Mental Health

What are mental health issues?

One in four of us will experience a mental health issue every year.

Experiencing a period of poor mental health might mean your thoughts, feelings or reactions become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with.

Anxiety is what and how we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future.

Occasional anxiety is a totally normal human experience. But if your feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, they can be overwhelming and affect your day to day life. You might also experience physical symptoms such as sleep problems and panic attacks.

Depression is a feeling of very low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your day to day life. It can make you feel hopeless, despairing, guilty, worthless, unmotivated and exhausted. It can affect your self-esteem, sleep, appetite, sex drive and your physical health.

In its mildest form, depression doesn’t stop you leading a normal life, but it makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can make you feel suicidal, and be life-threatening.

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. The term is often misused in daily conversation – for example, you might hear people talk about being ‘a bit OCD’, if they like things to be neat and tidy. But the reality of this disorder is a lot more complex and serious.

OCD has two main parts: obsessions (unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind; and compulsions (repetitive activities that you feel you have to do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession).

Bipolar disorder in the main affects your mood. With this diagnosis you are likely to have times when you experience: manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high); depressive episodes (feeling low); and potentially some psychotic symptoms.

Everyone has variations in their mood, but in bipolar disorder these swings can feel very extreme and have a big impact on your life. You might have stable times where you experience fewer symptoms.

A phobia is an extreme form of fear or anxiety triggered by a particular situation (such as going outside) or object (such as wasps or spiders), even when it’s very unlikely to be dangerous.

A fear becomes a phobia if the fear is out of proportion to the danger, it lasts for more than six months, and has a significant impact on how you live your day-to-day life.

Lots of people question whether it’s really a distinct condition, or actually a few different conditions that overlap one another. But you may still be given this diagnosis if you experience symptoms such as:

  • psychosis (such as hallucinations or delusions)
  • disorganised thinking and speech
  • feeling disconnected from your feelings
  • difficulty concentrating
  • wanting to avoid people
  • a lack of interest in things
  • not wanting to look after yourself.

A personality disorder is a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life. It doesn’t mean that you’re fundamentally different from other people – but you may regularly experience difficulties with how you think about yourself and others.

There are several different variations of personality disorder, but most people who are diagnosed with a particular personality disorder don’t fit any single category very clearly or consistently.

Why might I not feel well at the moment and what can I do to feel better?

Experiencing a mental health problem is often upsetting, confusing and frightening. If you become unwell, you may feel that it’s a sign of weakness, or that you are ‘losing your mind’.

Mental health problems are a common human experience.

There are things you can do to make you feel better:

  • Self-help
  • Treatment
  • Support services

Mental health problems can have a wide range of causes. It’s likely that for many people there is a complicated combination of factors that are making them feel unwell.

The following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health:

  • childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
  • social isolation or loneliness
  • experiencing discrimination and stigma
  • social disadvantage, poverty or debt
  • losing someone close to you (bereavement)
  • severe or long-term stress
  • having a long-term physical health condition
  • unemployment or losing your job
  • homelessness or poor housing
  • being a carer for someone else
  • drug and alcohol misuse
  • domestic violence, bullying or other abuse as an adult
  • significant trauma as an adult, such as being involved in a serious incident in which you feared for your life, or being the victim of a violent crime
  • physical causes such as a head injury or a neurological condition such as epilepsy as they can have an impact on your behaviour and mood. (It’s important to rule out potential physical causes before seeking further treatment for a mental health problem).

Although lifestyle factors including work, diet, drugs and lack of sleep can all affect your mental health, if you experience a mental health problem there are usually other factors that contribute.

Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help you to manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.

  • Tell people what helps. If certain treatments have helped in the past, tell your doctor. Let your friends and family know how they can support you, whether it’s listening to you when you’re having a bad day, helping you keep on top of your commitments, or being aware of things that make you feel worse.
  • Spot your early warning signs. If you can, try to be aware of how you’re feeling, and watch out for any signs you might be becoming unwell. These will be individual to you, but it can be useful to reflect on what these may be so you can get support as soon as possible.
  • Keep a mood diary. Tracking your moods will help you take steps to avoid, change or prepare for difficult situations.
  • Build your self-esteem. Taking steps to increase your self-esteem can help you to feel more confident and able to cope with challenges.
  • Build your network around you. Feeling connected to other people is important. It helps you to feel valued and confident about yourself, and can give you a different perspective on things. If you can, try to spend some time connecting with friends and family – even a text or phone call can make a difference, join a local community group or take up a new sport or activity.
  • Take time for you.  Relax – maybe having a bath, listening to music or taking your dog for a walk. Mindfulness – being more aware of the present moment. This can mean both outside, in the world around you, and inside, in your feelings and thoughts. Practising mindfulness can help you become more aware of your own moods and reactions. Get outside – getting out into a green environment, such as a park or the countryside, is especially good for you. Even if you don’t have a garden or aren’t very mobile, caring for plants or animals indoors can still help you get some benefits from nature.
  • Get enough sleep. Rest when you can. This can help you have the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.
  • Keep active. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be very strenuous or sporty to be effective – to start with you could try gentle exercise like going for a short walk, yoga or swimming. The important thing is to pick something you enjoy doing, so you’re more likely to stick with it.
  • Eat well. What you eat, and when you eat, can make a big difference to how well you feel.

