Caring for someone with a mental health problem

If you are worried about someone’s mental health:

The first step if you are worried about someone’s mental health is to encourage them to see their GP or, if there is one in place, their care coordinator.

Further details and more advice are available from:

If someone requires urgent help in an emergency, options include 999, their GP or care coordinator, the local accident and emergency department, or NHS 111.


There are two major national mental health charities, Mind and Rethink. They each produce a variety of information booklets and factsheets covering topics such as mental health conditions, aspects of mental health law, or how to look after yourself as a carer. These can be accessed via:

The main websites for Mind and Rethink are:

Each site contains a vast range of further information and resources.

Also, the Royal Collage of Psychiatrists and Carers Trust each produce a good range of information leaflets:

Online forums

Rethink Talk is a national mental health forum which includes areas specifically for carers. Registration is required:

Self-help guides

Self-help guides covering areas such as anxiety, self-harm and hearing voices are available from:

These have been produced by the NHS and may be helpful to the person you are supporting. They also contain insights and suggestions which you as a carer may find interesting and useful.

Mental health services in Sheffield

Details of all the NHS mental health services in Sheffield, including the various community teams and acute wards, are available from:

Further services such as supported accommodation or self-help groups can be found via the Help Yourself Directory ( or Sheffield Mental Health Guide (


The Sheffield CAB Mental Health general advocacy service is for people aged 16-65 who either access mental health services in Sheffield or who need to access those services. This includes accessing mental health care through GPs or Community Mental Health Teams, counselling or psychological therapies, self-directed support, and other NHS or local authority services as well as voluntary and private sector providers.

The advocacy service aims to empower people to put forward their views about their needs and priorities for their own wellbeing.

The service cannot work directly with carers though can accept referrals from carers if the person you support agrees to this.

There is a separate advocacy service for people who are admitted to hospital.


There are numerous helplines which can provide support to either you as a carer or to the person you are looking after:

  • Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90 (24-hours a day)
  • Rethink Sheffield helpline – A 24-hour helpline for anyone affected by mental health difficulties in Sheffield, including carers – 0800 139 6550
  • SANEline – A national, out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health difficulties (open every day of the year from 6pm to 11pm) – 0845 767 8000
  • No Panic – Support for those experiencing panic attacks, compulsive disorder, anxiety etc (open every day 10.00 am to 10.00 pm) – 0800 138 8889
  • Families in Recovery – Supports people who are affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol misuse – such as a partner or parents – 0114 270 2855
  • Mind Legal Advice Line – Provides legal information and general advice on mental health related law – 0300 466 6463 or


 Last revised: 23 May 2013