What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental health problems are very common and there is lots of support available. Most conditions do get better with treatment and many people recover completely.
Take notice of your health
If you are experiencing one or more of the following it could be an early sign that you need to speak to your GP:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from friends, family and activities you usually enjoy
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Constantly feeling tired or like you have no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, emotional, angry or scared
- Experiencing severe mood swings
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Struggling with normal tasks, like getting to work or school
Your doctor can help to diagnose and treat a mental health problem.
If you don't have a GP you can attend the Reading walk-in centre (8am – 8pm 7 days a week) on the first floor of the Broad Street Mall in Reading.
NHS Community Mental Health Team
Provides specialist support to adults (over 18+ years) with severe and enduring mental health problems (schizophrenia; bi-polar affective disorder; severe depression; psychosis and severe personality disorder) and their carers.
Call: 0300 365 0300
Reading Borough Council Mental Health Social Care Team
Provides support to adults with mental health issues who have care and support needs. They support people in the community (whether they have just become ill, have a short-term illness or need on-going support), giving practical help with a person’s social care needs alongside their mental health needs.
This might be to help people after they have been discharged from hospital, or help to manage risks, or help with practical issues like housing and financial problems. They also provide general support and advice to people and their carers.
Call: 0118 937 3747.
Mental Health Crisis Service
This team provides a 24/7 service to support people having a mental health crisis and who are at risk of harming themselves.
Call: 0300 365 99 99.
This service provides interventions, therapy, courses, workshops, face-to face therapy and counselling to help with:
- Depression, anxiety and stress
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Call: 0300 365 2000
Getting a referral for someone you care about
Referrals to mental health services are made via the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust Common Point of Entry (CPE), but you may find some of the other sources of support in this service guide mean that you can find the support you need without making a referral to CPE.
Telephone: 0300 365 0300 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
You probably don't consider yourself to be a carer because you don't have to give any personal care, and you may not even live with the person who is unwell. It's still important to recognise the support you are giving, and to realise that you may also need some extra help.
You are entitled to an assessment of your needs which will determine what support is available.
You can complete a self assessment here: http://beta.reading.gov.uk/carers or call: 0118 9373747
If you need more support than this, contact the Common Point of Entry as above.
Berkshire Carer's Hub
Advice and support for all relatives and friends who are offering support to someone with a long term illness.
Telephone: 0118 324 7333 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Compass Recovery College
A Recovery College is based on the recovery principles of hope, opportunity and control. They offer a range of courses, including education about mental illness and therapeutic sessions such as pottery. All courses are free and are open to anyone with a close relative or friend living with mental illness.
Telephone: 0118 937 3945 or Email: email@example.com
Mental Health First Aid
There are mental health first aid courses which are run regularly in Reading that can help you to feel more confident in offering support. For more information and for up-coming course dates please contact Reading Community Learning College:
Telephone: 0118 959 5455
Common Point of Entry
If you are under 18 with a mental health problem, your GP or the common point of entry can provide help and advice.
Call: 0300 365 0300 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm
Compass Recovery College
The Recovery College is based on the principles of hope, opportunity and control. They build on peoples strengths and help them to develop skills and confidence to manage their recovery journey. All courses are open to anyone over 18 and there is specific support available for young people.
Telephone: 0118 937 3945 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The voice for young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Visit www.youngminds.org.uk or call the parent helpline 0808 802 5544.
Little Book of Sunshine
Young people in Reading who feel stressed or mentally unwell are being offered help through a new local NHS booklet called the Little Blue Book of Sunshine.
The booklet is being distributed to schools to offer top tips to young people on coping with exam stress, dealing with negative body image, relationship issues, anxiety, anger or depression. As well as top tips, it includes lists of useful websites and contact details of local agencies that can offer further support.
You can pick up a copy at school, download a copy to your phone or read the advice on the website. Little Blue Book of Sunshine
Compass Recovery College is a mental health and wellbeing organisation offering support services to those aged over 18 in the Reading area. Using the Recovery College model, delivering free courses and social groups, they build on peoples strengths and help them to develop skills and confidence to manage their recovery journey.
The Recovery College is not a day centre and it does not offer treatment or care co-ordination. Instead it offers peer-lead activities from staff and volunteers who all either have lived or learnt experience of their own mental health challenges and so can relate on a personal level to the students. There are no clinical environments and no therapeutic care.
The Compass Recovery College focuses on:
- Students feeling more hopeful for the future
- Feeling empowered and developing their own plan for managing their problems and staying well
- Accessing employment and volunteering
Compass Recovery College welcomes anyone in the Reading area over 18 who is effected by mental health challenges of any kind. They also welcome their friends, family, carers and those who may be supporting them who might like to learn more about mental wellbeing. They provide a supportive, friendly environment, where students can learn and share experiences and ideas in confidence and comfort in order to develop skills for life.
Compass Recovery College is working with partner organisations, enabling them to provide a wide range of activities for the people accessing the service. Compass acknowledge that mental wellbeing comes from being socially and mentally active as well helping students to gain understanding of mental health conditions.
- Reading Community Learning Network
- Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust
- RVA, Reading Voluntary Action
- New Directions – Adult Education
- Support U – LGBT+ community support
- Sport in Mind– physical health
- Crescent Centre – employment
- IRIS – drug and alcohol services
- ACRE – representing diverse communities
Courses and workshops are delivered Monday to Friday, at various locations around Reading.
Compass Recovery College is constantly evolving; They aim to develop the service to meet the needs of the people that work in and the people that access its courses and workshops. They work with service users to create content and groups, to make sure what they offer is relevant and fit for purpose.
You can self-refer and do not need a clinical referral to use this service. All courses and social groups are free to access.
Who to contact
Telephone: 0118 937 3945
Berkshire West Your Way
Berkshire West Your Way offers a range of mental health support, including a flexible programme of groups and activities in the community led by service users and peer supporters.
Call 0118 966 0240
or email: email@example.com
Sport in Mind
Sport in Mind provide physical activity sessions for adults (18+) experiencing mental health conditions to promote mental wellbeing and enrich lives.
or visit our website http://www.sportinmind.org/
The Samaritans offer a broader range of services than most people realise. If you're worried, anxious, depressed or suicidal, the Samaritans offer safe, confidential support so you can talk about your problems and make sense of your situation.
Face to face support: 59a Cholmeley Road, Reading RG1 3NB. Open 11 am - 10 pm. Call 0118 926 6333
You can find more about many conditions and get reliable information and advice http://www.nhs.uk
National charity offering information, advice and support for people with mental illness, their families and carers. Visit www.rethink.org or call 0300 5000 927
Mental Health Foundation
National charity providing information and advice on a wide range of mental health issues. www.mentalhealth.org.uk
Information and advice on mental health issues, where to get help, treatments and legal issues. Visit www.mind.org.uk or call the Infoline 0300 123 3393
- Call 999 if you or someone you support needs help in a life threatening emergency
Suicidal thoughts: If you or someone else is in imminent danger of taking their life:
- Dial 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department (A&E) or
- Phone the Common point of Entry 0300 365 0300 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and/or the Crisis Team at any time on 0300 365 9999
If you are frightened by the thought that you might harm yourself:
- Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling
- Read the Mind information in this link about coping with suicidal feelings,
- Read the NHS choices page about self harm http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/self-injury/Pages/Introduction.aspx