I feel sad
Sadness is a basic human emotion and we all feel unhappy or in a low mood from time to time, especially if we have been upset by something or we’re in pain or we feel disappointed. Sadness will arrive with different levels of intensity but is usually a temporary sensation. But how do you know when sadness has become depression?
You may be depressed if your symptoms begin to significantly impact on your daily life and these symptoms continue for 2 weeks or longer. Symptoms could include;
- a persistent sad, anxious of empty mood
- feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
- unable to find pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
- difficulty concentrating, insomnia (waking early or oversleeping)
- loss of appetite and weight loss or the opposite of this
- thought of death or suicide IMPORTANT – if this applies visit our Help resource page here.
If you are concerned that you might be experiencing depression, we would recommend you make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms. When you are feeling depressed, anxious or stressed, it’s easy to forget to tell your GP something important. So, ahead of your appointment, you can visit the site Doc Ready, where you can download a template which guides through what to ask your GP.
I feel lonely
In 2020, people’s sense of loneliness has been heightened due to the lockdown imposed by Coronavirus but people often feel lonely and isolated – as humans, we crave social interaction. No one should suffer alone and in today’s modern world, you do not need to be alone.
Here are some suggestions from the NHS which may help to reduce the sense of loneliness you are feeling;
- Do you have a friend or family member you could talk to about your feelings?
- You could contact Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email: [email protected] for someone to talk to.
- Consider joining a class or a group online or physically that focuses on something you enjoy.
- Sometimes just being around other people, even if you don’t know them, can help you feel less lonely – perhaps make a plan to go to a park or a café. During lockdown this is not always going to be practical, so consider joining an online group with people who have similar interests to you.
- consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website
- try the 6 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope
- find out how to raise your self-esteem
- listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides
- search and download relaxation and mindfulness apps or online community apps from the NHS apps library
I have poor mental health
Feeling anxious, tense, afraid or having a low mood can be quite common symptoms during worrying or challenging times – most people feel anxious at some point but if these feelings begin to affect your life you may need support. It’s not always easy to spot whether you are suffering with with a mental health problem but there are some common signs which are worth you being alert to.
- you feel tired most of the time
- your heartbeat is consistently faster or more irregular than usual
- you often feel lightheaded or you are experiencing dizziness
- you’re experiencing constant headaches, chest pains or muscle tension
- you have a loss of appetite
- you’re feeling anxious, tense or afraid
- you’re often tearful and your mood is constantly low
- you’ve become particularly sensitive to criticism
- you’re lacking in confidence and self-esteem
- you are often feeling tense or nervous
- you find you’re unable to relax
- you’re becoming forgetful, finding it hard to concentrate and making mistakes
- you are worrying more, particular about the past or the future
- you suddenly find yourself being tearful
- you are struggling to sleep
Changes in behaviour
- you’re no longer enjoying leisure time
- you’re not looking after yourself – eating, showering, grooming
- you appetite has changed and you may be over or under eating
- you don’t seem to be able to concentrate at work
- you’re finding it difficult to maintain relationships
- you’re worried about trying new things
Most of these symptoms are typical of someone suffering with high levels of stress and some degree of anxiety. Of course, if these symptoms become more severe and include feelings of dread, hopelessness or even suicidal ideation, then you could be experiencing anxiety or even depression.
It’s important to seek help if these symptoms escalate or persist for any period longer than 2 weeks.
Here are some suggestions from the NHS which may help to reduce the sense of anxiety you are feeling;
- try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: [email protected] if you need someone to talk to
- use calming breathing exercises
- exercise – activities such as running, walking, swimming and yoga can help you relax
- find out how to get to sleep if you’re struggling to sleep
- eat a healthy diet with regular meals to keep your energy levels stable
- consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website
- listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides
- search and download relaxation and mindfulness apps or online community apps from the NHS apps library
If you are extremely worried about your mental state or that of someone else, please visit this page on our website.
I feel burnt-out
Burnout is different to feeling stressed according to leading burnout expert, Dr Sonia Hutton-Taylor. Think of stress as a pre-cursor to burnout – you will possibly be suffering with burnout if you constantly feel exhausted and having a good night’s sleep does not leave you feeling refreshed or you take a weekend break and feel worse than you did before you went away.
If you are suffering with burnout then being told to take time off work or employ better sleep hygiene etc is probably the worst advice your employer could give you – people with burnout will often go home and lock themselves away, with only their most dark thoughts for company.
