What is depression?

Depression is a feeling of very low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your day to day life. It can cause feelings of despair, guilt, worthlessness, lack of motivation and exhaustion. Depression can affect your self-esteem, sleep, appetite, sex drive and physical health.

People with mild depression are able to lead a normal life, but everything seems harder to do and feels less worthwhile. People with severe depression can feel suicidal.

Depression affects people in many different ways causing a wide variety of psychological, physical and social symptoms. It often develops gradually with many people not recognising the symptoms at first.

  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling tearful
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
  • Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • Finding it difficult to make decisions
  • Having no motivation or interest in things
  • Not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • Lack of energy
  • Disturbed sleep – you might find it difficult to fall asleep at night or wake up very early in the morning
  • Changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Avoiding social situations and having less contact with friends
  • Stopping or neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • Having difficulties in your home, work or family life
  • Mild depression – has some impact on your daily life
  • Moderate depression – has a significant impact on your daily life
  • Severe depression – makes it almost impossible to get through daily life and may lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviour

How can I help someone?

It can be very upsetting to see a friend or loved one suffering from depression. You may feel there is nothing you can do, but remember, you don’t need to provide solutions. Being there to provide support and small everyday actions can make a big difference.

  • Listen – let them know you care and are there to listen to how they are feeling and what they are going through.
  • Ask – ask how you can help, in whatever small ways you can.
  • Support – accept them as they are, without judgement.
  • Talk – stay in touch regularly, whether by texting, phoning or messaging.
  • Look after yourself – it can be stressful and exhausting supporting someone through mental health difficulties. Look after your own wellbeing to ensure you have the energy, time and distance you need to be able to help them.

Local Support

Find local depression support around Doncaster

Tel: 01302 327474



Doncaster Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way, about whatever’s getting to you.

Please don’t suffer alone.



We are talking groups for men because… You’ve either been through a storm, currently going through a storm or have a storm brewing in your life. We meet every Monday night, except bank Holidays, at 7pm.

All that anyone wanting to attend needs to do is email us.

Tel: 01302 812190



Doncaster Mind is a local charity that provides support for people experiencing mental health difficulties. They aim to support personal wellbeing and recovery by providing information and guidance, courses, peer support groups, counselling and befriending services.

Tel: 01302 565650

The Doncaster Talking Shop offers a warm and friendly environment for people aged 18 and over who present with no risk to themselves or others.

The service sees people experiencing common mental health problems, including: depression, general anxiety, stress, panic, phobias, social anxiety, low self-esteem, health anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bereavement and mild eating disorders (not anorexia nervosa).

Tel: 01302 618507



The People Focused Group (PFG) is about peer support: people helping people, making everyone’s life better. The PFG hold sessions every week day and organise activities, support, learning opportunities and social events. Their main focus is to give people the tools and support to maintain their own wellness and make friends while doing so.

Everyone is welcome, pop in for a cuppa. Sessions are held:

Monday – Thursday (9am – 4pm)

Friday (9am – 2pm)

Tel: 0808 801 0442


The 24/7, Doncaster Telephone Helpline offers emotional support and information to people affected by mental illness, aged 16 and over, who live in Doncaster.

A 24/7 service providing assessments to identify the most appropriate needs and services to support individuals.

In hours – Phone Mental Health Access Team/Single Point of Contact on 03000 218996 or 0800 8048999

Out of hours RDaSH

Doncaster – Freephone: 0800 804 8999

Rotherham – Freephone: 0800 652 9571

North Lincolnshire – Freephone: 0800 015 0211

One of the trained call handlers will signpost you to the most appropriate service depending on your level of need. This may include your out of hours GP, a voluntary organisation or our Access/Crisis Team.

Hard of hearing? Deaf? Text phone service

For anyone unable to use the standard telephone line, ie hard of hearing, we also have a text phone service.  Numbers to text are:

  • North Lincolnshire – 07918 372894
  • Rotherham – 07974 603610
  • Doncaster – 07967 793815

National support organisations

See what national support is available for depression.


NHS provides information on 5 steps that you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.


Young Minds has lots of tips, advice and guidance on where you can get support for your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Tel: 0800 678 1602



Open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year

Age UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. We provide companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most.

Text: 85258(24/7 help)



Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.


The NHS website has contact information for a number of mental health helplines.

Tel: 0800 138 1619  (24-hour Helpline, 365 days a year)

Text: 07537 404719 



Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. Helping  former servicemen and women with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The service provides confidential advice and support to veterans and their families.

Support Apps

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