In the United Kingdom, mental health services are provided for those who need support in managing their mental health conditions. These services include various options such as counseling, therapy, medication, psychiatric care, and community-based support. In this article, we will discuss the different types of mental health services available in the UK and how they can help those who struggle with mental health problems.

Understanding Mental Health in the UK

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) recognizes that mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health services in the UK are designed to offer care and support to individuals who are experiencing mental health problems, ranging from anxiety and depression to more severe illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Common Mental Health Problems in the UK

According to the NHS, depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems in the UK. These conditions can affect anyone, at any age, and can be caused by a range of factors, including genetics, life events, and brain chemistry.

Stigma and Mental Health

Despite increased efforts to raise awareness about mental health in the UK, there is still a significant stigma attached to mental illness. Many people who experience mental health problems may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help, which can lead to feelings of isolation and exacerbate the severity of their condition.

Types of Mental Health Services Available in the UK

There are a range of mental health services available in the UK, aimed at providing support and care to individuals who are experiencing mental health problems. These services can be accessed through the NHS or privately, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Key Takeaway: Mental health is just as important as physical health in the UK, and there are a range of services available to provide care and support to individuals experiencing mental health problems. However, stigma surrounding mental health still exists, making it challenging for some individuals to seek help. Accessing mental health services can be done through referral by a GP, self-referral, crisis support, and talking therapies.

Primary Care Services

Primary care services are the first point of contact for individuals seeking help for mental health problems. These services are typically provided by GPs (general practitioners) and community mental health teams, and can include medication, therapy, and counseling.

Secondary Care Services

Secondary care services are more specialized and are designed to provide care to individuals with more severe mental health problems. These services can include inpatient care, crisis intervention, and psychiatric treatment.

Community-Based Support Services

Community-based support services are designed to provide ongoing support to individuals with mental health problems. These services can include support groups, community mental health teams, and outreach services aimed at helping individuals to live independently and manage their condition.

Accessing Mental Health Services in the UK

Accessing mental health services in the UK can be challenging, particularly for individuals who are experiencing severe or acute mental health problems. However, there are a number of ways that individuals can access mental health services in the UK.

Referral by a GP

The most common way to access mental health services in the UK is through a referral by a GP. GPs can refer individuals to a range of mental health services, including primary and secondary care services.


In some cases, individuals may be able to self-refer to certain mental health services, particularly community-based support services. However, this will depend on the specific service and the individual’s needs.

Crisis Support

Individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis can access urgent support through the NHS’s crisis resolution and home treatment teams (CRHTs). These teams provide rapid assessment and treatment to individuals in crisis, with the aim of preventing hospital admission.

Talking Therapies

Talking therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and counseling, are also available in the UK. These therapies can be accessed through primary care services or through community-based support services. Talking therapies are particularly useful for individuals experiencing anxiety and depression.

FAQs for what mental health services are available in the UK

What mental health services are available in the UK?

The UK has a range of mental health services available including the NHS, charities, and private practitioners. The NHS offers a wide range of mental health services including emergency support, therapy, and medication management, which are available through referral by your GP or self-referral in some cases. Charities such as Mind, Samaritans, and mental health foundation offer support, guidance and information for people with mental health issues, family and caregivers. Private practitioners such as counsellors and therapists offer therapy sessions, which must be paid for by the individual or health insurance.

How do I access NHS mental health services?

To access NHS mental health services, you will need to make an appointment with your GP. Your GP can make the necessary referrals for further assessment or treatment for mental health issues. In some cases, you may be able to self-refer for certain services such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Can I access mental health services for free?

Yes, NHS mental health services are usually offered for free to those who are registered with a GP in the UK. Some charities offer free mental health support, but private practitioners usually charge a fee for their services.

Are there any specific mental health services for children and young people?

Yes, there are specific mental health services available for children and young people in the UK. The NHS offers Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), which provide specialist support and treatment for mental health conditions in under 18s. Charities such as YoungMinds and Place2Be also offer support and information for young people, carers, and teachers.

I need urgent mental health support, what should I do?

If you are in immediate danger or experiencing a mental health crisis, you should call 999 or visit your nearest A&E department. There are also crisis teams available through the NHS and some charities, which provide emergency support and advice 24 hours a day.

Can I access mental health services if I am not a UK citizen?

Yes, everyone is entitled to access NHS mental health services regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. However, some services may be restricted depending on your visa or residency status. Private practitioners may also have different criteria for working with non-UK residents or those without permanent address. It is advised to check with the specific service or practitioner prior to accessing their services.


By Samantha

Samantha is a dedicated mother, passionate writer, and the inspiring force behind As a young mom herself, she understands firsthand the joys, challenges, and uncertainties that come with parenthood. Fueled by her own experiences and a deep desire to help others, she founded as a safe haven for young mothers to connect, learn, and grow together. While embarking on her own motherhood journey, Samantha discovered the transformative power of shared experiences and the importance of a supportive community. With a background in journalism and a heart full of empathy, she set out to create a platform that would empower young moms and provide them with the resources, encouragement, and camaraderie they needed to thrive. Samantha is committed to delivering content that is both practical and inspiring. She works closely with a team of fellow mommies, as well as healthcare, education, and psychology professionals to ensure the blog offers a wide range of insightful articles and valuable resources. From navigating the ups and downs of pregnancy to tackling the complexities of raising a child, Samantha is dedicated to providing her readers with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions and create a loving, nurturing environment for their families. When she's not managing or writing her next heartfelt post, Samantha enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, exploring the great outdoors, and indulging in her love for photography. She is a firm believer in the power of self-care and makes a conscious effort to practice mindfulness and embrace life's simple pleasures. Samantha's unwavering dedication to her fellow young mothers is evident in every aspect of Her warm, empathetic nature and relentless pursuit of knowledge make her the perfect guide for young moms navigating the beautiful, messy, and rewarding adventure that is motherhood. Join Samantha and her vibrant community of young moms at, and become part of a movement that celebrates, uplifts, and empowers women in their most important role—motherhood.