If these work well for you then you may find you don’t need any formal treatment. However, it’s important to remember that there is unlikely to be an instant solution. Recovering from a mental health problem is likely to take time and a lot of energy.

Talking treatments will give you regular space for you to talk about your thoughts and experiences and explore difficult feelings with a trained professional. This could help you to:

  • deal with a specific problem
  • cope with upsetting memories or experiences
  • improve your relationships
  • develop more helpful ways of living day-to-day.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

If you’re referred for therapy through the NHS, you’re likely to be offered a type of talking treatment called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT is a relatively short-term treatment which aims to identify connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and to help you develop practical skills to manage any negative patterns that may be causing you difficulties.


The most common type of treatment available is psychiatric medication. These drugs don’t cure mental health problems, but they can ease many symptoms. Which type of drug you are offered will depend on your diagnosis. For example: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sleeping tablets and mood stabilisers.

Arts and creative therapies

Arts and creative therapies are a way of using the arts (music, painting, dance or drama) to express and understand yourself in a therapeutic environment, with a trained therapist. This can be especially helpful if you find it difficult to talk about your problems and how you are feeling.

Complementary and alternative therapies

Some people find complementary and alternative therapies helpful to manage stress and other common symptoms of mental health problems. These can include things like yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, herbal remedies and acupuncture.

If your mental health problems are severe or longer lasting, or the treatment your doctor has offered you isn’t working, they can refer you to specialist mental health services such as:

  • community mental health teams (CMHTs)
  • social (or community) care
  • residential care
  • crisis intervention
  • hospital treatment

How can I help someone?

It can be very difficult and distressing to see someone you care about becoming unwell, but you don’t need to be an expert on mental health to offer support. Often small, everyday actions can make the biggest difference.

It is important to show how concerned you are, rather than disapproval and tell them that you are worried about them.

If you think someone is unwell, don’t be afraid to ask how they are. They might want to talk about it, or they might not. But just letting them know they don’t have to avoid the issue with you is important. Spending time with them lets them know you care, and can help you understand what they’re going through.

  • Ask them how you can help – it might be arranging an appointment to see their GP or helping them with daily tasks such as cleaning or food shopping.
  • Be open-minded – try to be non-judgemental and listen.
  • Don’t just talk about mental health – keep talking about the things you’ve always talked about together.
  • Show trust and respect – this will help them to rebuild and maintain a sense of self-esteem. This can also help you to cope a bit better if you can see your support having a positive impact on the person you care about.
  • Look after yourself – Supporting someone else can sometimes be stressful. Making sure that you look after your own wellbeing can mean that you have the energy, time and distance you need to be able to help.
  • Get support – You may be entitled to social care support from Doncaster City Council  to help you care for your friend or family member.

Local Support

Find local Mental Health support around 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

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:

Doncaster – 07967 793815


NHS Doncaster Talking Therapies, previously known as Doncaster IAPT, provides talking therapies to adults who are experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.

The Doncaster team is made up of psychological wellbeing practitioners, cognitive behavioural therapists and counsellors. The team can offer a range of different talking therapies to support you in managing your mental health and improving your wellbeing.

Doncaster also offers a long term conditions (LTC) service which offers support for adults diagnosed with long term health conditions and who are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety and/or stress.

To access the NHS Doncaster Talking Therapies service, you must be registered to a Doncaster GP surgery.

Tel: 01302 730956


A single point of access designed to provide advice, support and signposting. Alternatively, you can drop in to one of the hubs across Doncaster

Tel: 01302 309 800


The community hub and women’s centre provides a base for a wide range of services aimed at supporting women and their children in the community. 

The service offers Mental health support in partnership with Doncaster Mind, provide counselling, one-to-one support, therapeutic group work and bereaved by suicide support groups.  

Anyone is welcome to visit the Hub at Changing Lives, 2-5 Princes Street, Doncaster, DN1 3NJ any time Monday to Thursday, 9.30am-3pm. 

Tel: 01302 737291



If you need assistance or advice with support and care arrangements, you can contact us between 8.30am- 5pm Monday – Friday.

Tel: 01302 812190



For people over the age of 18, living in Doncaster who are regularly attending A&E, NHS 111, GP and crisis services for their immediate mental health needs. This service will offer support and help you to manage your mental health needs.’ 

Tel: 01302 812190



For people over the age of 18, living in Doncaster who are regularly attending A&E, NHS 111, GP and crisis services for their immediate mental health needs. This service will offer support and help you to manage your mental health needs.’ 

Tel: 01302 812190



Support for young people aged between 16-25, living in Doncaster. The services offers 1-1 Mentoring, personal development courses and information and guidance.

Tel: 01302 812190


This programme can help you manage your mental health. It’s a six-week guided programme for adults experiencing mild-to-moderate mental health problems and is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). 

