Anxiety and Depression
Periods of anxiety and depression affect many people – finding the way to navigate through it is a challenge, and the sites and resources below are all there to help you. As with all aspects of mental health, different people are affected in different ways, and so if the first approaches that you try don’t seem to help, then don’t give up! You may need to try several keys before finding the one that unlocks things for you – keep going, keep trying, and at all times be as gentle as possible with yourself as you walk difficult moments.
Perhaps it helps to remember a Bible story like the calming of the storm – the disciples were terrified, and rightly so, as they thought the ship was sinking. Anxiety and depression can be like the waves of the storm, overwhelming us for a while. But also in that little boat was Jesus – and he is also there with us, helping us navigate the storms, and calm the waves – even if, sometimes, we think he is sleeping!
Sometimes it gets so overwhelming that we even contemplate suicide; if that is the case for you, please reach out to any trusted adult in your life. Whatever you might imagine their reaction will be, it will almost certainly be much more kind and loving than you think. We know the courage that it takes to share things that are deep-rooted, and difficult to talk about. It is possible that the first person you try to talk with is not in the right place to listen. That is not your fault – and probably not their fault. But don’t give up – please. Find another trusted adult, find the person who will take time to listen to you, walk with you, and make sure you are not walking the journey alone. It might be easier to start by sending an anonymous question to a website blog – there are websites in the list below that enable you to do that. It might also be easier to pick up the phone to a helpline. Each of these steps may help you in gaining the confidence to have a face to face conversation with someone. And always, please be quite certain that you are prayed for; even at the bleakest times, you are not alone.
Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society http://bccs.org.uk
The Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society offer counselling support to anyone age 5-19 in Essex and East London. Their website also offers many resources and links to help young people and parents, and there is the ability to self-refer either by phone or email in order to arrange an initial chat with someone. Their counsellors are specialists in working with children and young people, and can also offer family therapy where this is helpful.
The Blurt Foundation https://www.blurtitout.org/ Instagram @theblurtfoundation
They describe themselves like this: “We are dedicated to helping those affected by depression: we increase awareness and understanding, champion you and collaborate with you.” They have a particular focus on depression and anxiety – all ages, and the website includes a lot of downloadable content for self care and self awareness.
Young Minds UK Youngminds.org.uk Instagram @youngmindsuk
In their words, “We’re the the UK’s leading charity #FightingFor young people’s mental health.” They do amazing work to make sure that the challenges of mental health in young people are not dismissed as trivial, and they have excellent tips, advice, resources and a blog within their website. They can also arrange counselling and therapeutic help, initially by phone. Their website also includes a section for parents, to help them understand mental health in their children.
Silver Cloud – especially for University Students uk.silvercloudhealth.com
You login with your Uni details and an online course is then tailored for you by a counsellor, covering topics such as stress, depression and anxiety. You work through it at your own pace, and there is further support as you go along, if needed.
Papyrus: Prevention of Young Suicide Papyrus-uk.org
Their “hopeline” is open 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends. Their website offers a lot of help and support if you have suicidal thoughts and feelings – pleaser reach out, please find a trusted adult to talk with. No-one would want you to go through this alone, and you will not be a burden to anyone.
NSPCC http://nspcc.org.uk @nspcc_official
The NSPCC offer a 24 hour helpline for children and young people in any sort of distress – whatever the reason you need to reach out, including if you are having suicidal thoughts, or any kind of anxiety or depression, they will listen with sympathy and kindness, and help you with whatever the best next steps are for you. If you are suffering abuse, witnessing violence at home, or the victim of violence, they will also help you get the immediate support you need.