Tim Ladd, managing director of Red Umbrella, an organisation providing a unique mental health first aid training and counselling offering for businesses, shares five ways you can get mental health support that doesn’t involve AI and chatbots:
1. Speak to your employer about introducing or increasing support resources
In the workplace, mental health resources could include access to confidential counselling services, Mental Help First Aid, mental health awareness workshops, stress management seminars, or mindfulness sessions to provide employees with tools for coping with workplace stressors. Flexible work arrangements and a healthy work-life balance policy can also contribute to mental well-being. Speaking to your employer about implementing free mental health help resources is also essential for fostering a supportive workplace environment as well as breaking the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.
2. Ask about free counselling services at school or university
Educational institutions often offer counselling services with trained professionals who can assist students in navigating personal challenges, stressors, or mental health concerns. Additionally, many universities have mental health and well-being teams that organise workshops, support groups, and awareness campaigns. Students can often find resources such as self-help guides, online mental health assessments, and information on local mental health services. Some institutions also have peer support programmes, allowing students to connect with fellow students who have received training to offer empathetic listening and guidance.
3. Reach out to charities
In the UK, individuals seeking mental health support can avail themselves of various resources provided by charities. Charities such as Mind, Samaritans, and Rethink Mental Illness offer helplines, online chat services, and informational resources for those in need. These organisations often provide guidance on a range of mental health issues, as well as offering community-based services, support groups, and online forums. Additionally, some charities focus on specific demographics or mental health concerns, guaranteeing tailored assistance.
4. Join a support group
Charities like Mind and Rethink Mental Illness often organise support groups nationwide, covering a spectrum of mental health issues. Local NHS services may offer specific support and peer-led groups focusing on anxiety, depression, or other conditions. Some of these may be online platforms, offering accessibility to individuals regardless of their location. These support groups play a crucial role in reducing isolation by creating a safe space for individuals to share and learn coping strategies for navigating the challenges of mental health struggles.