Mental Health

mental health


Free mental health support from the NHS, offering evidence-based talking therapies as well as advice and guidance on community services. VitaMinds provide therapies for low to moderate mental health illnesses like depression, low mood, excessive worry, anxiety, stress, sleep problems and others.

You need to be aged 16 or over and registered with a GP in Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire.

You can refer yourself in a few different ways:

- Talk to the digital assistant via our website here.

- Fill out an online form here

- Call 0333 200 1893 (Mon-Thu 8-8, Fri 8-5 and Sat 9-1)

- Text ‘YOU’ to 88802

There are also a range of useful self-help material available via the VitaMinds website here.

“I have to say the therapy was invaluable, and I feel still months later infinitely better than I have in years, my therapist was patient, caring, intuitive and insightful. I feel very grateful to have had this help and experience, and have been given these tools to deal with life better” – VitaMinds service user, 2022.


Talking treatments

VitaMinds offer a range of therapies on the NHS for people suffering from a mental health problem. You can be referred by your GP or self-refer on 0333 200 1893. The service is free. You will be offered an initial telephone appointment with a therapist who will decide which treatment will be most suitable for your problem. This will normally be either a course (eg depression, excessive worry and anxiety etc) or one to one therapy. They often use CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). This focuses on the here and now, on what is happening in your life, rather than what has happened in the past. It creates a link between how you think, how you behave and how you feel and targets unrealistic or unhelpful thinking patterns to encourage you think in a more helpful way.

Wellspring counselling are a local charity based in Nailsea. You can self- refer on 01275 810879. They offer confidential help and support to all, irrespective of gender, ethnic origin, religious beliefs. There is a small charge to cover costs which is means tested. Wellspring are a counselling service ie. talking to someone who can help you become clearer about your thoughts and feelings and help you find your own solutions. They can help with problems such as facing loss and bereavement, relationship difficulties, stress and anxiety, depression and issues resulting from physical, sexual or emotional abuse as well as other distressing situations.


Maybe Southwest are a local charity based in Leigh Woods who offer a range of treatments & operate a similar donation based system.  Self-refer 0794 1218072

Vine Counselling are another local charity. Self-refer on 01934 876377

Hope Project - short term emotional support and practical suicide prevention for men aged 30 -64. 0117 909 6630 or

North Somerset Wellbeing Courses College style activities and techniques to motivate and support people. Click on the link to see a variety of in-person and zoom courses available locally. 


Urgent help   


Self help tips


We know it’s difficult to motivate yourself to get active but exercise releases endorphins which help improve your mood. It can be as simple as a walk outside or for a full range of local activities see here

Time for yourself

Set aside time to indulge yourself, positive emotions can build resilience against stress. Listen to some music, read a book; do something you enjoy.


It’s best to ask for help and support from those around you.

Turn off those notifications

Switch off notifications on your phone/email. Schedule time for yourself as part of your routine.

Eat well

We know that eating a good diet, based on a Mediterranean diet helps depression and anxiety.


Mindfulness can help reduce your levels of anxiety, improve your sleep and improve your mood. Apps such as CALM or HEADSPACE can guide you through this.

Prioritise Sleep

We all know we don't manage well on reduced sleep and this can be something that builds and worsens over time. Your mental health can improve if you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.


Certain drinks – Alcohol, Sugar/fizzy drinks or caffeine can be a quick fix but they can increase stress and reduce mood in the long term.

Working out of hours – Overworking and checking your emails out of working hours – its important to unwind.

Screen time – Spending too much time in front of your screen can worsen anxiety and sleep patterns. Start by stopping screen time before bed, start with 10 mins and gradually increase this to 30, even 40 minutes.

Keeping it to yourself – Bottling things up can make things worse in the long term.


Self-help resources

You can download really clear help on a series of mental health issues here Also see specific conditions below.

If you would prefer printed text many helpful books are available in local libraries or new or second hand from sites such as Amazon. Many are also available as ebooks.  See for a recommended list.


Specific conditions

Depression and anxiety     National and local mental health charity with lots of useful info Online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)         Online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)                  Online courses for low mood, stress and resilience  Online mindfulness             Help with Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other related anxiety disorders 0300 7729844

WorryTree ( App to help you record, manage and solve worries and anxiety easy quick discreet advice on self-harm/suicidal thoughts Promoting mental health and wellbeing by supporting people and communities with a programme of workshops, programmes and activities.

Home - OTR - North Somerset ( aimed at young people aged 11-25

Andy's Man Club | #ITSOKAYTOTALK | Andy's Man Club ( free peer to peer support groups


Bereavement                   National charity and support 0808 808 1677                National charity  for those suddenly bereaved 0800 2600400 or 0117 909 6630    Emotional and practical support to people who have lost someone to suicide


Drug problems            National charity 0300 123 6600     Local service 01934 427940


Alcohol problems   National support charity 0800 9177650                    Support for affected friends & family 0800 0086 811

Drinkline                                        Free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else's 0300 1231110


Domestic abuse

Next Link North Somerset domestic abuse services from Next Link Housing  Website with lots of local support and links

Gemini                                   0800 6949 999 9am to 5pm Local helpline or call :                 0808 2000 247 - 24 hr helpline


Sexual Assault                    For 24/7 access to the best recovery services call 0117 342 699 or click here


Eating disorders         National charity 0808 801 0677


Relationships       National charity and relationship counselling 0300 003 0396


Self harm Womens self injury Helpline 0808 800 8088

Support via text           07537 432 444 – text support service (Tues, Wed, Thurs from 19:00 – 21:30)


Covid                          Scroll down to the coronavirus support and wellbeing section on our website


Private Counsellors

Jackie Fisher – Clevedon - 07813858261 – individuals

Wendy Griffin – Nailsea – 07903523457 – individuals/teenagers

Sarah Kitchen – Tickenham – 01275 790857 or 07973 844292 – individuals

Sally Walters – Nailsea – 01275 792056 – couples/psychosexual & individuals/teenagers

Tina Malhotra – Long Ashton - 07951246890 – individuals & couples -

Kirstie Adamson – Bristol – 07701059061 – individuals / couples /families

Vivienne Howells – Bristol – 0117 9421798 – couples/psychosexual

Liz Salter – Bristol – 07890239657 – couples  

Counselling+ - Clevedon, Nailsea and Bristol 01275 810200


Or see the following to find a therapist in your area therapist directory of British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists