Time to talk?
There are many twists and turns in life, and some can leave us feeling more than a little off. But there’s no reason for Southwark residents to ignore their mental health because there is free, professional help and advice available across the borough and beyond.
If you, a friend or a family member is struggling, please reach out and speak to someone.
Every six seconds, someone calls the Samaritans. The national charity offers a round-the-clock helpline, 365 days of the year. Callers have complete anonymity and confidentiality, and can talk about what is troubling them – including feelings that could lead to suicide – for as long as they need. This year has been the 50th anniversary of the Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark branch of the Samaritans. The local service provides emotional support on the phone and by email, to help ease the turmoil individuals may find themselves in, all without judgement. There is also a daily drop-in service at the branch on 1-5 Angus Street, London SE14 6WW, where you can speak to a Samaritans volunteer face to face. Opening times are here.
You can contact the Samaritans for free from any telephone on 116 123. You can call even if you don’t have credit on your mobile, and the number won’t show up on phone bills. For more information, visit www.samaritans.org.
Alcoholics Anonymous UK
Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous UK is a national fellowship of thousands of men and women who have turned to the organisation to help recover from alcoholism. If you feel that alcohol has become a problem in your life, Alcoholics Anonymous UK’s 12-step programme may be able to help. The service is free to join, the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. Weekly meetings are held in and around Southwark, and are run by volunteers who have first-hand experience of the issues that drinking too much can bring. You can find your nearest meeting here. Or for immediate help with a drinking problem from someone who has first-hand experience, call the free helpline on 0800 9177 650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Launched in 2003 with an appeal to ‘Talk to Frank’, the support service provides up-to-date information, advice and support about all illegal substances. Frank is there for anyone who has questions about drugs, whether it’s for themselves or another person. The confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 0300 123 6600, or you can text your question to 82111 and Frank will text you back. There is also an email service and a live chat session at www.talktofrank.com every day between 2pm and 6pm.
According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four of us will experience some form of mental illness in any given year. The charity is committed to removing the stigma associated with mental health illnesses and firmly believes that no-one should have to face a mental health illness alone. As well as providing advice and information on a national level, there are around 130 local Mind branches across England and Wales, including Lambeth and Southwark Mind. Run by mental health service users and survivors, the branch offers a range of services, including: drop in, information, self help and support groups, and volunteer opportunities.
For more information and to speak openly to someone who will understand, call Lambeth and Southwark Mind on 020 7501 9203, visit www.lambethandsouthwarkmind.org.uk or find out more at www.mind.org.uk.
This respite centre in north London offers help and support in a non-medical environment for adults experiencing suicidal thoughts. Open 365 days a year, Maytree offers a four-night stay in the charity’s comforting home setting, which is run around the clock by a small team of staff and volunteers. The focus is on providing a safe and friendly environment in which individuals can talk about their thoughts and feelings. Potential guests can contact the centre by phone on 020 7263 7070 or email email@example.com. After the initial contact, a member of the team will follow-up with a series of calls to decide whether a stay at Maytree is right for you.
For more information, visit www.maytree.org.uk
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Working to prevent male suicide in the UK, CALM was launched as a pilot project by the Department of Health in Manchester in December 1997 and went on to become a national charity in 2006. Today, its patron is the rapper and singer/songwriter Professor Green, who knows all too well the devastation of suicide after losing his father to it. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day. CALM runs a free confidential helpline and webchat, seven hours a day, seven days a week, which is there for anyone – male or female – who needs support. If you want to talk, call CALM on 0800 585858 or use its webchat. Both services are available daily between 5pm and midnight. For more information or signposting to other services, visit www.thecalmzone.net.
This leading UK mental health charity offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness. It operates SANEline, a national out-of-hours mental health helpline, which is available to call on 0300 304 7000 every day of the year between 4.30pm and 10.30pm. If you are a friend or family member of someone dealing with mental illness, you are also welcome to call. SANE offers an online support forum where members can share experiences and gain support. There is also a text service available, where you can request a message from SANE, perhaps to be received at a time when you know you will need some additional support. For further information, visit www.sane.org.uk.
Southwark Wellbeing Hub
This local community support service is brought to the borough by Together, a national charity that offers a wide range of mental health services across England. If you need help with your mental wellbeing, or are worried about the welfare of a friend or family member, the Southwark Wellbeing Hub can help. You can receive support over the phone by calling 020 3751 9684 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also pop-up hubs across the borough where you can just drop in. You can find more information here.