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Mental Illness Support

There are a number of resources available for carers of someone with a mental illness. 

Updated 14/7/20

Updated 14/7/20

Resources for Carers

Mind has produced a workbook “How to Cope when supporting Someone else”. 

Rethink has a series of workbooks aimed at carers.  They also have a number of resources for Young Carers.  Unfortunately, Rethink is not active in Bedfordshire.

General Resources

Both Mind and Rethink have extensive information sections about the different mental illnesses and on recovery.

The Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group provides a number of self-help guides covering mental health issues

Central Beds Council has a guide to Mental Health Support in Central Bedfordshire.   

If the person you are caring for is experiencing financial issues due to their mental health, then this guide by Martin Smith (Money Saving Website) provides a wide range of information.

Campaign against living miserably (CALM) offers support for men, of any age, who are down or in a crisis via a helpline, webchat & website.

If the person you are caring for is experiencing suicidal thoughts you might find the NHS' Help for Suicidal Thoughts resource useful.  For parents concerned about a child or young person, then Papyrus can offer support.

NHS Provision

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) is the local provider for mental health issues and dementia.  They run a range of community and inpatient services for children, young people, adults of working age, older adults and forensic services in Bedfordshire.  Initial requests for support are usually via your GP.

The Bedfordshire Recovery College runs a wide range of workshops on the subject of mental health and recovery throughout the county.  These workshops are open to both service users and carers. 
For details follow on Facebook and Twitter
Or visit Bedfordshire & Luton Recovery College

The Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service is for people who experience common mental health issues, such as, depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviours and other psychological issues.  You can self-refer to this service if you find your mental health is being affected. Visit website.

You can now access NHS 111 for mental health support. This includes both children and adults. View jpg.

Groups for Carers

Carers in Bedfordshire runs a group for people caring for someone with a mental illness.  This takes place on the 2nd Monday of the Month from 7pm to 9pm in Bedford.  To read more. During the lockdown, view What's On for the latest details.

Carers Eating Disorder Association runs a monthly group at the Disability Resource Centre.  Recommended books list & Information booklet. For the latest updates during the lockdown, visit Local Organisation Updates.

If you are supporting a child or young person with mental health issues then Young Minds has a support line, especially for parent carers.

Dealing with a Crisis

 If the person you are caring for experiences a mental health crisis then you can contact the following organisations.

If you are uncertain who to contact the NHS article "Dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency" helpful. You can ring NHS 111 for support if it is urgent but non-life threatening. This is available for all ages - read flyer.

Shout is a free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It's a place to go if you're struggling to cope and need immediate help.

If you are struggling to cope emotionally and need someone to talk to, the Samaritans are happy for you to ring them on 116 123.  You don’t need to be suicidal to access their 24/7 service.

If you want to speak to the NHS ELFT Crisis team then ring on 01234 315 691.  If the situation is life-critical then ring 999 for assistance.

Supporting Children & Young People

If you know a child or young person aged between 11 to 19 who needs emotional support there is a free online counselling service available - 

For young people aged from 13 to 25 years old, you can contact THE MIX who provides a free, confidential support service offering help through phone, text, web and social media.

Think Ninja is a mental health app for children. Coronavirus information is included. To read more.

Young Minds provides resources to support young peoples' mental health and wellbeing. 

CAMHS website for young people and their carers to help during the coronavirus lockdown. Visit website

CAMHS Talks is a series of podcasts by ELFT. These are interviews and discussions recorded by the Bedford & Luton People Participation Group and Bedford & Luton CAMHS Team. To listen.

The Forum: Busy Getting Stronger – raising awareness of young people’s mental health and wellbeing - Follow on Facebook 

Counselling Services

  • Chums - Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Services for Children & Young People
  • Open Door, Bedford - for young people aged between 10 and 25 years. 
  • Sorted Counselling Services, Dunstable - for young people aged between 10 and 25 years.

Mental Health Support Groups in Bedfordshire

Throughout Bedfordshire

For the latest information about local groups during Coronavirus, visit Local Support Organisations Updates.

There are many events held throughout Bedfordshire supporting mental health and wellbeing. The latest information is available on our website.

The Recovery College provides a wide range of workshops and talks about mental health issues and recovery.  For details follow on Facebook and Twitter

Impact - Running recovery courses in Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard & Bedford

Mid Beds Depression & Anxiety Support Group in South Beds

Mind BLMK runs a number of services throughout Bedfordshire.  Though not specifically for carers, if your mental health is being impacted by your caring role you can certainly access these.
Mind has produce two videos

  • How might I deal with difficult emotions? To listen
  • What to expect from the Mind Crisis Café. To listen


Bedford Bipolar Support Group. Visit website.

Expectant & New Mums concerned about their mental health
To read moreThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Mental Health Mates. Visit Facebook.

Mind BLMK Crisis Cafe. View leaflet.

Survivors of childhood abuse living with complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
ACCM UK, 3A Woburn Rd, MK40 1EG / 01234 356 910
Thursday evening, 6pm - booking is essential


Carers Eating Disorder Association at Disability Resource Centre - user-led peer support group

Houghton Regis

Friends by Choice - Mental Health Peer Support Group

Leighton Buzzard

The Lighthouse - a safe space for those who feel lonely and isolated to meet others and receive support

Mind Space - Peer social group support focused on health, fitness, exercise, nutrition and wellbeing.


Caraline - Supporting adults and children living with eating disorders in Bedfordshire


Mummy Mental Health Support Group - For mums who have PND, PTSD, birth trauma, anxiety, depression or struggling and feeling isolated.  Part of the Butterflies Community
Fairfield Park Lower School, Stotfold
Tuesday 9.30am to 11.301m - term-time only
Find on Facebook or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Mental Illness Support

Beat - supporting those experiencing eating disorders. Visit website.

BPD World - supporting those affected by Personality Disorders. Visit website.

Hearing Voices Network - suitable for anyone experiencing moderate to severe mental illness. Visit website

Personality Disorders - Rethink. Visit website.

Personality Disorders - Mind. Visit website.

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