If you feel you’re experiencing burnout, we recommend viewing the website Burnout Geese by one of the Legacy’s partners Dr Sonia Hutton-Taylor
I’m not sleeping well
Poor sleep is also strongly associated with diseases such as depression and cancer, among other illnesses and should not be ignored.
It may be that you simply need to improve your sleep hygiene behaviours, such as going to bed at the same time each night or ensuring your mobile phone is not in the same room. Using a sleep, meditation and relaxing app like Calm will help and here is useful advice from the NHS on How to get to sleep.
However, if you are not sleeping at all and this pattern has persisted for some days/weeks, this could be a sign of severe anxiety or depression and we recommend that you contact your GP urgently to book an appointment. This link will take you to Doc Ready, which helps you prepare a template of questions to ask your Doctor, which you might forget if you are tired or feeling stressed.
I’m being bullied
If you are experiencing bullying or you know someone who is then you don’t need to suffer in silence – ignoring bullying will not make it go away. Everyone deserves to be heard, valued and respected.
Bullying Online particularly focuses on workplace bullying and was originally set up by Tim Field, who by the of his death in 2006, had become a world authority on bullying and psychiatric injury. His vision was for a bully-free world, and he campaigned in schools, further and higher education, and the workplace to achieve this.He lectured all over the world.
The Cybersmile Foundation is a multi-award-winning nonprofit organization committed to digital wellbeing and tackling all forms of bullying and abuse online. Their aim is to promote kindness, diversity and inclusion by building a safer, more positive digital community.
Bullies Out is an ambitious anti-bullying UK charity providing education, training and support to young people. As well as e-mentoring support, Bullies Out provides innovative, engaging and interactive anti-bullying workshops and training programmes that are developed to reduce bullying in schools and the workplace.
Young Minds supports and empowers children and young people to help promote good mental health and develop resilience to overcome life’s challenges. Bullying affects over 1 million young people every year – it can make you feel isolated, worthless, angry and lacking in confidence.
If you need urgent help you can text YM to 85258. The service is answered 24/7 by trained volunteers and is a free service from most mobile networks.
Childline was started by Esther Rantzen in 1986 and provides help to anyone under 19 in the UK. Childline is a free call service and it doesn’t show up on the phone bill. If you are experiencing bullying you can call 0800 1111.
Contact Conduct Coaching and Nicki Eyre
A Jordan Legacy Partner, Nicki Eyre, is pasionate about stamping out workplace and cyber-bullying and believes that everyone deserves to feel heard, valued and respected. Nicki actively campaigns and lobbys the UK on matters relating to bullying.
Whether you run or work in a company and you’re concerned about how you can avoid or remove bullying in the workplace or you feel you are being bullied personally, then click here to find out how Nicki can help you.
The fact you have clicked this option means that you are concerned that you are or you’re considering self-harming. Maybe this behaviour is caused by you wanting to distract yourself from or even take back control from experiencing overwhelming feelings or thoughts. Self-harming may release tension from such feelings or thoughts.
Perhaps you’ve been feeling dissociated from reality and life and by self-harming you at least get to experience some form of sensation, even if that feeling is pain.
Self-harm can be a cry of help or maybe a sign of deeper psychological concerns – more than 50% of those who complete suicide have a history of self-harm.
There are organisations that offer support and advice for people who self-harm, as well as their friends and families.
- Samaritans – call 116 123 (open 24 hours a day), email [email protected], or visit your local Samaritans branch
- Mind – one of the UK’s primary mental health charities. Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 (9am to 6pm on weekdays)
- Harmless – Harmless is an organisation who works to address and overcome issues related to self-harm and suicide. They place people with lived experience at the heart of their service and do their best to surround the people they help with compassion and practical help and support to bring about measurable and meaningful change. Website Contact page here or email [email protected]
- National Self Harm Network forums – Their aims are to: support individuals who self harm to help reduce emotional distress and improve their quality of life; support and provide information for family and carers of individuals who self harm; raise awareness of the needs of people who self harm, dispel myths and combat discrimination; empower and enable those that self harm to seek alternatives to self harm and further help where appropriate
YoungMinds Parents Helpline – Their mission is too make sure all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what. Call 0808 802 5544 (9.30am to 4pm on weekdays)
I may have an eating disorder
You may have an eating disorder if you have an unhealthy relationship with food. Such a relationship may lead you to eat too much or too little or you may find that you’re becoming obsessed with your body shape, size or weight. If your eating disorder becomes severe it can take over your life and make you ill.
