Self help support booklet, card and poster

Self help support booklet, card and poster. The information contains useful contacts if you are worried about your own mental health or the mental health of someone you know. If you would like free printed copies of these resources please email [email protected]

  • Introduction

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of mental health, learning disability and specialist services.

    You may not think these services have very much to do with you, but mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people and there are a growing number of people with both learning and other disabilities.

  • Self Help Guides

    The Trust produces a series of *award winning self help guides which can be accessed at

    This booklet details some of the most popular guides in the series. Visit to view the full range of titles.

    The guides are meant as an introduction to self help techniques. You may need to seek additional support from a health professional.

    * British Medical Association Patient Information Awards

  • Anxiety

    Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time. It is a normal response to situations that we see as threatening to us. For example, if we had to go into hospital for an operation, or had to sit a driving test, or take an exam, it would be natural to feel anxious. Anxiety at certain levels can even be helpful in some situations such as when we need to perform well, or cope with an emergency.

    To learn more about Anxiety see our self help guide at

  • Bereavement

    Coping with bereavement and grief can be different for everyone and people can have quite different experiences when they lose someone close to them.
    You can access further information about

    • details of what needs to be done when there is a death.
    • understanding some of the emotions which may be faced during a bereavement or loss.
    • practical suggestions which may help you get through a bereavement.

    To learn more about coping with Bereavement see our self help guide at

  • Controlling Anger

    Everyone feels angry at times, this is often due to life stresses such as money or housing problems or difficulties in relationships. For some people the problem becomes much worse and gets in the way of normal life. Anger becomes a problem when it becomes too strong, happens too often and lasts too long.

    If you have a problem with anger you probably already know it. You may feel that you can do little to control your anger – but there are things that you can do to make a difference.

    To learn more about Controlling Anger see our self help guide at

  • Depression and Low Mood

    Depression is a very common problem and many people feel low or down in the dumps at times. This may be due to life stresses such as bereavement, money or housing problems or difficulties in relationships. For some people the problem becomes much worse and gets in the way of normal life.

    It may seem that nothing can be done to help you feel better. But there are things that you can do to make a difference. There is also further help you can get if the depression does not seem to be getting any better.

    To learn more about Depression and Low Mood see our self help guide at

  • Health Anxiety

    We all worry about our health from time to time, for example, if we had to go into hospital for an operation, or if we are recalled by our doctor following tests.

    Health worries become a problem when they begin to get in the way of normal life even though there is no reason to think that anything is seriously wrong.

    If you find yourself with many troublesome worries about your health you may be experiencing health anxiety.

    To learn more about Health Anxiety see our self help guide at

  • Obsessions and Compulsions

    Most people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) find that there is a pattern in their thoughts, feelings and actions. They feel anxiety or discomfort at having the obsession, and relief once they have carried out the compulsive act. This becomes a vicious cycle which strengthens itself and becomes more likely to happen again.

    Most people with OCD know that their compulsions are unreasonable or ‘over the top’ but they feel unable to control their thoughts or change their behaviour. People may think about seeking help when their lives are becoming disrupted by these unwanted thoughts and actions.

    To learn more about Obsessions and Compulsions see our self help guide at

  • Post Traumatic Stress

    A traumatic incident can be anything that is out of the ordinary range of daily events and is deeply distressing to someone. Many things can have this impact. It could be a fire, an accident, a robbery or burglary, an attack, being a witness to a traumatic event such as a death. It can be large scale such as a major disaster involving many people or a personal event involving yourself, friends or family members.

    The self help guide will help you to understand reactions to trauma and offers some practical suggestions to help you cope.

    To learn more about Post Traumatic Stress see our self help guide at

  • Social Anxiety

    Shyness and social anxiety are common problems that affect both men and women. Most of us feel shy or anxious in social situations at a certain point in our lives. This can be a much more serious problem for some people who find that their lives are made very difficult by their problem.

    The self help guide aims to help you to:

    • recognise whether you may have a problem with shyness or social anxiety;
    • understand what it is, what can cause it, and what can help keep it going;
    • look at ways you can help yourself to overcome shyness or social anxiety.

    To learn more about Shyness and Social Anxiety see our self help guide at

  • Sleeping Problems

    Sleep problems are very common and are often referred to as insomnia. People can become very distressed when they feel they are not getting a good night’s sleep, which can make it harder to get off to sleep.

    But what is a normal amount of sleep? How much sleep do we need? The self help guide will help you to understand sleep problems and to learn some simple ways to sleep better.

    To learn more about how to cope with Sleeping Problems see our self help guide at

  • Stress

    Stress is the word that many people use when they are describing how the demands of their life seem to be becoming too great for them to cope with. Whilst many of us suffer with stress at times in our day to day lives, long-term stress is known to be bad for our health and many of us would like to find ways to gain some control over it.

