However tough life feels for you right now, support is available to get you through this.
MenTalkHealth is not a support service. But we do have lived experience of mental health issues and being in crisis – and we know of lots of great people who can help you.
The following services exist because we all need help sometimes. Please don’t ever feel you’re wasting people’s time.
We review the following information every three months to make sure it’s up to date. We also recommend The Hub of Hope, a UK-wide mental health support database that you can search by postcode.
Samaritans The daddy of crisis helplines. Free, 24/7, confidential and you don’t have to give your name. A trained listening volunteer will help you explore your feelings and find your way forward.
SHOUT A text messaging support service for anyone struggling to cope. Free, 24/7, confidential and anonymous. A trained volunteer will have a text chat with you, helping you feel calmer and safer. Brilliant if you don’t feel able to talk.
NHS Urgent Mental Health Helplines You can find your local 24/7 NHS mental health crisis helpline using this link. They can give you support and connect you with professional mental health guidance and assessments.
If your life is at immediate risk, please call 999 or go to your local A&E.
CALM The Campaign Against Living Miserably (great name eh?) began as a helpline for younger men, with a focus on reducing male suicide. But now it takes calls from all men in the UK (and women too).
Mental Health Foundation The UK’s leading mental health charity is a really thorough and robust source of info about everything mental health related. The ‘Your mental health’ section is a good place to start – practical advice, inspiring stories and key statistics that will prove you’re not alone.
Mental Health and Money Advice If your mental health is mixed up with money issues, this website can help you untangle them and get a handle on your options. It gives really clear advice and has useful tips and tools.
Mind The main source of mental health advice and support in England and Wales. It includes an A to Z with information about everything from abuse and addiction to workplace issues. It’s a huge site. But you can click straight on the yellow ‘Get help now’ button.
Papyrus Hopeline UK If you’re under 35 and you struggle with suicidal feelings, these guys will help you stay safe. You can call, text or email. If you’re worried about someone under 35 and aren’t sure how to start a conversation about suicide, their advisors can also help you work out how to support them.
Rethink Mental Illness Having the right information can be just as steadying as emotional support. The Rethink line can give you lots of practical info and advice about living with and recovering from mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Sane Line Specialist support for anyone affected by mental illness, including families, friends and carers. You can use the helpline or free textline, and there is also a supportive forum community.
Side by Side We believe really strongly in the power of peer-to-peer support. So does the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind. Side by Side is their 24/7 online community. It’s a safe digital space to give or receive support – or just listen.
Stay Alive app Pocket suicide prevention! This free mobile app is for anyone at risk of suicide (or worried about someone else). It’s full of resources to help you stay safe in a crisis, like breathing tips, a customisable ‘reasons for living’ and a safety plan. You really feel like it’s got your back.
Student Minds This student mental health charity can help you connect with the different forms of support available at your university and work out how to start a tricky conversation with a friend. They also run peer support groups for things like eating difficulties or low mood.
Supportline A confidential emotional support helpline for anyone, but with a particularly strong record in helping people who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk and victims of any form of abuse. They can also help you find positive coping strategies.
Young Minds Crisis Messenger One for the more fresh-faced amongst us. This free, confidential, 24/7 text support service is for young people experiencing a mental health crisis. A trained volunteer will text with you, helping you sort through your feelings and feel calmer and safer.
Brighton Mental Health Rapid Response Service (MHRRS) An urgent mental health response service for Brighton. Call 0300 304 0078 if you are in a mental health crisis and feel at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else. They are able to arrange urgent assessments, to work out safety and care plans. You can also refer somebody else.
Community Roots A network of organisations that support people in Brighton and Sussex with their mental health (some of which we’ve listed separately). The central helpline can help you navigate these. You can also use the website to search specifically for ‘Men’s mental health and wellbeing’.
Sussex Mental Healthline If you’re Sussex-based and struggling with your mental health, this free 24/7 telephone service offers listening support, advice and information. Unlike some helplines, they can also give general mental health advice and suggest tools and coping strategies.
Mind Out Run by and for lesbians, gay, bi, trans and queer people, this Brighton-based LGBTQ mental health service is clear, friendly and properly dedicated. They provide advice, info, advocacy, peer mentoring and more general support with any mental health or wellbeing issue. They also run a community counselling service.
Mindline Trans+ Staffed by trained volunteers with lived experience and trans allies, this national helpline provides confidential emotional and mental health support for anyone identifying as transgender, agender, non-binary, genderfluid… It’s open weekday evenings. You can get help to support trans people in your life, too.
Switchboard This helpline has been providing empowering information and support for LGBT+ callers since the 1970s. Contact them via phone, email and text. An LGBT+ volunteer will be able to discuss anything with you, including support exploring sexuality and gender identity, sexual health information and coming out.
Anxiety UK If you struggle with anxiety, stress, anxiety-based depression or a phobia, you can get support and information via helpline, live chat or text. You can find out about paid-for therapy options and access lots of free resources too.
Beat (Beating Eating Disorders) Yep, men experience these too – in fact, one in three people with an eating disorder is male. If you’re concerned about your relationship with food, call the free, confidential helpline or use the one-to-one webchat for support, information and to explore your options.
Combat Stress A mental health helpline especially for veterans (and their families). You can call, text or email for specialist support with issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). There’s an online self-help option too
Cruse A free helpline for people who have been bereaved. If you have lost someone, their trained volunteers can offer you support, advice and information. Most importantly they will give you space to talk.
Harmless This grassroots organisation can provide support and information around issues related to self-harm and suicide wherever you are based. They can also help you find specialist counselling and clinical support services near you.
Lifesigns A small, user-led support network to improve understanding about self-injury and help people who self-harm find new ways of coping – in their own time.
No Panic If you experience panic attacks, phobias, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) or other anxiety-based difficulties, this helpline and information website can help you cope. They have lots of breathing and relaxation techniques and a crisis message you can listen to while you’re experiencing a panic attack.
OCD Action This national OCD charity is the place to go for info and support with obsessive compulsive disorder – via phone, email and an online community. You can also join a waiting list for one of their skype/phone/zoom support groups.
OCD-UK Everyone involved in this organisation has personal experience of obsessive compulsive disorder and will understand just how debilitating OCD can be. Connect with everything from treatment options to OCD book clubs.
Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia A fantastic, accessible guide to psychosis and schizophrenia produced by the British Psychological Society. It can help you understand what might be behind potentially troubling and distressing experiences such as hearing voices or feeling out of touch with reality – and make sense of them in your own way. You can download it for free.