If you are having problems with your mental health, there is a wide range of free self-help resources available either on-line, or by telephone.
Mental Health from NHS Inform
NHS Inform provides a range of online guides to a wide variety of mental health conditions, together with self-help advice and information about where to find help or support groups.
Beating the Blues
This is an on-line treatment programme that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help people experiencing mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety, panic attacks or phobias. It is suitable for people who are being treated with, or without, medication. It can also be used by people who have already done CBT in the past, but would like a "refresher".
You can read more about Beating the Blues HERE
Please note that NHS Lothian has not yet updated this leaflet, so please be assured that you CAN now also access this service using a TABLET/iPad.
Unlike all of the other services mentioned elsewhere on this page, you can only access Beating the Blues (BTB) if you have first been referred by you GP. Referral is simple and quick however, so if you are interested, please let your GP know. You will need to supply an email address through which you can be contacted by the BTB team in the days following your referral.
This is a free, fully automated six-session programme of digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for people who are having difficulty sleeping. Sleep itself is an entirely psychological phenomenon, and insomnia is most commonly caused by day-to-day worries and stresses that upset the brain's ability to 'switch off' when we go to bed. Sleepio has been scientifically designed and tested by world experts in sleep, and it uses digital technology to provide you with therapeutic content that is specific towards what's causing your insomnia. You can read a bit more about it HERE.
If the stresses and worries that are causing your sleep issues are also negatively affecting you during the day, there is a sister app, also free, called Daylight. It is instantly accessible, 24 hours a day, and offers you the opportunity to use evidence-based cognitive behavioural techniques in the moment, whenever you are struggling. It uses the same individualised psychological techniques to help you get better at managing your stresses and worries during the day. Again, you can read a bit more about it HERE.
This service offers appointment-based, telephone support, for people living in Scotland who are feeling low, anxious or stressed. It's delivered by a team of therapists and is based on cognitive behavioural therapy principles (CBT). The lines are currently open Mon-Fri, between 1pm and 9pm, and you don't need a referral to use the service. Further details can be found by clicking the Living Life link above, or by simply calling 0800 328 9655.
Positive Mental Training
This is a self-help programme for treatment of depression, anxiety, stress, low self-confidence and poor life-coping skills in general. The programme consists of 12 audio tracks, and a short 3 minute video, to be watched initially, explaining how it works. Each track , lasting 18 minutes, is ideally listened to 5 times a week, and in this way the whole programme takes 12 weeks to complete. However research has shown that there is considerable benefit after 4 weeks.
The programme is delivered via the Feeling Good App, which can be downloaded free-of-charge from Google Play or the Apple App Store. To use the app, you will need the following details to log in and make use of the full programme:
Username: coboost1 Password: positive
There is also a separate Feeling Good Teens app that has been specially developed for those between the ages of 10-15, and you can find further information about that here.
Children with Anxiety
Anxiety in children can be difficult for parents and carers to deal with. If you are in this situation, there are some on-line workshops and other resources which you can access directly without need for a referral. Click HERE to find out more.
This is a Leith-based organisation that offers mental health support exclusively to younger people, between the ages of 12-21, who are living in the Leith/North East Edinburgh area.
This organisation works with children and young people aged 5-25, and offers a relevant and holistic programme of services to support children and young people with issues they are facing. They provide services such as youth and children’s clubs, holiday activities, employability support, group work, a social enterprise café, and 1-1 support to those with mental health issues.
Young Scot Aye Feel
This is a live mental health resource that is actively updated based on what young people tell the Young Scot organisation they need. There is currently a large amount of content relating to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the associated restrictions this has placed on normal life.
iThrive is the main mental health website for Edinburgh. It contains a wealth of information about self-help resources, together with details about local events, organisations and counselling agencies. During the current Coronavirus pandemic, there are, however, obvious restrictions around some of the usually-available face-to-face services.
This is a website produced by NHS Lothian, which contains self-help information and tools you can use to help with a wide variety of emotional and mental health issues. It covers areas such as poor sleep, social anxiety, and how to deal with stress, along with many more.
Counselling isn't a service which is provided by NHS Lothian itself, but if it is something you are interested in, you can access a list of current, non-NHS, providers here:
Counselling Services in Edinburgh
Mental Health Information Station (MHIS)
Normally a walk-in source of mental health advice and information in Edinburgh, the MHIS has become a fully telephone-based service during the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact can also be made by email if preferred. Further information can be obtained by clicking HERE
Living Life to the Full provides free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for depression and anxiety. It's a life skills course that aims to teach how to tackle the demands we all meet in everyday life.
Moodjuice provides online help for a wide range of emotional and psychological problems, and includes printable guides for topics including anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem and insomnia.
Health in Mind promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in Scotland as a whole. It provides a wide range of services and courses to support people and help them make positive changes. Many of the usual face-to-face services have been temporarily suspended during the current Coronavirus pandemic.
CRISIS CONTACTS - If you need to speak to someone urgently...
The Mental Health Hub at NHS 24 Available to anyone over 16 years of age, living anywhere in Scotland, and suffering from acute distress or emotional pain. Open 24/7, 365 days of the year by calling the usual 111 number and following the telephone prompts. Staffed by Mental Health Nurses and Psychological Well-Being Practitioners, who assess individual callers, and aim to resolve most issues within that one call. If necessary, staff are able to refer individuals directly into the Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) programme, which provides practical and emotional support for a period of up to 14 days.
Breathing Space - 0800 83 85 87 Free, national, confidential helpline.
Open Mon-Thurs, 6pm-2am, Fri 6pm - Mon 6am.
Samaritans - 0330 094 5717 Edinburgh branch, open daily 9am - 10pm
116 123 from any phone for their 24 hr national helpline
Edinburgh Crisis Centre - 0808 801 0414 open 24 hrs
Confidential helpline offering one to one support