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Where to go for help first

Talk to your GP

If you are worried that you have an issue with your mental health, first you should go and talk to your GP. Your GP is there to treat your mental and physical health, so don’t hesitate to see them when you need to. GPs regularly see and help people who are depressed, anxious, stressed with work or experiencing difficulties in their personal relationships.

If you are unhappy with your usual doctor, you can ask to see another doctor at the same practice or make an appointment with a different practice in your area.

Your GP may recommend a number of courses of action if he/she feels they will help you. This could be one of the following:

  • Talking therapies
    A referral for talking therapy is available for anyone through their GP. The type of therapy you receive will depend on what the problem is. This may include Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Counselling, Psychiatry or family, couples or group therapy.
  • You could be referred to Healthy Minds (you can also refer yourself to this service).
  • Stockport Psychological Wellbeing Service - therapies for mild to moderate mental health disorders (you can also refer yourself to this service)
  • Medicines
    If medication helps, and you and your GP agree to it, a number of options exist that can assist with conditions such as insomnia, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
  • Specialist care
    Specialist care can be needed for more serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. If that is the case, you may be referred to a psychiatrist at Stepping Hill Hospital. Treatment may be combined and involve medication, talking therapies and 24-hour support if needed. This could be at your home or in hospital.
  • Other support
    Specialists in mental health conditions are also able refer you to employment and training schemes that support your needs while providing work and education. These specialists can also offer community-based assistance through crisis resolution teams. 

The Mental Health Foundation has some great advice about talking to your GP about mental health issues. How to talk to your GP about your mental health: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/gp-visit-guide

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence contains information about what should happen when you first talk to a healthcare professional, and what you can expect from services for common mental health issues.

If you are not registered with a GP, you can find your nearest practice here

Facing a wait for an appointment?

Whilst you are awaiting for your GP appointment, there are lots of other confidential services available to you in the meantime:

The Sanctuary - 0300 003 7029. The service is available 6pm-1am, 7 days a week (for clients over 18 years old only).

The Samaritans – Freephone 116 123. 24 hours each day, every day. Talk to them any time you like, in your own way, and off the record about whatever’s getting to you.

There are details of more organisations offering 24 hour support and local support groups on the following pages (see menu on the right).

Next: Support from local groups

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