Information Now

Mental Health Feature Issue, 5 October 2018


  • Your Mental Health
  •  World Mental Health Day
  • Other world mental health day events
  • Spotlight on Local Mental Health Support
  • Self Help Resources and Online Tools
  • Telephone Support Services
  • Creative Activities and Complementary Therapies
  • Mental health support for veterans, their families and carers
  • New and Updated on Information NOW

Your Mental Health

Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. One in four people in the UK have a mental health problem at some point in their lives which affects their normal daily life, relationships or physical health.

Symptoms may include: feeling sad, losing interest or enjoyment in things, crying a lot or unable to cry, feeling lonely even in company and feeling angry and irritable. Other symptoms may include: worrying a lot about your health despite reassurance from a GP; uncontrollable and unhealthy eating habits; poor sleeping pattern; social anxiety, uncontrollable anger and low self-esteem as well as low mood  often related to significant life events including bereavement and loss, loss of employment or inability to participate in meaningful activity.

Without care and treatment, mental health problems can have a serious effect on the individual and those around him or her.

There is no single cause of mental health problems, the reasons they develop are as complex as the individual.

If you are concerned that you are developing a mental health problem, you should seek the advice and support of your GP as a matter of priority. If you are in distress and need immediate help and are unable to see a GP, you should call the social care 24 hour mental health team or NHS 111 which is staffed by clinicians and call handlers.  NHS 111 can also transfer you to 999 if the situation is urgent.

Read more about Mental Health and the support available on InformationNOW

World Mental Health Day

There are a number of events taking place across the region to celebrate the World Mental Health Day which falls on 10th October.

Newcastle World Mental Health Day

6th October, 11am – 3pm
Newcastle City Library, 33 New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AX

On the Saturday closest to World Mental Health Day (10th October), there is a free event in Newcastle giving you the chance to find out about local mental health support and to take part in creative activities. Find out more from;

Other Local World Mental Health Day Events

Gateshead: Wednesday 10 October, 11:00am – 3:00pm, Shipley Art Gallery, Prince Consort Rd, Gateshead, NE8 4JB

Find out what mental health services are available to Gateshead residents. Live music, free food and refreshments. For information contact Mish Loraine at Gateshead Mental Health User Voice Phone: 0191 477 7381, email:

North Tyneside: Cullercoats Crescent Club, Victoria Terrace, Cullercoats, NE30 4PN 12th October, 11:30am – 5pm

A free event bringing the North Tyneside Mental Health Community together. Join them for creative activities, information stalls, raffle, tombola, live music and free buffet lunch. Everyone welcome. For more information email or call 0191 223 0382

Northumberland: Northumberlandia, Fisher Lane, Cramlington NE23 8AU 10th October, 10am – 12pm

Celebrate World Mental Health Day by joining Talking Matters Northumberland’s ‘Being Active Matters‘ walk at Northumberlandia, Cramlington.

Very often people lack the confidence and motivation to make that first step, and that is where Being Active Matters comes in to offer invaluable support, to help connect volunteers and people who want to get more active. Everyone is welcome – whether you are interested in volunteering or you would just like to know more about the scheme. Refreshments are available afterwards at The Parlour, Blagdon. If you would like to attend please contact:

Spotlight on Local Mental Health Support

AnchorLocal Counselling Services and Support Groups

A Time 2 Talk offers counselling to support individuals who are facing the impact of life changing events that can result in: Anxiety, Depression, Stress, loss of employment, adjusting to new way of living, loss of living independently, moving to sheltered accommodation, mobility loss, sight impairment, relying on others for care. They can support individuals, their carers, partners, family members and friends.

ReCoCo: The Recovery College  run various peer-led support groups, and free educational and creative courses, which are open to anyone who would find them helpful in their recovery from mental illness, substance misuse, trauma or distress

Richmond Fellowship support and encourage people with mental health problems so they have the knowledge and confidence to make their own choices and manage their condition.

Mental Health Concern (MHC) provide supported accommodation, day services and rehabilitation services for people with complex and enduring mental health problems as well as community support and dementia care services.  Your Call offers free support to help people live independently at home

Mind Tyneside and Northumberland runs a Safe Space Service MEA House. It is an informal group that offers essential support to adults who are experiencing problems with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. The aim of the service is to provide a supportive peer group where people can reduce isolation, build confidence, improve their wellbeing and take positive steps towards their recovery. They also have a mental health at work gateway

Newcastle Talking Helps offers free talking therapies, which can help with problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, anger, fears, bereavement and relationship difficulties. You can request a referral from your doctor or contact them directly to make an appointment.

North East Counselling Services delivers counselling services to carers and veterans across the North East.

Advocacy – Support to get your voice heard

Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA)can support someone who is subject to the Mental Health Act, (This may also be known as detained or ‘sectioned’ under the Act).

