A good place to start is your GP. Up to one in five people who visit their GP are suffering from a mental health problem, so GPs are used to helping with this sort of difficulty. The GP may be able to help you straight away. They may prescribe some medicine or just give you support. They may suggest some form of self help using local resources, perhaps through exercise therapy. The GP's will also have a wide range of counselling and advice programmes that they may refer you to.
If you don't feel able to talk to your GP, there are many other people you could contact: A supportive friend or family member; A teacher, boss or someone in your local community; Helplines; Find out about support groups in your local area; Get a self-help book — this can be especially helpful for milder problems.
If you are unhappy with your own GP, you can ask to see another doctor within the same practice or can visit a different practice within your area. If you are unsure where to find other doctor's surgeries, look in your local Yellow Pages or visit www.nhs.uk which allows you to search for your nearest Doctors, Opticians, Dentists and Pharmacies.
Your GP — out of hours it is likely to be someone else — will visit you at home if necessary. A doctor can be asked to make a home visit and cannot refuse to visit a registered patient in need of such help as long as the patient is staying at an address within the doctor's practice area.
If you are not registered with a local doctor and you need treatment in an emergency, then any GP must see you as soon as possible, as long as you are staying at an address within the GP's practice area. However, this only applies to real emergencies, in which someone is seriously ill or at immediate risk of harming themselves or others.
If they won't see their GP because they don't agree that they need help and their condition is deteriorating to the point where carers and relatives become very concerned this is precisely the sort of situation in which a GP home visit should be requested. If the patient still refuses to see the GP, in their own home, and the GP forms the impression that this is because the patient is experiencing a mental health problem, the GP may ask for a psychiatrist and social worker to try to see the patient, with a view to bringing them into hospital for [...]
You may prefer to speak to someone outside the medical/social care system. There are many local and national organisations which provide free and confidential helplines, advice and support services. Some also run online forums, where you can talk to a range of other people, day or night. You can find details of some of these organisations in our info directory.
In a crisis and exceptional circumstances and where a referral through the GP is not possible an Initial Screening Assessment appointment can be carried out by the Redbridge Access and Assessment Team which you can call on 0844 600 108. If you live in Redbridge these are other useful numbers in an emergency: NELFT Mental Health Direct: 0300 555 1000 Local Police Station: 020 8478 1123 NHS Direct: 0845 4647 Out of Hours Duty Social Worker (Ilford Town Hall): 020 8478 3020 Redbridge Night Shelter: 020 8514 8958 Samaritans: 020 8553 9900 Victim Support: 020 8551 5500 If all else fails [...]
Find out how to complain if you are not receiving adequate services If you feel you have not been listened to properly, that you have been treated unfairly or that you are not being given access to the services you need — then you may wish to complain. A useful starting point is your Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at the NHS Trust or Primary Care Trust (PCT) where you received your NHS treatment. Your PALS officer will often be able to sort out the problem quickly and efficiently for you - but if they can't, they will give you [...]
People are often worried about getting help, and don't know where to start. It's worth remembering these facts: About a third of us will have a mental health problem at some time in our lives. Depression and anxiety are as common as many physical problems, like diabetes and heart disease. As with physical problems, there are things you can do to help yourself.