Links and Contact Details
The following links have been selected because they tick at least most of the following boxes: an informative and user-friendly website; a key service without undue emphasis on the profit motive; a service aimed primarily at adults; a reasonably wide interest group; and usefulness to people seeking help for the first time. Some of them I know at first hand or by reputation, but by no means all.
There are thousands of other organisations and websites out there, many of them excellent. I strongly urge you to research your own issues if you are able to do so.
Although I cannot update this list very regularly, I am happy to accept suggestions or updates.
The National Association for Mental Health in the United Kingdom campaigns on behalf of those with mental illness. It has a great website, which includes a lot of information and links, including an A-Z of mental health. The infoline is on 0300 123 3393. Unfortunately its local services are limited to England and Wales.
Addaction offers a range of services across Scotland and England to help individuals recover from their dependency on drugs and alcohol, and also works with families and loved ones. Their website contains an A-Z of the most commonly-available drugs, with lots of useful information.
Addiction Guide is a US site created to provide comprehensive up-to-date information about various addictions and how to overcome them. Lots of useful information and interesting links, largely to do with drugs and alcohol.
Adfam supports families affected by drugs and alcohol. They point to a network of local support groups and have an excellent, rather street-wise A-Z on recreational drugs.
Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. Alateen is part of Al-anon that caters specifically for 12-17 year-olds.
Al-anon runs a confidential helpline on 020 7403 0888.
AA is concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the Fellowship for help. Some 4,400 AA groups meet each week in Britain. On its website AA explains the “12 steps” that underpin the work of all the different “Anonymous” groups, and there is an excellent “find a group” feature. There is also a national helpline on 0845 769 7555
The Association for Post-Natal Illness (post-natal depression) publishes leaflets and runs a network of volunteers who have themselves experienced post-natal illness. Its website contain advice and useful links.
Beat (beating eating disorders) has an excellent website providing information and help on all aspects of eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, binge eating disorder and related eating disorders. There is a helpline, 0845 634 1414, and a youthline, 0845 634 7650.
The Beaumont Society is a national self help body run by and for those who cross-dress or are transsexual. It also offers support for ‘significant others of transgendered people', and runs an advice line on 07000 287 878.
Big White Wall is an on-line community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems and are supported to self-manage their own mental health. It combines social networking principles with a choice of clinically informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing. It can be accessed 24/7 and has staff (Wall Guides) who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members. Joining is low cost, or free if supported by the relevant NHS Trust.
Bipolar UK is dedicated to supporting individuals with bipolar disorder, and also their families and carers. Its website contains lots of useful information and links.
The Boots website, Web MD, contains a lot of useful information on common medical (including psychological) problems.
www.cauk.org.uk and www.co-anon.org.uk
Cocaine Anonymous is for addicts and Co-Anon for significant others.
OCD-UK is service-user led charity for children and adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It has an excellent website, which also contains useful information on BDD (Body-Dysmorphic Disorder).
Cruse bereavement care offers limited support from bereavement support volunteers and its website contains some useful reading on bereavement.
Famanon offers support for families and friends concerned about drug abuse or related behavioural problems. The helpline number is 020 7498 4680 (lo-call 0845 1200660). The lo-call number is cheaper from a landline outside London, but more expensive from a mobile.
Family Lives offers information, advice, guidance and support on all aspects of family life using live chat, email and a confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. Its website has a comprehensive advice section.
Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of men and women with gambling problems.
A beautifully designed website with all sorts of practical information for those people who hear voices, or who have visions, tactile sensations or other sensory experiences.
In addition to offering free legal help to individuals and community groups who cannot afford to pay for it and who are unable to access legal aid, the website provides a number of very useful fact sheets on legal issues.
LitTherapy is for people who have problems but love books. It is a bibliotherapy recommendation website to help people find the right books to support them.
