Over the last few weeks we've talked about the benefits of getting outdoors - known as Ecotherapy, how we use our senses to interact with nature and the way different cultures approach wellbeing around the world.
But all these blogs aside, recognising you have a mental health problem and seeking help is the best thing you can do.
Visit our Mental Wellbeing Hub to find out more about the benefits of nature and camping, advice, tips and charities and organisations that can help if you aren't feeling 100%.
It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. We collaborated with many individuals, charities and health workers to put this campaign together. Here’s where to get help if you need it.
If you’re suffering from mental health problems, you should talk to someone. You may find it useful to tell someone close to you, like a family member or close friend, so they are aware of how you are feeling.
The don'ts of seeking help
- Don’t bottle up your thoughts or keep them to yourself.
- Don’t feel like you have to tell a family member or friend, but sometimes it can help you feel better supported.
- Don’t feel inadequate or weak for asking for help. You’re doing what’s right.
- Don’t feel like there’s no way out or that you’re trapped in an endless cycle. By getting help, you’re beginning a journey to a more positive future. You will get better and you’re not trapped.
It’s normal to feel this way
If you’re suffering from mental health problems like low mood, anxiety, depression, stress and other issues, you may feel inadequate, useless, or like you’re a burden. You’re not. You may have irrational thoughts, panic attacks or thoughts of self-harm. This is normal, but you should reach out for help.
We’ve put together a list of charities, organisations and services that can help you.
NHS 111 offers medical advice to those who need help but not urgently. You will talk to a healthcare professional who will ask you questions about how you’re feeling and what to do next. Call 111 on a landline or mobile or visit 111.nhs.uk
Talk to your GP They will be able to offer reassurance and refer you to specialist services that can offer therapy and treatment. They may also prescribe you medicine to help you manage your mental wellbeing like antidepressants.
Talk to Samaritans If you’re feeling alone or have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org. Someone will be able to talk to you. All calls are confidential and they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Make time to worry Designating a time to worry lets you focus on your anxieties for a set amount of time and clear your mind for the rest of the day. Make a journal or diary or download the WorryTree app. Don't block out your worries - that's the worst thing you can do.
Anxiety UK anxietyuk.org.uk
For those struggling with anxiety.
British Heart Foundation bhf.org.uk
For those with physical conditions relating to the heart.
For those struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Diabetes UK diabetes.org.uk
For those with physical conditions relating to diabetes.
Every Mind Matters nhs.uk/every-mind-matters
NHS Mental Health portal.
Heads Together headstogether.org.uk
For those suffering with all mental health issues, supported by The Royal Foundation of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.
Mental Health Foundation UK mentalhealth.org.uk
Advice, research and studies about mental health.
NHS Mental Health Services nhs.uk
For those suffering with all mental health issues.
For children suffering with mental health issues.
One You nhs.uk/oneyou
NHS physical and mental health portal.
Advice, resources and careers service for those affected by mental health problems.
Largest LGBTQ+ charity in the UK, offering help and advice for those struggling.
Offers gardening to bring about positivity for those in ill-health, those with disabilities or those who are vulnerable.
UK Government Covid-19 & Mental Health Advice gov.uk
Official advice from the UK Government regarding mental health and Covid-19.
Young Minds youngminds.org.uk
Mental health service for children and young adults.
What will my doctor say?
First of all, well done for taking this important step.
They will probably ask you how you're feeling. If you are able to identify your mental issue(s) then you should do so and describe how it affects you and how long it has affected you.
If you're unable to self-identify then your doctor will run through some questions to help them understand how you feel.
Once they have a clear idea of what you are struggling with, they will likely discuss what happens next. In the UK, you will most likely be referred to an NHS mental health service that will offer therapy and further help. Your doctor may give you leaflets, booklets, print-outs and websites for you to read and they may also discuss possible medications.
You will be supported throughout your journey by medical professionals
Try the NHS One You free quiz to get your health score, along with personalised advice and easy tips for healthier living.
(NHS One You will ask you to sign up but you have a choice to continue without doing so. Any information you give is confidential.)
Reading not your thing, not try an audiobook
Online application helping with sleep and meditation.
English Heritage english-heritage.org.uk
Explore England’s long history.
Forestry England forestryengland.uk
Protecting and maintaining England's forests.
Great British Gardens greatbritishgarden.co.uk
Listing notable and open gardens across the UK.
Online application specialising in meditation and guided relaxation techniques.
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens kew.org
Discover, explore and learn outdoors.
National Parks UK nationalparks.uk
Representing the UK's National Parks.
National Trust nationaltrust.org.uk
Discover historic houses, castles, gardens & coastlines.
Connecting you with nature.
Royal Horticultural Society gardens and partner properties.
Alan Rogers Travel alanrogers.com
Worldwide Caravan & Motorhome Holidays worldwide.alanrogers.com
Alan Rogers Rallies rallies.alanrogers.com
Caravan and Motorhome Club caravanclub.co.uk
With thanks to
Mark Lang, Communications and PR Manager at thrive.org.uk
David Brackenbridge, Chief Executive Officer at venturescotland.org.uk
Gaby Pilson, Outdoor Educator at outforia.com
Victoria Philpott, Travel Blogger at vickyflipfloptravels.com
Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Pharmacy, doctorfox.co.uk
Compiled by Alan Rogers Travel
Recommended Small Sites
Getting out in nature is great for improving your mental wellbeing and picking up your mood. If you want to get outside and stay outside for a few days, we recommend visiting a small site where you can find a quiet space.
We've included a couple of our favourite sites in England but, once travel restrictions ease, there's nothing stopping you for venturing further afield.