Last updated on February 5th, 2023 at 09:40 AM
If you’re suffering with depression or anxiety, talking therapies can be one of the most effective ways of tackling the issue.
But accessing mental health support can be a lengthy and stressful process in its own right. With approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year, often the waiting list for treatment can be months long, so what do you do in the meantime?
Thankfully, technology and start-up initiatives are making the therapy limbo that little bit easier to bear. Whether your own mental health has taken a hit, or someone you know is struggling, there’s no need to suffer in silence with these helpful resources.
1. Mental Health Mates
When your mental health takes a hit, sometimes all you want to do is be around people who understand what you’re going through. Mental Health Mates is a network of peer support walking groups, run by people with mental health issues and set up by journalist Bryony Gordon.
Gordon was inspired to start the initiative after finding relief from the “terrible funk” of her OCD symptoms by getting outdoors.
The charity’s planned walks are a chance to meet up with like-minded people and discuss your issues without fear of embarrassment or judgement, all while enjoying the well-being of being out in nature.
There are groups across the country, but if you can’t find one in your local area, you can download a walk leader pack from the Mental Health Mates website and be the first to set one up.
This summer, the initiative has partnered with Soho venue 100 Wardour St, which has launched a “Feel Good Garden” curated by Gordon, with £1 from every bill at the venue going to the charity.
Whether it’s the endless barrage of emails or the intimidating boardroom meetings, the workplace can be a huge trigger for people who suffer from anxiety or depression.
In fact, work-related stress and mental illness now accounts for over half of work absences in the UK, according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive in 2018.
That’s where Unmind comes in. It’s a confidential wellness platform for employers, that staff can access at any time, through their desktop or smartphone, and on a day-in-day-out basis if needed.
Specifically designed for the workplace, it was started by clinical psychologist Nick Taylor who recognised the lack of immediate support available for the thousands of employees that reach burnout each year.
Acting as a therapist in your pocket, the initiative offers companies that subscribe access to scientifically-backed preventative programmes that can help to combat issues with sleep, stress, productivity, or even your ability to support other people in your team. Everything is broken down into easy-to-digest audio, video, and interactive content.