The Mankind Initiative provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence. They have a useful website and a helpline: 01823 334 244 (open 10am to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm weekdays)
Maytree is a unique establishment that supports people in suicidal crisis in a non-medical setting. Its respite centre in London offers a free 4-night/5-day stay, and the opportunity to be befriended and heard in complete confidence. Call 020 7263 7070.
Men's Advice line is a national free phone helpline for male victims of domestic violence and abuse.
This is not a crisis website but an extended blog that presents the very latest research findings relevant to mental health practice.
Lots of very helpful information from the Mental Health Foundation, which works to end mental ill health and the inequalities that face people experiencing mental distress, living with learning disabilities and reduced mental capacity.
Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of men and women for whom drugs have become a major problem. Helpline: 0300 999 1212.
The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading charity for people affected by autism, and their excellent website also includes a lot of useful information about Asperger’s Syndrome.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence provides help if you are suffering domestic violence and know you want to get out. Also a resources for the agencies that might help you, like the police.
The National Stalking Helpline provides guidance and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking: 0808 802 0300.
NetDoctor is a magazine website with a huge amount of information on conditions, drugs and other treatments.
Netmums is a family of local parenting sites that covers the UK, backed by numerous parenting articles from pregnancy onwards.
NHS Choices presents compendious Information from the National Health Service on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living.
OCD-UK is the leading national charity for people whose lives are affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It has a very informative website and runs a helpline on 0845 120 3778.
Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of men and women who suffer from compulsive overeating.
PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide) is an organisation dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. HOPELineUK (0800 068 4141) is a free confidential telephone helpline service providing support, information and practical advice to anyone concerned that a young person they know may be at risk of harming themselves.
Refuge and the Women’s Aid Partnership run a confidential domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247. It is open 24 hours, every day, and provides a gateway to a network of some 500 safe houses. Women’s Aid have the better website.
Relate offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support face-to-face, by phone and through its website.
Respect provides a phone line for anyone who is concerned about their violence towards a partner or ex-partner. The number is 0808 8024040.
Rethink Mental Illness has a rather awkward website which may not be somewhere to look in a crisis, but it contains some useful information on problems and treatments.
The website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has a “Get advice” section which includes a wealth of information on problems and treatments.
The Samaritans runs a confidential listening service through local centres, email and its famous 24/7 telephone service on 08457 90 90 90. You don’t have to be suicidal to be heard.
The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity offers support to anyone affected by the death of a baby, including local groups and a helpline on 020 7436 5881.
SANE runs a national, out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. The helpline number is 0845 767 8000 and is available every day from 6pm to 11pm. There is some information on mental health conditions on their website.
Sex Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of men and women seeking freedom from addictive sexual behaviour.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of men and women who have problems with sex addiction, love addiction, romantic obsession, co-dependent relationships, fantasy addiction and/or sexual, social and emotional anorexia.
The charity Stepchange (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service) offers expert debt advice and free debt management. Telephone: 0800 138 1111.
SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, in at- risk groups or victims of any form of abuse. Helpline: 01708 765200 (hours vary).
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide provides dedicated support to adults who have been bereaved by suicide. It is a self-help organisation that aims to provide a safe, confidential environment in which bereaved people can share their experiences and feelings, so giving and gaining support from each other. Their national helpline number is 0300 111 5065.
The Trouble with Illness is a site run by Julia Segal, a counsellor well-known for writing about Kleinian therapy, who has worked with the seriously ill and their carers for many years. She describes it as, "a site for thinking about and understanding how it feels when someone is ill, and how things really are." Includes many reading suggestions.
Victim Support Scotland is the national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected across Scotland. Their supportline is on 0345 603 9213 and they also run local centres.
Action in Mind is the leading local mental health charity working with and supporting people experiencing mental ill-health living in Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire. Unfortunately, its website has been in the process of reconstruction for some time, though it has an active Twitter presence.
Stirling Family Support Service provides dedicated support for family members and individuals affected by a loved one's drug or alcohol abuse. Their office number is 01786 470797.