Mental Wellbeing

Mental wellbeing describes a mental state - how an individual is feeling and how well they can cope with day-to-day life. Mental wellbeing is dynamic, it can change from moment to moment, day to day, month to month or year to year.

If anyone experiences low mental wellbeing over a long period of time they are more likely to develop a mental health problem.  If someone already has a mental health problem, they are more likely to experience periods of low mental wellbeing than someone who hasn't. But that doesn't mean the person won't have periods of good wellbeing.

The Very Brief Intervention (VBI) pages below recognise the perception that it can be difficult to start a conversation about a persons Mental Wellbeing. The following VBI uses advice from 'Time to Change' which is led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Mental health can be impacted at any time in a persons life and there are many factors that might negatively impact mental wellbeing whether this is from a relationship breakdown, a bereavement, financial worries and poverty, substance misuse and abuse.

There is no doubt that the impact and experience of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has negatively impacted the mental health and wellbeing of the population so it it is more important than ever to reach out and offer support.

Your interaction can make a big difference. 

Very Brief Intervention



What can we do to help and support you?

Are you under the care of a GP or other health professionals?

Do you want us to call anyone on your behalf?

Are you taking any medication?

Have you consumed drugs/alcohol?


How are you?

How are you feeling at the moment?
What’s been happening for you recently?

You mentioned you are feeling low, why do you think that is?
What have you been doing to make yourself feel better?
What more would you like to do or do more of that would help?
Reflect back what has been said to you; “you said you have not been sleeping well, tell me a bit more about that?

It may be worth asking about the causes and what could possibly be done to address them e.g. debt management, housing support, stress management.


What you can do to help depends on the particular circumstances and needs of the individual. Do they need immediate medical attention or referral to Mental Wellbeing services?

If you are worried that this person is in crisis or suicidal, please refer to the Suicide Prevention topic where you will find guidelines about police response 

The police have various legal obligations to safeguard and protect people in crisis from harm (not criminalising them):

In some circumstances officers have the power to detain people under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. This is a preserved power for constables which states:

‚ÄúIf a person appears to a constable to be suffering from mental disorder and to be in immediate need of care or control, the constable may, if he thinks it necessary to do so in the interests of that person or for the protection of other persons ‚ÄĒ (a) remove the person to a place of safety within the meaning of section 135, or (b) if the person is already at a place of safety within the meaning of that section, keep the person at that place or remove the person to another place of safety.‚ÄĚ

Prior to using 136 officers should, unless circumstances dedicate otherwise, consult mental health services as to its use.  The detained person will then hopefully via ambulance be conveyed to a place of safety, typically a mental health setting (136 unit) for assessment. Persons of concern may also be taken voluntarily to a decisions unit with use of S136 in particular circumstances but again this be based on the advice of MH colleagues.

Legislation prevents officers from using custody in albeit extreme circumstances, as it is not deemed a suitable environment for those in mental health crisis. If custody is used, escalation processes will be instigated to get that person out of custody as soon as possible following assessment.

If they are not in immediate crisis, give reassurances that there are lots of sources of support available

Please click on the below regional links for information about Mental Wellbeing support services relating to your locality.

For non crisis encounters you may want to talk about the Five Ways to Wellbeing. ¬†The mental health equivalent to the dietary advice to have ‚Äė5 a day‚Äô fruit and vegetables for physical health.

1. Connect - With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community.

  • As being well connected is good for your mental wellbeing‚Ķ¬†Is there anything you could be doing more of?
  • Can you think of connections that you would like to make or remake?

2. Be Active - Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity that you enjoy; one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

  • What activities do you engage in on a regular basis?¬†How would I like to develop this?
  • Are there any minor adjustments you can make in your life that¬†can help you to be more active?

3. Take Notice -  Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are on a train, eating lunch or talking to friends. 

  • How can you practice slowing down and pausing more often?
  • What difference will incorporating this into your daily life make?

4. Keep Learning - Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. 

  • What would you like to learn about? What interests you? What do you value? What would you¬†find useful?
  • What do you need to do to make learning something you look forward to?

5. Give - Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. 

  • Do you notice what it‚Äôs like for you when you give to others?
  • What else could you give others that you hadn‚Äôt thought of before?


As well as local support services you may alert the individuals to a number of national support services who can assist those struggling with their mental health. There are services especially for Adults, Children, Parents,  Veterans, Carers and those requiring Perinatal Support:

Samaritans  - (All age groups)

Providing mental wellbeing support nationally, Including crisis support.

Tel: 116 123, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.

Hub of Hope

A mental health support database. It is provided by national mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma, and brings local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS mental health support and services together in one place. Enter your postcode and the website will provide you to local Mental Health support services.

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.



SANEline is an out-of-hours telephone helpline offering practical information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health problems.  They also provide a free text-based support service called Textcare.

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.

Tel: 0300 304 7000 - 4.30pm-10.30pm each evening, every day of the year.



A free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. A text will prompt a conversation with trained volunteers. For individuals who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support.

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.

Text 85258  - Available 24 hours a day

Papyrus - Suicide Prevention Charity (Young People) 

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.

Tel: 0800 068 41 41 Opening hours
Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends: 2pm-10pm & bank holidays: 2pm-5pm

Text: 07786209697




The helpline is for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.

Tel: 0800 585858 Daily 17:00-00:00, 365 days a year



Rethink is the largest severe mental illness charity in the UK and their information and advice service can be contacted on 0845 456 0455. The advise service offers practical help on a wide range of mental health issues. They can be contacted from¬†9.30am ‚Äď 4pm from Monday to Friday.

No self-referral route, signposting only. No professional referral route, signposting only.

Tel:¬†0300 304 7000 - 9.30am ‚Äď 4pm from Monday to Friday.


Young Minds UK

Mental Health support for children and young people.

Text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. 

If you need urgent help, text YM to 85258. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.


Support Services - Adults

Adults can self-refer to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. IAPT is a national NHS programme, which offers evidence based psychological therapies or interventions approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). IAPT is primarily for treating people with mild to moderate mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

IAPT treatments are delivered via a stepped care model where patients are initially offered low intensity therapies, such as computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) and guided self-help. If these treatments are unsuccessful, or not appropriate for individuals, higher intensity therapies are utilised and include one to one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT). Please see local support and contact details for further information.

Support Services - Veterans

Veterans Combat Stress is the UK's leading mental health charity for veterans. They offer free, confidential 24-hour support to Service and ex-Service personnel who are experiencing mental health issues, including feeling suicidal.

Tel: 0800 138 1619


Support Services - Perinatal

PANDAS Foundation

The PANDAS Foundation is here to help support and advise any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness. We are also here to inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering.

Tel: 0843 2898401 (0900 - 2000 hrs, 7 days per week)


Support Services - Carers

The Carers Trust

It is important that you take care of your own health, even if you are busy looking after someone else's health.  Being healthy is not only important for you, but it also helps the person you care after too.  The website contains some helpful guides on relationship management and information on self-care and respite care.

Support Services - Children and Young People

Children and Young People can contact the 'The Mix which is a leading support service that can help young people to take on any challenge they are facing - from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. 

For Parents

YoungMinds run a free, confidential parents helpline, which parents/careers can call if they are worried about how a child or young person is feeling or behaving.  They also run a group called Parents Say, for parents whose children are accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.


Local Support and Contact Details