Mental health difficulties are very common
One person out of four experiences some kind of mental health problem at some point in their lives. Sometimes, your mental health can be affected if you have lived through difficult or troubling events, if you feel isolated and lonely, have had relationship or money problems, someone close to you has died, or you have been pregnant or had a baby.
Mental health problems can be experienced by anybody. They are not a sign of weakness or a reason to be embarrassed. It’s important to get help if you feel like you are struggling. In the UK, you will find people are quite open about difficulties with how they feel and asking for help.
What are the signs that things are not ok?
Everybody gets stressed, and mental health problems can sometimes emerge if you have been stressed for a long time. It’s important to know and recognise the signs that stress is getting too much.
- if you are feeling down or sad
- you are worrying a lot, or thinking about the same things over and over
- you are having problems sleeping
- or you do not feel like eating much
There are lots of ways to get help if you want to feel less stressed, less worried, or less depressed. Any information you tell the services will be kept safe and private.
Find out what kind of support you need
If you do not feel okay in yourself, or feel like you want some support with how you feel, it’s a good idea to speak to your GP.
If this feels like a big step, you could also look on the Mindwell website for more information and support in Leeds. The website includes ideas you can try yourself to help improve how you are feeling, and information about where you can go for help in Leeds if you want it.
There is also a website for children and young people called MindMate:
Talk to someone
You might find it helpful to talk about how you are feeling to someone who is good at listening. These people are often called “psychological therapists”. As well as listening, therapists can often help you find new ways of dealing with how you feel.
There are free services in Leeds that offer talking therapies including some with specialist knowledge and experience for helping migrants, refugees and asylum seekers with their mental health.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a service led by the NHS that offers psychological (talking) therapies to help people who are stressed, experiencing low mood (depressed) or are feeling nervous or anxious.
Touchstone IAPT is a specialist service for people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds. You can request an interpreter or a female or male therapist. They also offer classes and online treatments, as well as face to face therapy.
You don’t need to be feeling very unwell to see a therapist. Many people find the service very useful for just a short time, and then stop after a few weeks.
You don’t need a professional to refer you, you can contact IAPT yourself.
Solace is a Leeds charity which provides psychotherapy (talking therapies) and other support to survivors of persecution and exile.
Oak House, Park Lane, Leeds, LS3 1EL
0113 487 8360
For more organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers with mental health, visit the Help in Leeds website and search for ‘Mental Health’ under Organisation Category.
If you feel you have had enough
If the situation feels out of control, you are very upset, or you are having thoughts about hurting yourself or killing yourself, there are people who can help.
There are phone helplines you can call to speak to someone straight away, and there are places you can visit for support.
Find out more on the Mindwell website:
Places you can visit include:
Dial House@Touchstone is a place you can go for emotional support and information. Refugees and asylum seekers are welcome. You need to phone before you visit.
53-55 Harehills Avenue, Leeds, LS8 4EX (open Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm-2am)
0113 249 4675 or text 07763 581 853
The Well-Bean Hope in a Crisis Cafe is open to people in Leeds and offers emotional one-to-one support for up to one hour. It also has a social space and practical support for loneliness, emotional health and wellbeing. Hot food is served every evening. You need to phone before you visit.
Lincoln Green Community Centre, 29 Cromwell Mount, LS9 7JB (open Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Bank Holiday evenings 6pm-12am).
If it is an emergency
If you or someone you know has hurt themselves, you or they should call 999 for an ambulance or go to A&E.