Mental Health in Reading - Information page

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.

Click here for a map of local services

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

How do I get a referral?

Your GP 

Your doctor can help to diagnose and treat a mental health problem.

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 2000


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.


Talking Therapies

This service provides interventions, therapy, courses, workshops, face-to face therapy and counselling to help with:

  • Depression, anxiety and stress
  • Phobias
  • Panic
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Call: 0300 365 2000


Carer's Assessments

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.  Contact TuVIDA Carers Hub to request an assessment - call 0118 324 7333 or email

If you need more support than this, contact the Common Point of Entry as above.

Support for families and friends

Getting a referral for someone you care about

Adults with mental health needs

Phone 'The Gateway' 0300 365 2000 and press option 2 for Talking Therapies or option 4 for specialist mental health services (previously known as Common Point of Entry)

Email The Gateway:

Visit the Talking Therapies Berkshire website

Berkshire Healthcare advises people not to phone 111 for mental health needs at this time and people should only dial 999 or go to A&E in a medical emergency.


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 yoga and mindfulness. All courses are free and are open to anyone 18+ struggling with their mental health or with a close relative or friend living with mental illness.

Telephone: 0118 937 3945 or Email:



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


Young People

Children, young People and Families

Visit Berkshire Healthcare’s Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) website

No 5 Counselling 

Tailored counselling sessions to all young people accessing the service with a volunteer counsellor. These usually take place on a weekly basis and last 50 minutes, and young people will see the same counsellor each week.

Phone: 0118 901 5668


Kooth Counselling

Free and confidential on-line counselling and support. There are on-line tools such as a live chat for support, a magazine, discussion boards and journals. 

Papyrus UK

HOPELINEUK is a confidential support and advice service for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person who might be you can contact HOPELINEUK for confidential support and practical advice.

Call: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07860 039 967



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:



Young Minds

The voice for young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Visit 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

Compas Recovery College

Compass Recovery College is a FREE mental health and wellbeing organisation based in Reading, Berkshire, UK. We offer free support services for those aged over 18 in the Reading Area. We use the Recovery College model to help build on peoples strengths, help them develop skills and confidence to manage their recovery journey.  You can self-refer and do not need a clinical referral to use this service.

We start from a place of hope, with the belief that learning about our mental health and wellbeing with the right tools can give us more control for the future. We believe that self-management and making the most of our strengths can help us recover from challenges and become experts in our own wellbeing. With a variety of free workshops delivered by staff and peer support volunteers with lived experience of mental health challenges, we hope you’ll find the way we do things refreshingly different.

Our workshops and social groups are for anyone who may be affected directly or indirectly by mental health or wellbeing challenges. Everyone is welcome and everyone is a participant. So whether you are struggling yourself, or perhaps you are a carer, family member or professional who would like to know more about mental health and wellbeing, we can help.

Compass acknowledge that mental wellbeing comes from being socially and mentally active as well helping students to gain understanding of mental health conditions. We work closely with partners across Reading to reach and engage new participants.

Our workshops are delivered Monday to Friday, at various locations around Reading as well as online via zoom. See our website for a full prospectus and schedule of free workshops.

Who to contact
Telephone: 0118 937 3945

Local Support Groups and Services

Reading Community Outreach Support Service

The Reading Community Outreach service is for people aged over 18 who are struggling with their mental health. We provide personalised support delivered by Peer Outreach Workers, who have a lived experience of mental health themselves, who bring a genuine understanding and empathetic approach in supporting you to work towards your goals.  

We offer one to one support, as well as group sessions themed around various wellbeing topics. You can choose how you access support – whether that’s in person, online via video chat, or on the phone.  

Part of our support is specifically for people in Reading from the refugee and asylum seeker community. We offer specialist one to one and group support from a Peer Outreach Worker who has first-hand experience of being a refugee.  

Call 0203 9638201


or email:

Berkshire West Breathing Space

The Berkshire West Breathing Space service is a safe, welcoming and supportive space for anybody aged over 18 experiencing emotional distress and struggling to cope. Whatever the reason for you feeling distressed or in crisis – we’re here to help you.

We are available to provide support every evening of every week including Bank Holidays from 5.00 pm until 11.00 pm. You can access Breathing Space in person at our central Reading hub, online via video chat, or on the phone.

You can talk to our staff about how you’re feeling and what is concerning you. We’ll listen to you, and help you to develop a plan to stay safe and well, including coping strategies. We’ll also help you to navigate local services and opportunities that can provide further help and support.

Berkshire West Breathing Space is hosted at Ajilon House in Reading town centre and can be accessed by those who are living in Wokingham Borough, Reading and West Berkshire. We are open every evening of every week including Bank Holidays from 5.00 pm until 11.00 pm. You can find us during these times at:

Ajilon House
28 Friar Street

To access Berkshire West Breathing Space for support please contact us directly by email at or call us on freephone 0800 002 9091.

Sport in Mind

Sport in Mind provide physical activity sessions for adults (18+) experiencing mental health conditions to promote mental wellbeing and enrich lives.

Call 07341267740


or visit our website



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

24/7 Helpline: 0116 123 or visit or email:

National Organisations

Every Mind Matters

Feeling stressed, anxious, low or struggling to sleep? Every Mind Matters can help with expert advice, practical tips and personalised action plans.

NHS Choices

You can find more about many conditions and get reliable information and advice


National charity offering information, advice and support for people with mental illness, their families and carers.  Visit or call 0300 5000 927

Mental Health Foundation

National charity providing information and advice on a wide range of mental health issues.


Information and advice on mental health issues, where to get help, treatments and legal issues. Visit or call the Infoline 0300 123 3393


Emergency Contacts
  • 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)

If you are frightened by the thought that you might harm yourself:

Related Advice

New Mums and Emotional Well-being

Page last reviewed: 23/01/2023

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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