Mental health


  • In an emergency situation please call the Police on 999.

Mental Health First Aid training

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. Click here for dates, cost and details.

Suicide prevention training 

Do you know the signs to look out for, or have the confidence to talk to someone who is struggling to cope?

Sign up here for free 20-minute suicide prevention training. It can be completed anytime from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone and requires no special expertise or knowledge. It is designed to give you the skills and confidence to help support someone who may be considering suicide.

The training, which is run by the Zero Suicide Alliance, shows how to have a direct and honest conversation about suicide with friends, family or anyone you meet.

  • The aim is to break the stigma of talking about the subject, suicidal thoughts and bereavement, and help the South West become a ‘zero suicide region’.
  • Sign up here for the free online suicide prevention training.
  • For immediate support the Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website to find out more.

Email mentalhealthfirstaid@bristoldiocese.org with any queries.

Church Resources

Church of England

Transforming Lives for Good:

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries

  • The Sanctuary Course – a free eight-week study guide for small groups. The course is designed to be run by small-group leaders in your church or organisation. It includes a theological perspective on mental health and doesn’t require training to run it.
  • Faith, Grief, and COVID-19: A Conversation – a four-week course centred on issues raised by the pandemic and can be used by both Christians and non-Christians. 
  • Deeply Rooted – a wellbeing resource for leaders during the pandemic

Kintsugi Hope

  • 12-week Zoom or face to face small group course to be run by churches to improve people’s wellbeing. The groups offer a safe space for people who feel or have felt overwhelmed and providing tools for self-management in a facilitated peer-mentoring style setting. Issues covered include disappointment, loss, anxiety, anger, perfectionism, shame and resilience.
  • range of resources to meet different group needs.  
  • There are a small number of Kintsugi groups running in the diocese. For further information about these or in setting up a new group please contact Jean Allchorne, the local Kintsugi Hope Ambassador on kintsugi@stmichaelsbristol.org. Kintsugi Hope require churches to partner with them and make a donation towards the organisation.

Mind and Soul

  • online resources designed to ‘Educate, Equip and Encourage’ Christians and churches 
  • Headstrong – an online hub for young people’s wellbeing, in partnership with Youthscape 

Fromeside Benefice Mental Health Resources

  • This group of churches have produced a set of resources around mental health and the pandemic. If you would like more information or receive copies of their leaflets please contact Malcom Strange at office@fromesidechurches.org.uk
NHS-commissioned services
  • Vita Health Group provides NHS assessment and therapy (age 16+) for people living in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. An assessment can always be helpful for someone working out if they would benefit from further support and how to access it. You can self-refer on the website or call 0333 2001893. IAPT Wiltshire is the equivalent service to VitaMinda for Wiltshire offering a similar service. They also have some useful self-help resources on their website. IAPT stands for Initial Access to Psychological Therapies

  • The local GP is a great first point of call, and can advise on medication as well as recommend therapy. Mental health support for children under 11 is accessed via their school (if offered) or via the GP. 

  • Bristol Mental Health provides info for people who need help or people who need help for someone else. A range of NHS services described such as Early Intervention Psychosis Service and info about referral and self-referral. 

  • Changes Bristol run support groups for people suffering from mental distress

  • 24/7 Support and Connect. A free NHS confidential 24/7 helpline for people who live in Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire.
    The helpline line is staffed by experienced counsellors who you can talk to. For immediate emotional and practical support call 0800 0126549. Textphone users dial 18001 followed by 0800 0126549. If you are 17 or under please call the Children and Young People’s helpline via Avon and Wiltshire Partnership SPA line on 0300 303 1320.

  • South Gloucestershire council – information about local groups and strategies to help people look after their wellbeing

  • North Somerset council – information and resources

  • Kooth online counselling is available for secondary school children in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

  • Off the Record is a mental health social movement for young people aged 11-25 living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. There’s free support available through a regular hub, the website or various projects and services on the website. 

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) provide inpatient and community-based mental health care across the whole of the diocesan area. 24/7 Mental Health Response Line – a dedicated telephone line for anyone who may be worried about their own or someone else's mental health, offering out-of-hours care for people and children in crisis. 0800 953 1919

  • Health Watch Wiltshire is a forum for people mental health service users to talk about their experiences. They have a downloadable list of mental health and wellbeing resources available in Wiltshire

  • The Early Intervention services specialises in working with people between the ages 14 and 35 in the early stages of psychosis along with their families. People can self-refer or be referred by their GP. 

Other resources

Mindfulness and meditation resources
These are designed to be used by people at home and can help with sleep disturbance, anxiety and depression. There are many apps and YouTube videos but these are some examples:

  • The Free Mindfulness Project host a collection of free to download mindfulness resources
  • Headspace is a widely used app. It has some free resources but others that have to be paid for. Many organisations offer free subscriptions to Headspace for their employees.

Mental health resources

  • Mind offer a variety of advice, support and activities
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers support groups and services for people living with severe mental illness
  • Thrive Bristol is a ten-year programme to improve mental health and wellbeing in the city. They offer a range of free resources and training for organisations working with both adults and young people.