Where do I start? - Accessing support for Mental Health
You’ve made the decision you want to work on yourself or you need help. But where do you start?
Most often, google… but then you become overwhelmed with the endless articles, websites and suggestions.
In the UK you have access to free support via your GP, an Aviva study on GPs reported 84% of their appointments are associated to mental health and in a recent study by the NHS (2020) reported a 20% increase in demand for mental health services but alarmingly a 10-30% reduction in their capacity.
So what are your other options?
Organisations and Charities
There are lots of free resources and specialist charities who have lots of experience with mental health issues. We have created a list of some of these charities here.
Talk to a trusted friend
How often have you started talking about your problems with a friend and 5 minutes later you’re somehow talking about them. That is not the person to help you, find the friend who is able to listen, only provides advice or suggestions when you ask them and isn’t afraid to be honest with you. Also be aware of the balance in your relationship and be their trusted friend when they need an ear too.
Counsellors and Psychotherapists
We all know talking about our problems makes us feel better but sometimes we don’t have anyone to talk to, or struggle to talk to people we know about personal topics. Counsellors and Therapists provide a confidential and safe space for you to talk freely. There’s lots to consider in choosing the right therapist for you.
- Delivery Type – In-person, online or over the phone.
- Location – Near home, near work, or online
- Cost – How much can you afford? Do they offer any discounts?
- Frequency – Most commonly is weekly, however a lot of therapists will offer fortnightly or monthly.
- Therapy Type – you might be surprised to hear there are more than 50 approaches to therapy, the most common are Person Centred Therapy (PCT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Psychoanalytical Therapy. By reading the therapists approach, you can decide whether their way is how you want to work with them.
- Qualifications and Experience – Not all counsellors and therapists will have completed accredited courses, if it’s important to you that they adhere to ethical guidelines and have qualifications. There are a few directories that verify a counsellor or psychotherapists credentials, such as the BACP directory or the counselling directory. Please note if they’re not on these directories it doesn’t mean they’re not qualified as these are chargeable directories to be listed.
- Website – Read their information, experience, understand their approach and pricing to get a feel for them.
But aside from all the above, the most important way to choose, is to trust your gut. Most counsellors and therapists will offer a free consultation call for this very reason. It’s a bit like online dating, they may sound amazing on paper but you meet them and something just doesn’t feel right. This can work both ways, don’t be surprised if you meet a counsellor or therapist and they recommend they’re not the right person for you. Firstly, this isn’t a rejection, they just know their skillset isn’t going to help you achieve what you want, and just want the best for you.
Therapy at home
Don’t like the idea of talking to a counsellor or waitlists are too long, then why not try a new approach to therapy. Therapy Unboxed provide tools and products for you to use in the comfort of your home. If you are able to self motivate and follow guided exercises at home then this may be an option for you, find out more here.