Resources for mental health and crisis support
Losing your job, especially amidst a worldwide pandemic, doesn’t mean your skills aren’t wanted or needed. It's vital to understand that redundancy isn’t personal, and there is a whole world of opportunities waiting for you. But before you’re ready to think about the next step, it’s vital that you take the time to address the potential impact that unemployment may have on your mental health and reach out for help with your living situation, if you need it. If you’re unsure where to turn, you’ll find helpful resources below with links to professional support and services that can provide you with mental health support after job loss.
The following mental health organisations provide mental health support from qualified professionals, who are trained to listen, reassure, and assist in any way they can.
Advocating for better mental health for everybody, Mind is a charity that empowers people with advice and support to better understand their situation and the choices available to them. They also offer national and local services including workplace training to develop mentally healthy offices, applied suicide intervention skills, Mental Health First Aid and more through their training and consultancy schemes.
You can call Mind’s Infoline for confidential mental health support on 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 between 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. You can also call their legal line on 0300 466 6463 to ask about discrimination and equality related laws, and what being detained under the Mental Health Act means. Please feel free to download this Keeping Well Booklet, created by Mind to help you maintain mental wellbeing during the ongoing pandemic.
Papyrus offers a helpline for adults under the age of 35 who feel hopeless and struggle to see that life is worth living. They are trained individuals, there to listen and provide mental health support to those who are struggling to see the bigger picture. Many people experiencing depression found that talking to someone from Papyrus made them less likely to give up and helped them to cope. The Papurus HopelineUK (0800 068 41 41) is open from 9am to 10pm on weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends, or you can text 07786 209697 instead.
A mental health crisis is defined as an emergency that poses a direct physical threat to your emotional or physical wellbeing. If you feel overwhelming physical sensations that you’re unable to control, or you’re considering harming yourself in any way, you need to call emergency services by dialing 999. Alternatively, before the threat becomes overwhelming, you can reach out to Shout about your situation, by texting “SHOUT” to 85258. You’ll get immediate, confidential support in your time of need.
The NHS has a range of insightful resources here that can help you look after your mental wellbeing. The advice is up to date, covering the most common reasons people are seeking mental health support, including isolation, redundancy, and dealing with health anxiety and coronavirus worries. If things are getting on top of you, you should also make an appointment with your GP to be referred for over-the-phone counselling or medication. There is nothing wrong with seeking medical treatment for mental health. Mental wellbeing should be treated with the same care as your physical health.
If you have any worries concerning food supplies, toiletries, warm clothing, and other essential items, help is available. Remember, this is temporary, and things will get better, but do reach out for help and supplies if you need it. We’ve explained how The Trussell Trust can help below.
Supporting nationwide food banks, Trussell Trust provides emergency food supplies to people in need, with more than 14 million people living in poverty in the UK right now. They work with more than 1,200 food banks across the UK to provide a parcel consisting of at least three days' worth of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable foods for individuals and their families. They also provide essential hygiene items such as toilet paper, tampons, and toothpaste. Supplies are donated to the food banks and volunteers then sort through the sell-by-dates on products and organise them into parcels. In order to receive a voucher for a food bank, you’ll need to speak with either a doctor, health visitor, social worker, or advice agency.
Employment and financial support
There are professional services dedicated to offering employment and financial guidance, and they can inform you about your legal rights and schemes available to help you find work, such as the Work and Health Programme. If you have a disability or learning difficulty, we’ve compiled specific support for you here.
If you’re looking for impartial advice and information about employee rights, rules, and best practices, ACAS is the place to turn to. You can find advice on a range of topics here, from the redundancy process, dismissal and negotiating pay, to contracts, job applications, and short-term working. They also offer help to resolve disputes and appeal disciplinary and grievance procedures. ACAS has created downloadable templates for you to adapt to your situation, for example, this redundancy appeal letter template.
Set up by the government, this is a service that offers financial advice without judgement or any cost to you with support from a debt adviser over the phone and online. Their Money navigator tool is an instant service that allows you to discover what money issues you need to tackle first, with advice on how to stay on top of outgoing payments with the extra support you’re entitled to. It will give you a personalised action plan based on your situation, whether you’ve experienced redundancy, you’ve been on furlough or you’re self-employed and out of work.
Redundancy can affect the whole family, so it’s not uncommon for children to suffer from worry on your behalf. If you’re worried about how your child is coping, the below services will help you to talk to your children about their feelings and teach them to develop coping strategies.
Childline is a charity that offers a variety of support services and resources for young children’s mental wellbeing. You can call Childline on 0800 1111 to arrange a free one-to-one chat between your child and a counsellor, or encourage them to chat online or write a letter to Ask Sam explaining their feelings and worries. They’ll get a friendly and helpful reply within a few weeks. Children can also connect with Childline’s community by posting on this message board to share their thoughts with others, or use Childline’s Art Box to explore creative activities and find helpful ideas for thinking about the future.
The people at Young Minds are dedicated to supporting young adults' emotional and mental wellbeing. They have a messaging service that offers 24/7 support across the UK for young people who are experiencing a mental health crisis. They just need to text YM to 85258 to start the conversation.
Your GP can refer your child to children and young people's mental health services (CYPMHS) for ongoing treatments and therapy for mental health conditions. If you talk to your doctor, they can assess whether your child needs this, or recommend alternative options. For young adults, these NHS videos may help them to gain a better understanding of what they’re going through. They cover different areas of mental health, such as depression, anxiety, and mood-swings, with advice for self-care and information about thought patterns, worry, and lifestyle routines.
Shelters and temporary housing
Losing your home should never be a worry, but for some people, it’s a reality. We want to remind those that are facing eviction that there is no shame in seeking help, and nothing wrong with turning to a shelter or temporary housing service. Here are some organisations committed to keeping people off the streets.
Chat online with a housing adviser or find urgent help if you have nowhere to sleep or might be homeless soon by calling Shelter’s helpline on 0808 800 4444. They will ask you about your situation and you may need to have relevant documents like tenancy agreements to hand. Alongside housing advice, you can access free legal advice from Shelter’s solicitors who will help you if you’re facing eviction. If your income has suddenly stopped, Shelter have also provided services for essential financial support here.
For anyone homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, Crisis has several services to help you prepare for a more stable future. Crisis can help you find a hostel or shelter, alongside workshops to help with education and skills training, finding work and applying for jobs, finding a home, and looking after your health. Search for your local Skylight Centre to find out what support is available near you.
Oxbridge are committed to helping anyone unemployed to gain the skills and knowledge needed to find a job. We’ve created a £100,000 fund to subsidise 10% of your course fees for any of our professional and accredited distance learning courses, ranging from teaching and childcare to counselling and bookkeeping. On top of this, you can enrol on our Job Ready Pack for free, which is a short course covering how to deal with redundancy, create a brilliant CV, and prepare for job interviews.