Anyone, male or female, can experience an eating disorder but young women aged between 13-17 are more commonly affected. The most common forms of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder (BED) or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED)
If you are concerned that you may have an eating disorder or you are concerned about someone else, then this NHS webpage will help guide you as to what action to take
Other resources include:
Anorexia & Bulimia Care – ABC is a national UK eating disorders organisation with over 30 years of experience. They provide on-going care, emotional support and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders and eating distress.
BEAT – identifies itself as the UK’s eating disorder charity. Founded in 1989 as the Eating Disorders Association, their mission is to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that ruin and, too often, take lives.
A Jordan Legacy CIC Partner, Emmerdale and Holby City Actress, Gemma Oaten, has recently taken over the running of this incredible charity, initially set up 20 years ago by her mum Marg Oaten MBE and Dad, Dennis. Gemma herself almost died from her experience of an eating disorder.
For more information about the work SEED is doing and how they can help you, please click here.
I’m worried about my child’s mental wellbeing
The last year has been extra stressful, especially if you’re a parent. As we enter another lockdown over the first two months of 2021, it’s normal and entirely understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed frustrated, worried or exhausted about the situation.
You might be finding it harder than ever at the moment to know how to best look after your child’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as your own. If you’re struggling, you are not alone. We have advice and tips that can really help.
We are pleased to be able to provide you with a link to this excellent resource page from YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health. Click here to view a range of resources for school children, parents and schools.
My Emotions Activity Book
This is a free resource designed to help children to talk about their feelings creatively. The author and illustrator of the book, Laura Helen Brown of LHB Illustrations, felt that there was a real need for children to be able to express their emotions in an engaging, open, and neutral way.
The book is designed to be universal and to be used within a school lesson, as part of a group of lessons or one-to-one. Approved by leading educational professionals and trialled successfully with Key Stage 2 children. The book can be used across the primary age range and used as a thoughtful, calming, and comfortable way to generate conversations with children about their feelings and wellbeing. To visit the My Emotions Activity website and to download a free copy of the book click here
Stay Alive App
We would also recommend taking a look at the Stay Alive App, by Grassroots. The Stay Alive app is a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information to help you stay safe. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
If you’re a young person, then Kooth is a great online community app and website, providing free, safe and anonymous support. The site/app provides chat and messenger support, when you want to talk with a friendly person or if you’re looking for information and advice. Kooth includes stories and experiences, written by young people, including topics relating to anxiety, relationships and how to de-stress etc. There’s the ability for you to help others also, by sharing your experiences and by writing your own story or by getting involved with the discussion boards, all anonymously. You can set SMART goals and track your progress via the app and even journal how you’re feeling day by day. One of the most important features though, is the ability to use the chat and messenger service to speak to Kooth’s friendly online team about anything which might be bothering you.
Calm Harm (for teenagers) has been developed by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Nihara Krause for the UK-based charity Stem4. Upon opening the app, you are greeted with the metaphor that considers the urge to self-harm as similar surfing a wave: ‘it builds…it peaks… but ultimately, it subsides.’ As such, you are invited to ride the wave, which takes you to a selection of six categories: Comfort, Distract, Express Yourself, Release, Random and Breathe. Once you’ve chosen a category, you are given a list of different DBT-based strategies (within the selected category) that you can choose to do.
R;pple – launched by Alice Hendy, following the suicide of her brother Josh, this internet browser extension is a must have tool. By downloading the extension, if any member of your family, friends, colleagues enters potentially harmful search words into their browser, they are immediately presented with calming messages and a number of vital support resources.
Have you been affected by domestic abuse?
There are many forms of violence and abuse, which happen in the home, much of which is often hidden from the outside world and can go unreported for many reasons, usually due to a fear of possible reprisal that the victim of abuse is worried about, if they were to report their abuser.
Abuse is not gender specific either, despite the majority of cases, we often hear about, report abuse being inflicted on women or children, men are also often abused by their female partners. For the year ending March 2019, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 1.6 million women and 786,000 men aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the previous 12 months.
Abuse can take on many forms including: domestic violence; rape and sexual abuse; forced marriage; so-called ‘honour’-based violence; human trafficking and modern slavery; prostitution; and female genital mutilation (FGM) and other frightening behaviours. The Covid lockdown has seen an increase in cases of domestic violence in the home, as abusers and their victims are spending increased time together.
