Mental health

Mental health and wellbeing

Need help right now?

  1. Dial 111
  2. Choose option 2, when prompted
  3. Answer a few questions over the phone

You'll then receive fast and responsive support from NHS mental health professionals, which can include a same-day mental health assessment, if needed.

NHS 111 is the first point of contact for any adults, children or young people in urgent need of mental health help.

Alternatively, you can make an urgent appointment with your GP to discuss options on how to get the support you need quickly.

If you feel yourself or others are at imminent risk of physical harm or you have harmed yourself or someone else, or are worried that you might, please call 999.

You can also go to A&E at your nearest hospital.

About mental health

Mental health is about the way we think and feel and our ability to deal with life's ups and downs.

Anyone can suffer from a mental health issue: at least one in six people will experience a mental health problem in any one year. Mental health-related illness is the leading cause of long-term absence from work.

There are lots of things we can do to help ourselves to develop good mental health and to manage how we respond to situations to minimise risks to our health and wellbeing.

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.

Visit NHS Every Mind Matters for expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Self-help information and support

You can take a wellbeing check-up at NHS Every Mind Matters and get your own personalised wellbeing plan.

The five steps to wellbeing can make you feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life.

Five steps to wellbeing

The Mental Health Foundation provides advice and information about how to look after your mental health, including its top ten tips to look after your mental health.

Mental health self-help guides on a range of topics are also available to download.


Whatever you’re going through, Samaritans will face it with you. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Telephone: 116 123.

Support for children


The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

CAMHS provides outpatient assessments, support and treatment for children and young people up to the age of 18 experiencing moderate to severe mental health problems. The service works to provide them with a greater knowledge of their condition and improve coping techniques.

Self-referrals are not accepted. Referrals are accepted from your GP, health professional, social worker, teacher or youth worker.

Central Bedfordshire CAMHS (North)

Telephone: 01234 310800 (available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Central Bedfordshire CAMHS (South)

Telephone: 01234 893300 / 01234 893301 (available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)


CHUMS mental health and emotional wellbeing service for children and young people offers therapeutic support for children and young people with a variety of mental health and wellbeing needs.

Telephone: 01525 863924


For children and young people (up to 18 or 25 for those with additional needs)

Text REFLECT to 85258 to start a free, confidential text conversation with a trained volunteer, who can help with issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Abuse
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Depression
  • Bullying
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Self-harm
  • Loneliness

Papyrus UK Hopeline

The Hopeline is for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, and for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.

Telephone: 0800 068 4141 (lines are open 24 hours every day of the year, including weekends and bank holidays) 
Text: 07860 039967

Support for adults

If you, a friend or relative are experiencing mental health problems for the first time and need emergency treatment or advice during office hours, then you should contact your/their GP. They will be able to refer to the most appropriate mental health service in your area.

Bedfordshire Talking Therapies

Bedfordshire Talking Therapies offers a range of free and confidential talking therapies and specialist support to help you feel better. Self-referrals are accepted via the website or by telephone, or contact your GP to arrange a referral.

Its wellbeing webinars help support anyone who feels they might benefit from taking a first step in managing their current difficulties.

Telephone: 01234 880400 (8am to 8pm Monday, and from 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday.)

Bedfordshire and Luton Recovery Service

In partnership with East London Foundation Partnership Trust (ELFT) and The University of Bedfordshire, Recovery Colleges offer a wide range of free courses and workshops to everyone living and working in Bedfordshire and Luton, which are recovery focused, and aim to provide strategies and techniques for individuals to use in their daily lives to promote self management.

Telephone: 01234 263621


MIND BLMK is a local mental health charity, with a positive and holistic approach to promoting mental wellbeing.

Telephone: 0300 330 0648


Shout is a free, confidential, text support service for anyone in the UK who is struggling to cope. It's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 (24/7)

BLMK Suicide Prevention Action plan

Around 5,500 lives are lost to suicide every year in England and Wales(ONS 2021). Suicide prevention is a public health issue. Every suicide leaves behind family, friends and communities shattered by the loss. The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Suicide Prevention Action plan is a multi-agency plan that aims to reduce suicides across BLMK. The objectives and actions for the plan have been assimilated from those in National and Local Suicide Prevention Strategies (taking into account most recent local suicide audit findings). A multi-agency group led by Public Health meets to oversee the plan. There is also a BLMK suicide prevention network made up of groups and organisations that are interested in preventing suicide that meets every quarter to share learning, good practice and work in this area. If you would like to join the network please email