  • help patients understand information they are given by people involved in their care/treatment
  • help them to talk to the people involved in their care/treatment
  • access information about how the Mental Health Act applies to patient

The Advocacy Centre North can provide practical support to deal with stress and anxiety that may be caused by not being able to access services or support you need.

Launchpad is an organisation run by and for people experiencing mental health problems. They are involved in the planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of mental health services.


Newcastle Carers provide confidential information and support to adult carers who are looking after someone living in Newcastle. If you look after a friend or family member who has mental health problems and couldn’t manage without your help, then you are a carer.

Self Help Resources and Online Tools

Newcastle Libraries run the ‘Reading Well Books on Prescription‘ scheme. The collection provides books available to borrow to help you manage your mental wellbeing. The books deal with issues such as anger, anxiety, fear, panic, worry, assertiveness, confidence, self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, fatigue and pain.

Men’s Health Forum offers a Man MOT. This means you can contact a GP 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Mental Health in Later Life – booklet from Mental Health Foundation

Patient Information Centre has a range of mental health guides and other health related information available to download for free. Find their Mental Health Self Help Guides here.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) provides information and hosts a webchat service and a private online forum for men bereaved by suicide.

NHS Online provides an online symptom checker, health information and help to find medical services near you.

Re Think Mental Illness offers online advice and support.

Telephone Support Services

  • Mental Health Matters helpline is a confidential out of hours telephone service, which is staffed by trained and experienced telephone helpline workers. The service offers emotional support to anyone calling, including carers, and provides information on local and national mental health services.
  • SANE line is a national confidential out of hours telephone helpline that offers information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health problems. Interpreters are provided for callers to Saneline through Language Line, a service offering interpretation in over 100 languages.
  • Samaritans offer confidential listening either on their 24-hour telephone helpline, or face to face without an appointment. Face to face drop-ins are available 9am – 9pm.
  • Community Health & Social Care Direct have an Emergency Duty Team (EDT) who are available out of normal office hours for mental health emergencies.
  • NHS 111 deals with urgent requests that are not a life-threatening emergency.  They have call operators to triage callers and a trained clinical team who will offer support and advice.

Creative Activities and Complementary Therapies

Chilli Studios provide creative based services for people with mental health problems,  to promote social inclusion, encourage social interaction, build resilience, develop skills and ability, enable potential and improve wellbeing.

Key Enterprises provide opportunities to learn practical skills and make new friends through a range of hands on activities including, DIY training, The ‘Men’s Shed’ project: have a go at woodwork, making, repairing, finishing or restorating items or craft and hobby activities, bike repairs and maintenance, physical and recreational activities such as cycling and artistic projects.

Mindfulness is a therapy that helps you to pay attention to your thoughts, sensations and feelings in a non-judgemental way. Mindfulness is the opposite of being on autopilot and enables you to take control of your mind rather than allowing your mind to be in control of you. It can be helpful for people with mild to moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

Complementary Therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology can be used to improve mood and wellbeing.

Mental health support for veterans, their families and carers

The stress and trauma associated with serving in the armed forces can impact on your mental health. Support is available from a range of services in the region which provide mental health support for veterans and their families.
Royal British Legion runs a drop in centre for Service personnel, veterans and their families. You can get practical help and advice and find out about the wide range of services and community activities provided by the Legion.

Combat Stress offer a 24 hour helpline for veterans and their families, to give advice on mental health and where to get help from.

Joining Forces is an Age UK supported service for veterans.

SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity helps those who currently serve and those who have served in our Armed Forces and their dependant families. They can obtain assistance in the form of grants if needed and signpost people to organisations who help with housing, debt advice, training and mental health problems.

Veterans at Ease is a North East based charity helping veterans and their families deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress related issues. The charity is run by veterans for veterans. Veterans at Ease operate from two locations – one office in Durham and the other office based at Jarrow Hall. They also offer an outreach service to veterans that don’t have the resources to travel.

Veterans’ Intervention Liaison Service offers support to veterans and their families. They support veterans to access services such as mental health, welfare, employment, training and financial support services. They work closely with Combat Stress and the Royal British Legion.

North East Counselling Services delivers counselling services to carers and veterans across the North East.

Read the Mental health support for veterans, their families and carers article in full on InformationNOW.

Types of Mental Health Problems

Mental health disorders take many different forms and affect people in different ways. Schizophrenia, depression and personality disorders are all types of mental health problem. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia generally develop in old age, whereas eating disorders are more common in young people. You may find it useful to read our articles on some specific conditions:

The Mental Health Foundation has detailed information about many different types of mental health problem which you can find using their A-Z search facility.

NEW and UPDATED on Information NOW

New and updated articles
Welfare Benefits
Universal Credit
Attendance Allowance
Disability Living Allowance

New and updated organisations
Slow Shopping
Advocacy Centre North

New and Updated Events and Activities 
Linskill Healthy Walks
Sunday Social
ICE (IT classes for Elders)

Last updated: May 30, 2019

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