individuals, and making sure people experiencing mental health difficulties are at the heart of their own recoveries.
The charity offers 24-hour residential accommodation, and its Your Way programme provides personalised support for individuals.
It raises awareness and fights stigma, as well as researching treatments for mental health conditions. For example, it has been given a £16.5 million grant to investigate the effectiveness of cannabis extract cannabidol (CBD) to treat psychosis and schizophrenia.
But if you, a friend or loved one has been affected by mental ill-health, SANE also provides emotional support.
For those wanting emotional support, SANE’s Textcare service offers “bespoke one-way messages directly to your mobile phone. These can offer a boost at difficult times, and are tailored to your needs and circumstances. Find out more here.
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