If you are concerned about your safety and you’re experiencing domestic abuse or you are worried someone you know might be, then it is important to understand that you are not alone and help is available.
No matter what your abuser may suggest, there is help available, you do not have to continue to suffer. Here are some helplines you might want to consider approaching:
Firstly, if you believe you are in danger, you should call your local emergency services i.e. 999/911 etc
Refuge – for women and children against domestic violence. UK National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 – Visit the website here
Childline – children may also directly experience domestic abuse, as well as witnessing it happening to an adult in their home. Either way this can be traumatic, so, help and advice can be found via the Childline website or by phoning freephone 0800 1111.
Gov.UK website has advice on a range of issues relating to domestic abuse and how to get help during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Check out the website here.
If you are a male experiencing domestic abuse by your partner, then we would also recommend you watch this TedX talk and hear Andrew Pain’s story – Andrew was abused by his female partner for many years before seeking help. He is now a regular speaker, as an expert by experience, talking about gaslighting, domestic abuse, parental alienation, safeguarding, gender bias and the family courts, and in his spare time, Andrew supports male victims of domestic abuse through a pilot project he is co-leading; click here to watch the video.
Have you been bereaved by losing someone as a result of domestic abuse? Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) are a Centre of Excellence for Reviews after Fatal Domestic Abuse and for Expert and Specialist Advocacy and Peer Support. By drawing on personal and professional experience of major criminal justice processes like Domestic Homicide Reviews, and other related inquiries, the AAFDA provide emotional, practical and specialist peer support to those left behind after fatal domestic homicide. To find out more and what support is available by visiting the AAFDA website here.
I’m looking for counselling/therapy
The Jordan Legacy is delighted to have partnered with Therapy Centre Services, who are an established Counselling Service and an Organisational Member of the BACP providing a wide range of counselling services and solutions for individuals (adult & children) and employers.
TCS offer online and telephone counselling services for as little £30 (£25 if you reference The Jordan Legacy CIC in the Additional Information section of the referral form). You can refer someone you know or self-refer by following this link.
Their private counselling service provides access to counselling appointments for as long as you need them and the service is not time-limited (they do not limit clients to 6-8 sessions) like many Charities or free counselling services.
Therapy Centre Services aim to offer affordable and accessible counselling services to people presenting with any presenting issue, either personal or work related.
The TCS TEAM
The TCS team consists of Counsellors in Training and Qualified Counsellors who provide clients with a safe and confidential place for them to explore their thoughts, and feelings which may be causing distress or difficulty.
They offer a non-judgemental space for all client and all of their team work in accordance with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework; BACP’s Ethical Framework
TCS counsellors use a variety of counselling approaches to suit the individual needs of the client (Integrative Counselling, Person Centred Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focussed Therapy, EFT and more).
Should you specifically want to work with a Qualified Counsellor please advise this at the initial contact. All of the team though, are trained to a high level of competency to practice with Therapy Centre Services.
Full details about Therapy Centre Services can be found on their website here
Gambling is a concern – I’m worried about myself/someone else
Problem gambling (also known as compulsive gambling, or a gambling addiction) can affect your health, relationships and leave you in debt.
But when does gambling become a problem? Many people gamble for the adrenaline rush, to win money or to socialise, but if you find yourself betting more than you can afford to lose, borrowing money or feel like it’s affecting your daily life, you may need help.
Data indicates that 430,000 people in Britain are problem gamblers, with 55,000 of these being under 16, and is twice as likely to affect people with mental health issues. There is a strong link between gambling problems and thoughts of suicide, with research suggesting that between 4-11% of suicides are gambling related, equivalent to between 250 and 650 deaths per year in the UK.
If you are worried that gambling is affecting your mental health, you can talk to your doctor. There are also charities and organisations that offer support and information for people who may have a problem with gambling, as well as their friends and families.
GamCare – Provide free information, advice and support, including a forum providing 24/7 online messaging support. You can also call them free on 0808 802 0133. Their online Recovery Toolkit is also really useful. They offer support too for friends and family of someone with a gambling problem.
StepChange – If you’re struggling with debt, they will provide you with free, confidential debt advice.
National Problem Gambling Clinic – you can refer yourself for care and support.
BigDeal – for a young person worried about their own or someone’s else gambling.
Gordon Moody Association – advice, counselling and residential treatment courses.
