Some people seem to enjoy mental well-being all of the time. Most of us don’t! 

In later life, there can be many reasons why people experience high levels of anxiety or distress. Some people have physical health problems, and may be struggling to adapt to a loss of independence. Others have experienced multiple or complex bereavements, and are finding it difficult to move on with their lives. Following retirement or after a move, sometimes people have fewer opportunities to meet with others and keep friendships going, so can find it harder to access support than they used to. Sometimes illnesses such as depression appear to come out of the blue. At times, life can be too stressful and uncertain, or we get ourselves into difficulties, or bad things just happen.  The support of friends and family helps ride out the hard times, people make changes in their lives, and ‘time is a great healer’.  But sometimes things don’t seem to get better, and it makes sense to seek help.

If you are someone who is able to seek and use advice on your own, and you have a sense of what’s causing your problems then have a look in our services directories. Searching here you may be able to find what’s available locally or online to help. There is more information on this site which you might want to read first. Click here to learn about difficult feelings, or here to read more about difficult life events. Click here for a few quick ideas which you might want to try first.

If self-help hasn’t worked for you, or you continue to be distressed and confused about how you feel or are behaving, you may decide that you need professional help.

However, to check that there aren’t physical problems confusing the picture and to begin to understand your particular issues, the first person you should go to is your GP. Your GP will look at your current life situation and things that have happened to you, which might all combine to explain the level of distress you are experiencing. The GP has options of giving advice and support, suggesting a way forward that perhaps you’d not thought of and, or offering you a trial of medication, for example for depression or anxiety. Importantly, your GP is the ‘gateway’ to refer you into specialist NHS mental health services.

Mental health services are set up to offer treatment and support for different sorts of mental health problems, and at different levels of severity and need.

Click here for more information about what you should do now if you think you are depressed or anxious and need more support

The page was last updated on 29 November 2013 by aji.kuriakose.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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