Stress, anxiety, low mood and depression are very common problems. Many people recover on their own in a few weeks but others will need help and support. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to help yourself, and there are resources and people to help you. The best steps for you to take will depend on how persistent and severe your symptoms are. You may already have some idea of what would help, or you may wish to talk it through with your GP. We recommend that you start with the first option that seems relevant to you, and monitor your progress with the help of your GP. Most people find the first option that they try is all that they need, but if you do not notice an improvement then you should consider stepping up to the next option.
Many people who experience anxiety, stress or low mood find that they are helped by finding out more about their experiences. There are many useful internet sites and books available.
NHS 24 - 111
NHS24 provides telephone and internet based health information and advice. It provides self-help guides for many physical and mental health problems, information about local services in your area and other sources of help.
NHS Inform is a partner service of NHS24 which provides information on a range of health issues including mental health. You can talk to a health advisor for information on health conditions, treatments, NHS Services and other support services in your area or browse health information and advice online.
Steps for Stress
This is a website providing information on practical steps to recognise and deal with stress. These include lifestyle tips, coping strategies, relaxation techniques and useful contacts.
Many people find that self help approaches are very effective. There are a range of short guides and books which explain how to use self help for stress, low mood, anxiety and depression.
This website offers information and advice to people experiencing problems with stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems and other difficulties. It includes self-help guides on a variety of topics which take you through how to deal with these types of problems. It also includes information on different aspects of life that can add to emotional problems such as work, money, relationships and family problems. Details of local and national services are available to access.
The website also has information for professionals which provides quick access to the various resources available on the Moodjuice database. Professionals are able to access the self-help guides and information on relevant services offering support, advice and additional information to individuals.
Books on Prescription
Local health professionals have identified a range of books which provide information and self help guidance for a range of conditions and difficulties. General Practitioners (GPs) and other NHS professionals can prescribe the books or you can go along to your library and have a look at what is available for yourself.
Telephone & Internet
More and more people are making use of telephone and internet based therapies. This allows you to access therapy services from your own home and at a time that is convenient to you.
Living Life - 0800 328 9655
Living Life is a free telephone service offering guided self help and cognitive behaviour therapy. The service is available to anyone over the age of 16 who is suffering from low mood, mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety. You can find out more by phoning the free, confidential phone line on 0800 328 9655 (Mon-Fri 1pm to 9pm). You will be asked to provide some details and then an assessment appointment will be arranged to discuss the service and how help can be provided to you.
Trauma Counselling Line Scotland - 08088 020 406
TCLS offers confidential telephone counselling to any adult who experienced abuse as a child. This can include sexual, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual abuse or neglect. The counselling team are fully trained in this area and both male and female counsellors are available from a range of ethnic backgrounds. Counselling is available in a number of languages. Their contact number is 08088 020 406 and the line is open Mon-Wed 5pm until 8 pm and Thurs-Fri 9am until 2pm.
Beating the Blues
Beating the Blues is a computer based treatment for anxiety and depression which is free to use for people aged 16+ who are registered with a GP in Tayside.
If you would like to use the progamme please ask your GP to refer you to the Tayside Beating the Blues programme. Your GP can get further information from the Tayside office – 01382 346162, Tay-UHB.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counselling involves talking to a trained counsellor in confidence about how you feel about yourself and your situation. If your low mood, depression or anxiety has developed in the context of difficult events and experiences, then one-to-one counselling may help. The counsellor will listen and help you understand your problem. They will also work with you to find ways to deal with the problem better. Counselling is usually short-term. You can refer yourself to local counselling services. If you do not notice improvement within a few sessions you should discuss with your counsellor or GP and consider stepping up to another treatment.
Insight Counselling (Dundee and Angus) - 01382 228836
Mindspace (Perth and Kinross) - 01738 631639
Please note that you may be asked for a donation when attending these agencies.
NHS Tayside Psychological Therapies Teams
For a few people, anxiety and depression becomes a persistent problem, and self help is not enough. Overcoming such problems requires time and effort, but they can be effectively dealt with through formal psychological therapy. Your GP can refer you to the appropriate Psychological Therapies Team, and you will be seen by a psychologist or psychological therapist. Once the psychologist or psychological therapist has met with you to hear about your problems, they will guide you through the strategies that research tells us are the most effective for your problems.
Angus Adult Psychological Therapies Service
Dundee Adult Psychological Therapies Service
Perth Adult Psychological Therapies Service
Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87
Breathing Space is a free, confidential phone and web-based service for people in Scotland experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. Family members, partners and friends who are concerned about their own wellbeing and that of people they care about can also make use of the service. Calls are taken by trained advisors. The phoneline is open 24 hours at weekends (6pm Friday - 6am Monday) and from 6pm to 2am on weekdays (Monday - Thursday).
The Samaritans – 116 123
The Samaritans listen openly to individuals who are distressed. It is a free 24 hour phone line. The service is offered by trained volunteers and is confidential.
NHS24 – 111
If you need urgent contact with services NHS 24 can be accessed by telephone or online when your GP surgery is closed. You will be put in touch with local mental health workers as required.
- NHS Tayside Healthy Minds Leaflet (PDF) - 412kb