Gamblers Anonymous – support groups
Gambling With Lives – set up by parents Pete and Sadie Keogh, who lost their 34 year old son to suicide due to a gambling addiction, they are striving to implement changes in the gambling industry, including improved regulations and awareness, as well as supporting families who have been bereaved by gambling related suicides.
Northern Gambling Service – provides specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction and other mental health problems, including help for friends and families. You can also call them on 0300 300 1490.
Do I have PTSD?
You may suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) if you experience a traumatic event – a mental health condition whereby the individual relives the trauma through nightmares and flashbacks, causing recurrent distress and anxiety.
It is estimated to affect every 1 in 3 people who have a traumatic experience and can develop immediately after the event or even weeks, months or years later.
PTSD can lead to feelings of isolation, irritability, guilt, and avoidance of similar situations, as well as problems sleeping and difficulty with concentration.
If symptoms are having a negative effect on your day-to-day life and have not improved 4 weeks following the trauma you experienced, you should contact your GP, who may refer you to mental health specialists for an additional assessment and appropriate treatment.
Below are some organisations we’ve identified as being particularly helpful if you think you may be suffering from PTSD.
Birth Trauma Association – supports women who suffer birth trauma. You can also join their Facebook group.
Disaster Action – supports people affected by major disasters, both the survivors and the bereaved.
PTSD Resolution – provides counselling to veterans, reservists and their families. They also operate a phoneline on 0300 302 0551
PTSD UK – a website offering excellent support, information and resources.
Victim Support – offer support for victims of crime and traumatic incidents. You can also call their free 24/7 supportline on 0808 168 9111.
ASSIST Trauma Care – offers therapeutic help to individuals and families affected by traumatic occurrences.
NAPAC – a charity supporting adult survivors of childhood abuse.
I don’t like my body
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental illness characterised by an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance – often unnoticeable to others. We now know as a family from reading Jordan’s journals and his emails with support groups that he suffered with this disorder, which manifested itself particularly in the form of ‘skin picking.’ Sufferers can spend long periods of time performing such rituals, in order to help release the tension, but the relief is usually short-lived.
You might have BDD if you:
- spend a lot of time worrying about specific area(s) on your body
- constantly compare your looks with other people’s
- look in mirrors a lot or avoid them altogether
- pick at skin to make it look ‘smooth’
- go to a lot of effort to conceal flaws
Certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing BDD, such as:
- genetics – having relatives with BDD or OCD
- negative life experiences (eg. childhood abuse)
- certain personality traits (eg. perfectionism)
- societal pressure or beauty expectations
- having another mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression
Shame and embarrassment can prevent an individual seeking help, but treatment is vital as it usually doesn’t get better on its own, so we recommend you contact your GP if you believe you’re suffering with BDD. If left untreated it can seriously affect daily life and lead to depression, self-harm and thoughts of suicide.
Current estimates suggest that approximately 0.5% of the UK have BDD.
Here are some organisations you can contact for support:
BDD Foundation – they aim to relieve the suffering for people with BDD, while advancing research, treatments and awareness of the condition. They also have a useful directory of local and online support groups.
Mind – useful information and resources
International OCD Foundation – their mission is to improve support, increase access to effective
treatment through research and training, and fight stigma surrounding mental health issues.
OCD Action – Support and information website. They also have a helpline – 0300 636 5478.
OCD UK – information and online support groups.
Worried about finances
A recent study undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation found that one third of UK adults worry about their finances, with those in financial difficulty at an increased risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and lower mental well-being.
Economic and financial worries are associated with higher suicide rates, with over 420,000 people in problem debt considering taking their own life in England each year, with more than 100,000 people attempting suicide as a result of monetary problems.
If financial concerns are having a significant impact on your everyday life, there is help available:
- Money Helper – guides and tools to improve finances, online support, and telephone support on 0800 011 3797.
- Mental Health Foundation – Finances – useful tips on looking after your finances and your mental health. The Debt section is also really useful.
- Citizens Advice – information about issues such as dealing with debt, benefits and redundancy.
- Mind – this link helps you organise your finances, claiming benefits when you have a mental health problem, dealing with services and looking after your mental health when you’re worried about money.
- National Debtline – free and independent debt advice online and over the phone. You can call 0808 808 4000.
- Step Change – free online debt advice.
If you visit our ‘I’ve lost my job’ page, we have created and compiled ‘6 steps to keeping on top of your anxiety,’ as well as a list of support networks if you are struggling with your mental health.