Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental wellbeing is more than not having a mental health problem; it refers to our ability to get the most out of life and cope with its challenges.
The “five ways to wellbeing”, also known as “5 to Thrive,” is a set of evidence-based actions to improve personal wellbeing, as developed by the New Economics Foundation and the Government’s Foresight project and endorsed by the NHS. More detailed guidance is available on the Government website.
- Connect - with friends, family and those around you
- Be active - exercise hugely benefits mental wellbeing
- Take notice - observe the world around you
- Keep learning - be it something new or not
- Give - you benefit too
There are a number of resources and services available that can help you develop and strengthen your mental wellbeing. Watch this short video from the City Corporation and CEO of the City Mental Health Alliance, Poppy Jaman OBE, for some more details on the five ways to wellbeing.
Doing something for someone else has been shown to have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. It can help you improve your self-confidence and meet new people, and makes a positive contribution to your community.
The City of London Time Credit initiative offers credits in return for volunteering with community programmes in the City that can be redeemed at various attractions and organisations throughout London.
For full details on how time credits work, where you can earn and spend them, see We are Tempo.
Learning Well is a community-based programme of classes and workshops specially selected to promote and enhance recovery and wellbeing.
In addition to courses available through Learning Well, the City of London Corporation offers a wide range of other courses that can both directly and indirectly contribute to your mental wellbeing through learning.
For details about Learning Well courses call 020 7608 2753.
Poor mental health can affect anyone at any time
If you have any concerns about your own health, or that of someone else, you should consult your GP in the first instance.
NHS 111: call 111, open 24 hours
Samaritans are waiting for your call: 116 123 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
If you’re struggling to cope and need someone to talk to, Samaritans are there for you 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Call 116 123 for free, write to Jo at Samaritans, visit Samaritans' website or, if you would like to speak to a Samaritan in person, visit Central London Samaritans, 46 Marshall Street, London, W1F 9BF. They are open from 9am to 9pm every day of the week. No appointment or referral needed. They are fully wheelchair accessible.
Shout: Text 85258 (24 hours, 7 days a week) Shout website
Shout is the UK's first 24/7 text service, powered by volunteers, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis any time, anywhere. It's a place to go if you're struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
City Wellbeing Centre
Offers virtual counselling and psychotherapy sessions to workers and residents in and around the Square Mile, whatever their financial circumstances, improving access to treatments that are not available through the NHS.
Counselling and psychotherapy is available to individuals, couples and groups who are experiencing any range of emotional or psychological difficulties. The fee is based on individuals’ income and particular financial circumstances.
The online services are available to workers with usual workplaces located in the postcodes EC1-EC5.
Find out more and book an online appointment by visiting the City Wellbeing Centre website.
Every Mind Matters:
Every Mind Matters is delivered by Public Health England. It offers a range of useful resources to help you spot the signs of common mental health concerns, offering practical self-care tips and guidance, and explains when to seek further support.
There is also a free NHS-approved online tool, which helps you to build an action plan to deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, improve your sleep and help you feel more in control. Visit the Every Mind Matters website.
Dragon Café in the City at Shoe Lane Library. Wednesdays (fortnightly), 12noon - 7:30pm, from 4 September 2019
Dragon Café in the City welcomes anyone working or living in the Square Mile. It's a space where you can "release the pressure" of work, home or day-to-day life. Come along and take part in a range of free activities promoting mental wellbeing, or just to relax and meditate in the space.
More details on the Dragon Cafe in the City website
City Advice: (City workers - 020 3475 5080, Mon-Fri 10am - 5pm, Thurs 1pm - 7pm) (City residents - 020 7392 2919, Mon-Fri 10am - 5pm)
City Advice website
City Advice is a free advice service that offers confidential and impartial advice to help those living, working, or studying in the Square Mile (or a City of London Corporation Estate). Their expert advisors are qualified to advise on:
- Legal issues
- Consumer rights
- Employment rights
- Family and relationship problems
James' Place: For men aged 18+ who are experiencing thoughts, feelings, or attempts of suicide. James' Place offers a free talking therapy intervention, with trained specialists using a unique model in a welcoming and friendly environment.
Men can directly refer to James' Place via the "get support" link on the website. Referrals can also be made from concerned third parties and professionals. Visit James' Place to find out more.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): 080 8802 5858 (5pm-midnight, 7 days a week) CALM's helpline is for men who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. CALM website
Maytree (Sanctuary for the Suicidal): 020 7263 7070 (open 24 hours, 7 days a week)
Maytree offers a telephone helpline to people in suicidal crisis, plus a respite stay in a friendly, relaxed environment. Our volunteer befrienders are trained to listen with empathy, respect and a non-judgemental attitude. This national service is free to anyone living in the UK. Maytree website
Staying Safe is a website offering support for those experiencing thoughts of harm and suicide. It provides "Safety Plan" guidance tools, as well as hope for recovery through videos from individuals with personal experience. Staying Safe website
Good Thinking is a free and unique digital platform, designed to support the wellbeing of Londoners. It offers safe, proactive, early intervention tools to help with the four most common wellbeing concerns: anxiety, depression, stress and sleep. Everything you do on Good Thinking is anonymous and all resources have been reviewed by a Consultant Psychiatrist. Good Thinking website.
Good Thinking can also offer support to young people, aged 13-18 years old, with access to free resources and apps to improve their mental wellbeing. Good Thinking website for 13-18 year olds
If you are a resident in the City of London, you can also phone our 24-hour crisis helpline if you are worried about your mental health, or are in distress and need to contact a health professional at any time.
24-hour Mental Health Crisis Helpline: 020 8432 8020 (City residents only)
The Crisis Helpline can:
- support and help you if you have mental health problems
- provide accurate information and advice about local mental health services
- communicate with other services or teams on your behalf if you wish
- support you in a non-directive way, to empower and encourage you to take control of your own life and come to your own decisions.
Hackney Talk Changes
Free help and advice for City residents experiencing common mental health problems, such as depression, stress or anxiety, provided through Homerton Hospital. This service uses talking therapy to help overcome persistent low mood and improve wellbeing. It is available to anyone aged 18 years and above who is registered with a City or Hackney GP practice (self-referral). Talk Changes can be contacted by calling 020 7683 4278, or via the website. Hackney Talk Changes website
City and Hackney CAMHS
The City and Hackney Mental Health Service provides support and services to children and young people experiencing mental health problems. City and Hackney CAMHS website
Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest
City and Hackney Mind is a local mental health charity offering support services to residents of Hackney and the City of London. Its services include community and hospital-based advocacy, counselling, education services and employment support, therapeutic day service and welfare rights advice. Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest website
The NHS Choices website offers a wealth of information about various types of mental illnesses and other common disorders. Mental Health on the NHS Choices website
Mental Health Foundation
Working to end the inequalities that people experiencing mental illness face and to help those living with learning disabilities or reduced mental capacity. Mental Health Foundation website
Bereavement support service
City residents can access free support for bereavement through St Joseph's Hospice (commissioned by City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group).
Contact the Hospice via the First Contact Team on 0300 303 0400 for referrals and 24/7 advice and support, or email St Josephs.
Kooth (for City residents aged 11 to 19 years old)
City residents aged between 11 and 19 years old can access free and anonymous online counselling and emotional support through Kooth.
Kooth provides online support from a professional team of qualified counsellors. It’s an online mental health and wellbeing service for young people. Children and young people using the service are able to chat with qualified counsellors via instant messaging, online drop-in services, or booked sessions. Kooth has no referrals or waiting lists. To access it, visit the Kooth website and select “Hackney and the City” from the drop-down list, and then “Zone 1 – City of London”.