Don't suffer in silence. There are a number of people you can turn to for support with everyday issues and mental health.
We've all heard the saying, "a problem shared is a problem halved". We all experience challenging times at some point in our lives and Milton Keynes has a number of services that can help.
Whether you are struggling due to the pandemic, or know of somebody else feeling low, here's a collection of information, including details from national and local charities and organisations that you may find useful.
Are you feeling suicidal?
A&E - Milton Keynes University Hospital has people on hand 24/7 to assist you if you feel you can't carry on.
MK Mental Health Service - Out-of-Hours Urgent Advice Line: 0800 0234 650.
GP - If it's not quite as urgent, your GP surgery can help you in a number of ways. It's not just about medication, and there are several other methods including counseling and general advice.
NHS - The NHS website has collated information on mental health helplines and websites. Some are for specific conditions and others provide general advice.
Depression, anxiety and stress
Samaritans - Samaritans MK offer confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline, free from any phone) or call 0330 094 5717 (local call charges apply).
Mind BLMK - The charity Mind BLMK works across our communities to support positive mental health and wellbeing with an aim to make sure that no-one has to face a mental health problem alone. If you are based in Milton Keynes and would like to speak to someone remotely please call 01525 722 225 or e-mail Victoria.Sharp@mind-blmk.org.uk.
CNWL - Has published a “Stay well at home isolation pack” to help people maintain good mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic. The pack includes lots of helpful resources to help you develop some skills and methods to cope with these distressing feelings.
These include tips and guidance on social distancing, on maintaining a healthy and balanced daily routine, on managing anxiety, on good sleep habits, on useful apps, on healthy living – diet and exercise, on how to relax, as well as helpful activities – puzzles, quizzes, brain teasers to keep the brain occupied and a list of useful contacts.
MK Talking Therapies - It is continuing to offer support to patients experiencing anxiety and depression in Milton Keynes.
Therapists from the Milton Keynes IAPT Service have started delivering webinars on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills, techniques and tips to help people who may be struggling with worry or low mood as a result of the current social distancing precautions. The weekly webinars give suggestions of practical ways to manage your anxiety about Coronavirus and how to cope in isolation.
They are available to the general public by self-referral to IAPT and to health or social care staff in Milton Keynes by registration.
For further details and to self-refer, click here, or call 01908 725099.
Other resources from CNWL -
- You, your drugs/alcohol and self-isolation has been written to support clients of their addictions services but contains useful information for anyone struggling at this time. Access it here.
- ‘FACE COVID’ is a set of practical steps for responding effectively to the Corona crisis, using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Access it here.
- My lockdown diary for children. Access it here.
Men’s Minds Matter - Has created Coping in Crisis: Coronavirus Survival Guide.
Arthur Ellis: Mental Health Support - Offering mental health and emotional support for children, young people and adults in Milton Keynes. With a mission to help people be #IndependentFromIllness download their free support guides here or email email@example.com
Relationships, children and domestic abuse
Relate MK - You don't have to be married or even have a partner to go to Relate MK, they offer relationship support to individuals, couples, families and young people. Currently offering telephone or webcam (Zoom) sessions. For more information call 07484096166, 07484096479 or 01908 310010 Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm (1.30pm Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MK ACT: Domestic Violence - MK Act is a charity in Milton Keynes which works with over 100 families' everyday to help them move on from fear and abuse. Please phone/contact MK Act between office hours of 9am-5pm. If you need to speak to someone out of the these hours you can ring the National Domestic Violence Helpline on: 0808 2000 247.
- Crisis Service Helpline – 0344 3754307 and email@example.com
- Professionals Helpline - 01908 295731 and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fresh Start - 07718767974 and email@example.com
- Programmes and Training (Freedom Programme, First Steps to Freedom etc) – 07827358721 and firstname.lastname@example.org
The Refuge Service continues to work as normal following government advice and can be contacted on: email@example.com and 01908 523720.
Milton Keynes Family Law Group - is a firm of solicitors dedicated exclusively to Family Law and focused on providing the best legal advice and service to their clients. MK Family Law Group is a paid for service but offer free initial advice. Call 01908 787900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families - A children's mental health charity that has a variety of resources on their website.
Nosy Crow - Has produced a range of resources, including a FREE digital book explaining Coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler.
Service Six - They are continuing to support children and young people across Milton Keynes, online or over the phone, during this difficult period. If you have a child who is finding the situation difficult please get in touch with Katie on 07850 916600 or the Service Six helpline 07718 003219. Alternately find them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Money and housing
Citizens Advice Milton Keynes - Almost 100 local volunteers provide free advice, advocacy, support and mediation to meet the needs of people who are living in severe hardship, struggling to overcome difficult family and financial circumstances. Call their advice line on 01908 604475 or visit their website for more information.
Debt, bailiffs, bankruptcy
National Debtline - Get free, confidential and independent advice on dealing with debt problems in the UK. Visit National Debtline's website or call 0808 808 4000.
Are you concerned for someone else?
Thames Valley Police - If you feel that someone may be suffering, and could be considering taking serious action and ending their own life, call Thames Valley Police on the non emergency number 101.
Mind BLMK - It can be hard to know what to do when supporting someone with a mental health problem. Mind have information aimed at helping friends, family, carers and others to give support and take care of themselves too here.