It is delivered by our practitioners who are trained to support people through one of eight pathways: 

  • anxiety and panic attacks  
  • coping with grief and loss  
  • loneliness and feeling lonely  
  • low self esteem  
  • low mood and depression  
  • managing anger  
  • managing stress 
  • understanding menopause

Supported self-help is ideal for anybody who is not currently accessing mental health treatment and/or may be on a waiting list for additional mental health support. They don’t need a formal diagnosis and this programme can provide an excellent early intervention.

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.

Tel: 116 123 (Free phone)

Tel: 0330 094 5717 (Local charges apply)


Open 24/7. If you need someone to talk to, we listen. It is a safe space to talk anytime, day or night.


Tel: 01302 796191

With Me in Mind is the name of one of the national Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) and there are teams based in both Doncaster and Rotherham. Our service focuses on early prevention and intervention; ensuring children and young people, their families/ carers are able to access appropriate support to improve and maintain positive emotional wellbeing, to expand and widen positive self-esteem and to increase their self-efficacy in order to create resilience.  We are working in collaboration with schools/education settings /external agencies in order to enhance and improve relationships.


Early Help is a way of getting extra help and support when your family needs it, but getting it as soon as difficulties start, rather than waiting until things get worse. It’s for children and young people of any age and their family. Help can come from all kinds of services and organisations who work together to support your family. You might be using some of these services already, but we want to make sure they are providing the right support for you and your family’s needs. 


Digital mental health support for those aged 11-25, living in Doncaster.

Users have instant access to self-help materials, live moderated discussion forums and tools such as online journals and goal trackers. Young people can also contribute written pieces of work reflecting their own experiences, as well as accessing drop-in or booked sessions with professional counsellors from 12pm-10pm weekdays and 6pm-10pm at weekends. Kooth is available to young people in Doncaster, across the ages of 11-25 years.

Tel: 0330 088 9255


Online referral form:

Support for those bereaved by suicide.

Tel: 01302 796191


Providing assessment, therapy and interventions for children and young people up to the age of 18.

Tel: 01302 566776

School Nurses confidential text service: 07917 131891

Health Bus Tel: 07867 537838

Health Bus E-Mail:

Health Promotion Team Tel: 01302 640065

Offering support and advice for young people aged 5-19 and their families. Between Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.

Tel: 01302 862050



Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for St Leger Homes Tenants.

Our Mental Health Navigators offer support to St Leger Homes tenants who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing.

We are a free service, offering support and advice to help reduce the personal stressors of tenants. The Mental Health Navigator’s support includes but is not limited to, supporting

  • Low mood,
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Sleep issues
  • Hoarding

We accept self-referral’s, internal referrals from within St Leger and from other external organisations in the Doncaster borough.

Once we have received your referral one of our Mental Health Navigators will make contact with you within 10 working days to acknowledge your referral.

If you would like more information please contact us by calling or emailing us.


Text: YM to 85258

Providing 24/7 urgent and crisis support, helping you to take the next steps to feel better.



Mental Health FC CIC is a registered non-profit based in Doncaster that is bringing people together to play the sport they love while helping and improving their mental health – everyone is welcome and supported!

Here 24/7 for young people in Doncaster who need urgent help for mental health crisis. could this please be put underneath the RDASH – Mental Health Single Point of Access service.

03000 218996

Provides a place for men to come together in a safe and open environment to talk about the issues or problems that they have faced or are currently facing.



National support organisations

See what national support is available for Mental Health.

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.

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.

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

Text: 07537 404719 


Go to website

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.

Go to website

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

Go to website

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.

Beaumont Society

The Beaumont Society is a national self help organisation run by and for the transgender community. They welcome all transgender people and their partners at any stage or point in their transition journey.


Tel: 01582 412220

Go to website

Gender Identity Clinic

The Sheffield Gender Identity Clinic, also known as the Porterbrook Clinic, is a service for adults with concerns about their gender identity. The service is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has concerns about their gender identity.


Tel: 0114 271 6671

Go to website

Gendered Intelligence

Gendered Intelligence is a free trans-led, confidential help and support service for patients waiting for their first appointment with a Gender Identify Clinic. The Gendered Intelligence can offer independent support and a listening ear at what we know can be a really difficult time for patients waiting. The trans affirmative support they offer is provided by workers who are all trans and non-binary people themselves and have lived experience of gender identity services. They can support patients to:

  • access confidential support
  • source helpful information
  • chat about resilience and self-care
  • talk about how you might handle difficult times
  • take care of your wellbeing

Patients can contact them on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2pm to 7pm and Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm. Any contact outside of these hours will be picked up and responded to as soon as possible. Patients can get in touch in whatever way they feel most comfortable:

Tel: 0330 3559 678

Text message or WhatsApp: 07592 650 496


Go to website

Mental Health Matters (MHM) is a national charity with over 40 years of experience in delivering high-quality mental health and social care services.


Tel: 0191 516 3500 (Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00)


Support Apps

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