Mental health services

One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem at some point that affects their daily life, relationships or physical health.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or social background. If you think that you may have a mental health problem – or suspect that someone close to you has one – please seek help. Without care and treatment, mental health problems can have a serious effect on an individual and those around them.

The information below is a starting point, but we urge you to see your GP.

Who should I contact?

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, tense or depressed and find that these feelings are impacting on your relationships, work, or life generally, talk to your GP. There are therapies and other treatments which can help.

If you do not have a doctor, NHS 111 can put you in touch with one and provide further information or advice.

The NHS website also has a list of mental health helplines that can offer expert advice and lots of online support and advice on mental health issues.

If you’re feeling low and need help, you can visit The Moodzone. You can take the quick online self-assessment test, which will indicate whether you’re depressed and need medical help, or are simply feeling low.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services offer support that gets the best results and helps you to help yourself, so that you can get back to enjoying life and engaging with work or daily activities.

Everyone’s psychological and emotional issues differ and therefore various levels of support are needed. IAPT programmes offer a range of group and 1:1 therapies at both low and high intensity.

From 1st September 2019, Vita Health Group began delivering the IAPT service in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Vita Health is an award-winning specialist provider of Mental and Physical Health Services. Their aim is to provide accessible, transparent, high quality care, and engagement with the community is at its core.

Independent Mental Health Network

The Independent Mental Health Network is an organisation that represents a diverse community of past, current and future users of mental health services, as well as those with lived experiences of mental health. It provides a safe space for people to confidentially share their needs and experiences of mental health services, and works to ensure that mental health support is effective and fit for purpose.

  • For Bristol Independent Mental Health Network visit
  • For Clarity – North Somerset Independent Mental Health Network visit the Independent Mental Health Network website.
  • For information about mental health support services offered by South Gloucestershire Independent Health Network visit South Gloucestershire.

Local councils

Your local council provides groups and activities you could take part in to help you promote and manage your mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health services – Bristol City Council
Mental health concerns and directory – North Somerset Council
Mental health and emotional wellbeing – South Gloucestershire Council

Other support organisations

  • Alzheimer’s Society– a national website offering advice and information about living with Alzheimer’s, for the individual, family and carers
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health NHS Trust– for details of local community and inpatient services in Bristol
  • Bristol dementia friendly swimming– quieter sessions at swimming pools with trained staff and appropriate facilities
  • Bristol Mind– a confidential Freephone helpline on 0808 808 0330 for residents of Bristol and the surrounding areas, providing information about local services
  • Bristol Physical Activity Referral Scheme– activity sessions for people who have experienced long-term mental health difficulties within various leisure facilities across Bristol
  • Bristol Support for Autism– advice and support for people with Autism in Bristol
  • Chat Health – is here to help with a range of issues, from relationships and healthy eating, to bullying and alcohol abuse. If you’re 11-19 and need to talk, text School Nurses on 07312 263093. This service runs during the school holidays as well as term time.
  • Cruse Bereavement Care– a national charity supporting children, young people and adults when someone dies
  • Mind– a national charity provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem
  • Rethink– a national charity helping people with severe mental illness on 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm)
  • Samaritans– a confidential 24 hour telephone service offering support to anyone in distress on 0117 983 1000 (Branch) 08457 909090 (UK)
  • SANE– SANE offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health problems
  • Second Step– offers housing and support services to people with mental health problems
  • Well Aware– an online guide to health, wellbeing and community services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset
  • Womankind– provides women in the Bristol area with free or affordable professional counselling, psychotherapy and on-going support and a helpline on 0845 458 2914 or 0117 9166 461

Support available for health and social care staff

The Healthier Together Support Network – Confidential wellbeing & mental health support for health and care staff in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.