Follow @OxfordMHF
Accessibility |  Use of cookies |  Site map |  Contact    
header image
Home > Resource Library > Help and Support

Getting Help and Support

As many as 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives. It is important to remember that mental illness is common and that there are lots of sources of help available; no-one should have to suffer with a mental health problem alone.

Consider speaking to family members, friends, and others who you feel you can approach for help and support.

See below for information on:

Professional help and support

Primary Care (help from your GP)

Your GP is a good first port of call for obtaining help as they will be able to give advice and support on the treatment options available to you. These can include for instance: medication, talking therapy, a referral to see a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). They can also provide information on other services, such as services offered by local mental health charities. Often just having the space to discuss your worries and symptoms openly can be very helpful.

Community Mental Health Teams

If you are experiencing moderate or severe symptoms of mental illness and require further help/support and advice, your GP may refer you to see a member of a Community Mental Health Team who will be able to provide an assessment to find out more about the problems you are experiencing to offer a diagnosis and a more tailored package of support. These can include access to specialised talking therapies from the psychology service. Community Mental Health Teams comprise psychiatrists, psychologists, and Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs). Services also available include crisis team support as well as the crisis day service, which runs therapeutic activities.

[Return to top]

Self-help and peer support groups

Some services now also offer self-referral, such as TalkingSpace (, a local talking therapy service for people in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Mind’s support groups include a range of activities, including art therapy, and organised walks (see

Other local mental health charities offering wellbeing and therapy/recovery-related services include Restore (, Tandem (, and Root & Branch (

Useful information and guidance

Information and advice from Mind:

NHS Choices: Mental Health:

The Mental Health Foundation:

BBC Mental Health Advice:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists: Health advice A-Z:

FAQs about mental health medicines:

What you should expect when seeking professional help

You should expect to have your illness taken seriously, be listened to, and be treated with respect and dignity at all times. If you have encountered difficulties accessing help and support, or have not found the treatment or service offered helpful, please do not give up; consider approaching other services for support. It is important to remember that patients have different needs and therapy not only depends on the type of treatment and therapy offered, but the therapeutic relationship between a patient and the health professional/s involved. For a number of reasons, it is not always easy to navigate services to find the most appropriate help available. Most NHS services have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), where you can raise any queries and concerns should you have any difficulties accessing help and support.

Please also see the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s NICE guidelines for information on the care you can expect to receive from health professionals:

[Return to top]

Urgent help

If you require help urgently, please make an urgent appointment to see your GP. If this is not possible, or help is required during out of hours, please contact your local GP out of hours’ phone number or the new NHS direct non-emergency service on 111. NHS 111 operates 24/7, 365 days per year and is free to use from a landline and a mobile.

You can also contact the Samaritans who offer confidential support (24/7 – by phone, email or face-to-face):

See also:

Oxfordshire Mind's Help in a Crisis:

Emotional support from mental health charity, Sane:

Advice and information from mental health charity, Rethink Mental Illness:

National Mental health charity MIND’s contact information line: 0300 123 3393.

If the situation is life-threatening or an emergency, for instance you have harmed yourself, or are acutely suicidal, please go to A&E;, where you will be able to receive medical treatment and there is an on-call psychiatric team available.

[Return to top]

> Useful links    > Articles about local services and organisations    > Further resources

This page was last updated April 2015.