Mental Health

Self-help therapies

Self-help therapies are psychological therapies that you can do in your own time to help with problems like stress, anxiety and depression.

They can be a useful way to try out a therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to see if it's for you.

They can also be convenient if:

  • you're short of time
  • you have family or work commitments
  • you can't get out easily
  • you want a therapy that's completely anonymous

If you don't feel better after trying a self-help therapy, there are other therapies you can try.

Your GP or local psychological therapies service can tell you more.

Guided self-help

Guided self-help is where you work through a self-help workbook or computer course with the support of a therapist.

You can get psychological therapies, including guided self-help.

If you prefer, you can talk to your GP and they can refer you and share relevant information about you.

Apps and online tools for mental health

There are lots of apps and online tools you can use to help improve your mental health.

Research shows that, for some people, they can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy with a therapist for depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.

Some allow you to work through a self-help course online with support from a therapist.

Others offer live therapy with a therapist via instant messaging.

You can also join an anonymous online community where you can meet and talk with other people who have similar mental health problems to you.

You don't need much experience with computers or technology to use them.

Am I eligible?

Whether or not you can get access to an online tool depends on the problems you're experiencing and how severe they are.

Self-help books

Check whether a book was written by a counsellor or therapist who has lots of experience and is registered with a professional body.

You should find this information in the front or back of the book.

Or look for self-help books that have been recommended by a professional organisation

Reading Well Books on Prescription

You can find books for common mental health problems like anxiety and depression on the Reading Well Books on Prescription website.

These books are all recommended by health professionals and by people living with the health problems covered in the books.

'Overcoming' self-help books

These books and CDs are recommended by Reading Well and cover more than 30 common mental health problems, including anxiety, low self-esteem and grief.

Blogs, forums, videos and audio guides

Side by Side forum : a safe, supportive online community from Mind

Blogs and stories: from people who have struggled with their mental health