Choose well for your mental health and wellbeing – a guide for adults

It’s important that we look after our mental health and wellbeing the same way we do with our physical health.

If you hurt yourself physically, there would be things you could do to make yourself feel better. Say you sprained your ankle – you can rest it and take weight off it. The same is true for your mental health. If you notice changes to your mental health and wellbeing, there are things you can do to improve how you feel.

The earlier you recognise changes to how you’re feeling or behaving, and begin to take steps to improve things, the less likely these will get worse.

This guide has been created to help you to choose well to support your mental health and wellbeing. Carers, friends and families can also use this guide to look out for those close to them and direct them to the right support. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with this so you know what to do in different situations:

  • Self care – things you can do to proactively look after your mental health and wellbeing
  • Mental health helpline – someone to listen and signpost you to help or support
  • Talking therapies – one-to-one or group therapies
  • GP practice – your GP practice can refer you to secondary mental health services or prescribe medication
  • Secondary mental health services – offer education and treatment on certain mental health illnesses
  • Crisis or emergencies – it’s important you know what to do in a crisis or emergency situation.


Self care

How I might be feeling…

  • Not feeling quite right
  • Feeling stressed
  • Feeling ‘out of sorts’
  • Not sleeping well
  • Feeling isolated or lonely
  • Dealing with bereavement
  • Managing anger
  • Struggling with low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy doing
  • Avoiding contact with others
  • Drinking more alcohol on a regular basis.


What can I do?

Discover the five steps to mental wellbeing:

  • Connect with other people
  • Be physically active
  • Learn new skills
  • Give to others
  • Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

Read up on the five steps to mental wellbeing at:

Attend free health and wellbeing courses at your local Recovery and Wellbeing College, or online.

Popular courses include; living with anxiety, an introduction to mindfulness, managing depression and craft and baking taster sessions.

Telephone: 01226 730433

Calderdale and Kirklees:
Telephone: Calderdale and Kirklees: 07717 867911

Telephone: 01924 316946

Social prescribing gives people links to, and information about, health and wellbeing support in local communities.

Barnsley: Personalised Care Team

Every GP practice in Barnsley has a personalised care team, speak to your practice about how they can help.

Calderdale: Staying Well
Telephone: 01422 392767

Kirklees: Community Plus
Telephone: 01484 225224

Wakefield: Live Well Wakefield
Telephone: 01924 255363

Creativity can help you disconnect from stress and boost your self-esteem. Get involved in creative activities in your community through Creative Minds – a charity linked to South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Telephone: 01924 316 285

If you’re employed, your workplace may have an occupational health team or other health and wellbeing support. You can ask your work in confidence what support is available.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership grief and loss support service is available from 8am to 8pm, every day.

Freephone: 0808 1963833


Did you know?

  • The Choice and Medication website provides information about mental health conditions, treatments and medications. Visit: You can also talk to your local pharmacy about medication queries.
  • The NHS also has resources and lots of approved apps and helplines. Visit for more information.


Mental health helpline

How I might be feeling…

  • Like you’re at risk of developing mental health problems
  • That you are finding it difficult to manage a diagnosed common mental health problem
  • That you need support for your mental health but don’t know where best to go
  • Experiencing mental health distress
  • That you need information, advice and support from a trusted source


What can I do?

There is a 24-hour mental health helpline for anyone registered with a GP in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

You can contact the helpline on: 0800 183 0558.

The helpline is a great place to get information about local support groups, charities and other community services that could help support you with your mental health and wellbeing.


Talking therapies

How I might be feeling…

  • Low mood and tearfulness
  • Feeling down
  • Feeling anxious, including;
    • Panic attacks
    • Obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behaviour (OCD)
    • Phobias
    • Social anxiety
    • Health anxiety
    • Dealing with trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Struggling with every-day tasks
  • Feeling very stressed/unable to relax
  • Hoarding
  • Insomnia and problems with sleep.


What can I do?

You can refer yourself into your local talking therapies service, without seeing your GP.

Talking therapies provide one-to one appointments alongside group workshops.

Not online? Contact the 24-hour mental health helpline (0800 183 0558) or your GP practice for information.