    To learn more about how to cope with stress see our self help guide at

    A full list of guides are available at the back of this booklet or you can also visit

  • Are you worried about your own mental health or the mental health of someone you know?

    If you are worried about your own mental health there are a number of actions that might be useful in addressing your difficulties.

    • Speak to a loved one or someone you trust about how you are feeling.
    • If any of the problems identified in this guide sound relevant to your current problems access the full guide online
    • Make an appointment with your GP to discuss your current problems. He/she will be able to advise you about what local services are available to you based around whether your symptoms are mild, moderate or complex.
    • This might include advising you to read through some specific self help materials, advising you to self-refer or referring you directly to a local Counselling Service, Talking Therapies Service, or if your problems are more complex the local Community Treatment Team (CTT).
    • Your GP may also discuss medication options with you if you agree this is appropriate.
    • You can refer yourself to many helpful local services by phoning up, or for some services you can self-refer through their website.

    If you are worried about the mental health of someone that you know

    • If you feel able, listen to their concerns and ask them to consider seeking out more information about their current difficulties.
    • If you feel able, ask them to seek help; either by contacting a talking therapies service directly or assisting them in making an appointment with their GP.
    • If the person you know is anxious about contacting services it might be useful if you sit with them while they make a phone call to services or attend a GP appointment with them; if they are agreeable and if you feel able.
    • Sometimes people with mental health problems find it difficult to recognise the problems they are having so it is important you are patient with them.
    • If your concerns about their mental health start to grow it might be that you need to contact mental health services on their behalf (with their consent).
  • If you need urgent help

    If you need urgent help with your mental health you can get in touch 24 hours a day on either the freephone number, or text number if you are Deaf and/or have hearing difficulties. If you live in:

    Cumbria call: 0800 652 2865
    Text number: 07795 656 226

    Newcastle or Gateshead call: 0800 652 2863
    Text number: 07919 228 548

    North Tyneside or Northumberland call: 0800 652 2861
    Text number: 07887 625 277

    South Tyneside or Sunderland call: 0800 652 2867
    Text number: 07889 036 280

    If you or another person have been harmed or are at immediate risk and require an emergency response, call 999.

  • Recovery Colleges

    A safe space where people can connect, gain knowledge and develop skills that support recovery from mental health issues. Courses are open to anyone who would find them useful in their recovery from mental illness, substance misuse, trauma or distress.

    For further information speak to a healthcare worker or visit

  • Talking Therapy Services

    This is a psychological therapy service available to people with mild to moderate common mental health problems. Common mental health problems include some of the problems described in this guide such as low mood, depression, phobias, anxiety, generalised anxiety (worry), obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic disorder, health anxiety, adjusting to life events and stress related difficulties.

    Talking Therapy Services are provided by a range of different organisations across local areas and below is a list of the provider, contact numbers and email addresses. They will offer a range of different therapies including guided self help, specific groups/classes for different problems, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal therapy, Cognitive Analytical Therapy and Systemic Therapy, but not all services have the same range of therapies.

    North Cumbria
    The Hub, Elmwood, Tynefield Drive, Penrith, CA11 8JA
    Tel: 0300 123 9122
    Email: [email protected]

    The Croft, Springwell Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear,
    NE9 7BJ
    Tel: 0191 283 2541
    Email: [email protected]

    Based in the city centre, but see patients across the city.
    Tel: 0330 0534 230

    Unit 4, Telford Court, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2DB
    Tel: 0300 3030 700
    Email: [email protected]

    North Tyneside
    Wallsend Health Centre, The Green, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, NE28 7PD
    Tel: 0191 295 2775
    Email: [email protected]

    South Tyneside
    Cleadon Primary Care Centre, Prince Edward Road, South Shields Tyne and Wear, NE34 8PS
    Tel: 0191 283 2937
    Email: [email protected]

    Monkwearmouth Hospital, Newcastle Road, Sunderland,
    SR5 1NB
    Tel: 0191 566 5454
    Email: [email protected]

  • Other useful organisations

    The Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Service – OpCourage
    Provides an assessment, liaison and signposting service for military veterans and their families across the region. The service is for veterans of any age who have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces at any time. Families and carers of veterans can also access the service. We work in partnership with Combat Stress and the Royal British Legion.
    Tel: 0300 373 3332
    Email: [email protected]

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service
    PALS provide a free, confidential advice and support service. We can help you to sort out any concerns you may have about the care provided by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

    PALS North of Tyne
    Freephone: 0800 032 0202
    9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday
    Freepost PALS
    Email: [email protected]
    Text: 07815 500 015

    PALS South of Tyne
    Freephone: 0800 328 4397
    9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday
    Garden Lodge, Hopewood Park, Ryhope, Sunderland, SR2 0NB
    Email: [email protected]

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2022 copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.
    Ref, PIC/SHSUPPORTDL V10 August 2023
    Review date 2025