Mental health services are free on the NHS, but in most cases you will need a referral from your GP to access them.
There are some mental health services that will allow people to refer themselves. This commonly includes services for drug problems and alcohol problems, as well as psychological therapies (IAPT) services.
If your mental health difficulty is related to stress in your workplace, you can ask your employer what occupational health services are available to you. Check out the Time to Change website, which has a section dedicated to employers.
If you are at school or college, mental health care may be arranged for you. Read our information on child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
Some mental health problems can be managed without the help of a GP. There are a variety of materials available and local organisations offering help. You can also try our mood assessment quiz, which is designed to recommend resources to help you better understand how you feel.
For local support and information services, use our Services near you search. Try the following directories:
If you want to talk to someone right away, the mental health helpline page has a list of organisations you can call for immediate assistance. These are helplines with specially trained volunteers who'll listen to you, understand what you're going through, and help you through the immediate crisis.
The Samaritans operates a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people who want to talk in confidence. Call them on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.