GP practice

How I might be feeling…

  • Feeling depressed for most of the day, every day for over two weeks
  • Anxiety which is affecting your daily life and causing you distress
  • Self-harming – intentionally damaging or injuring yourself
  • Uncontrollable worrying
  • Frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours
  • Eating or problems with food and exercise (binge eating, deliberately being sick, exercising too much)
  • Memory problems that are affecting your life (or a relative or person you care for)
  • That you’ve tried other support which hasn’t helped.


What can I do?

Book an appointment with your GP practice – you could be seen by a GP or nurse.

A discussion and support from your GP or nurse might be all the help you need, but if not they can refer you to secondary mental health services or can prescribe medication that may help you.


Secondary mental health services

How I might be feeling…

  • Hearing voices or seeing, feeling, tasting or smelling things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Erratic and distressing behaviour, including impulsive actions and not being able to control your emotions
  • Extreme fluctuations in mood, including:
    • Extreme high and low moods
    • Suicidal thoughts that come and go
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking, sometimes due to being preoccupied with unusual experiences, beliefs or fears
  • Risky, challenging or violent behaviour including high risk of criminal activity.


What can I do?

To be able to get support from secondary mental health services, you will most likely need a referral from your GP, or another health, care or public sector professional who may be supporting you with your mental health and wellbeing. This includes; hospital, GP staff, police, courts, housing associations and staff from your local council.

Secondary mental health services, also known as specialist services, can offer education and treatment on certain mental health illnesses.

They can help you find ways of coping and managing your mental health and wellbeing so that you can be supported to live well in your home or community.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provide secondary mental health services across Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

The Trust has a customer services team who can help provide information, advice and support for people who use Trust services, alongside their families and carers. They also handle compliments and complaints about services.

Find out more:


Did you know?

Ways to wellbeing 

The ways to wellbeing leaflet can support you on your journey of self-care or after you have left a specialist service:

Crisis or emergency situations

How I might be feeling…

  • Like you may seriously harm or injure yourself or other people
  • Suicidal or like you want to die
  • No longer feeling able to cope or be in control of your situation
  • Extreme distress or extreme changes in behaviour
  • Seriously harmed or injured yourself.


What can I do?

If you or someone else has seriously harmed or injured yourself, always call 999 or go to your nearest A&E.

If you already get mental health support from a health or care organisation, please contact the team that provides you with treatment. You may have a care or safety plan already. This will help with your treatment and will tell you who to contact in a crisis.

You can also get support in a mental health crisis by:

  • Calling NHS 111, a 24-hour helpline
  • Booking an emergency appointment with your GP practice. Outside of normal surgery hours you can still phone your GP, but you will usually be directed to an out-of-hours service
  • Contacting the 24-hour mental health helpline for anyone registered with a GP in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield on 0800 183 0558.

In order to help you manage a crisis, or for further support with your mental health, your GP or other organisation involved in your care may refer you to Single Point of Access (SPA). In some areas you can also refer yourself:

Barnsley – GP or another organisation referral only
Adults (aged 18+): 01226 645000
People with a learning disability: 01226 645237

Calderdale – self-referral available
Adults (aged 18 +): 01924 316830
People with a learning disability: 07795 884879

Kirklees – self-referral available
Adults (aged 18-65): 01924 316830
People with a learning disability: 01924 316714

Wakefield – self-referral available
Adults (aged 18+): 01924 316900
People with a learning disability: 01977 465435


Did you know?

Charities provide support for people in a mental health crisis:

  • Samaritans: Free to call, 24/7, 365 days a year. Call them on 116 123
  • SANEline: 4.30pm – 10.30pm every day of the year. Call them on 0300 304 7000.

Planning ahead and understanding what your options are in a mental health crisis or emergency will help make sure you get the best support as quickly as possible.

Please take the time to familiarise yourself with this guide and write down who you can contact in a mental health crisis or emergency situation (for example; my support worker, a loved one or a helpline), alongside how other people can help you during this time (for example; call one of my contact numbers for me or give me a quiet space). Keep this information handy e.g. in your wallet or purse or on the fridge.

Mind also have lots of information to help you plan for a mental health crisis:

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