Welcome to our Self-Help page
Learning ways of improving our mental health and wellbeing is important to all of us.
Research has shown that for many people, self-help can be an effective way of learning how to manage stress and common mental health problems.
On this page you will find up to date information about a range of self-help resources, materials and services which are easily accessible and free of charge.
Table of Contents
- Translated Self-Help Information
- Self-Help Booklets
- Self-Help Books
- Guided Self-Help
- Stress Control Classes
- Information Resource Centre
- Telephone Self Help
- Self-Help Groups
- Self-Help Websites
Information available in different languages is available from the following websites. You can also download a list of websites and translation services in Edinburgh here.
A number of booklets and leaflets are available to view and download from this site. These leaflets are also available from other sources such as GP surgeries, community mental health nurses, and local organisations that support people with mental health difficulties. These have been organized into three different levels.
Simply click on the titles below to access the booklets online or to print them off. These files are provided in Adobe PDF © format set to open in a new window.
Level 1 - Information on Mental Health Conditions
The main focus of these booklets is to provide information about common mental ill-health conditions and psychological distress.
Lothian Psychological Interventions Network Booklets
Talking About... Booklets
The Talking About... booklets reflect discussions, suggestions and comments made by service users, health professionals, professional bodies, lay and voluntary organisations.
Level 2 - Advice and Coping
These booklets provide advice on coping with psychological issues, and include some information about where to get further help and support.
Lothian Psychological Interventions Network Booklets
Level 3 - Self Directed Planning
These booklets are self-directed and encourage the user to be reflective. The user is encouraged to record progress through observation of changes. When using the material, the user plans and implements changes to their behaviour and routine.
These booklets cover a wide variety of subjects and offer useful skills to cope.
From Your GP and Local Library
Your GP or health professional can now recommend a self help book by giving you a book prescription. On it will be details of a suggested book title from a recommended list which you can borrow from your local library. Your prescritpion might also include some useful websites.
These books have been specifically chosen by health and information professionals to help people cope with difficult and emotional times in their lives.
You can access these books through your GP by prescription of from City of Edinburgh Council libraries or from the Health in Mind Information Resource Centre.
All you need is a library card. This allows you to borrow up to 12 items and also to have free internet access at the library. If you are not a member of the library yet, you can get a card by showing your book prescription.
Please click here for a full list of books available as part of the Help Yourself to Health scheme plus a bit of information about each book.
Edinburgh GPs can now refer people to Guided Self-Help, a short term therapy for people with mild to moderate stress, anxiety, depression or low mood.
The service is run by trained Guided Self-Help Workers. The Workers can introduce you to and supply you with self-help materials which you can work through on your own. These materials are designed to help you understand and address your problems independently.
Most of the materials used are based on ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ techniques (‘CBT’). The CBT approach is structured, commonly using images, self instruction and other techniques to develop thinking and strategies to enable us to overcome and deal with situations which may currently contribute to our depression or anxiety.
Workers can offer up to four 1 to 1 sessions (usually a few weeks apart) to review progress and support you to develop some of the self-help ideas further.
To find out more about Guided Self Help contact your GP or click here.
Stress Control is a 6-week evening class focusing on understanding what stress is, how it affects us and how we can manage it. At any one time, it is believed 1 in 5 of us suffer from stress and the sources of stress are widespread. During the course, we explore how stress affects how we think, how our body feels, what we do and our sleep pattern. The course is educational and each session is complimented with a summary handout and relaxation materials.
The course is free to attend and places can be booked by contacting Health in
Mind on 0131 225 8508 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At Health in Mind's Information Resource Centre trained volunteers support people experiencing mental health difficulties to access a range of information and resources relating to mental health and well-being, including access to a self-help library and the internet. For an appointment or to make an enquiry please call 0131 243 0106 or email information@health-in-mind.
Living Life is a free telephone self help service, for adults in Scotland who have anxiety, stress, depression and/or low mood. You can call the confidential phone line on 0800 328 9655 for more information, or see here.
A range of self-help groups are also run at different locations across the city. Use our Service Directory to search for self-help groups.
- Living Life to the Full Free online self-help course for anxiety, depression and related mental health issues
- Centre for Clinical Interventions Website with free workbooks and resources for varied mental health issues.
- STEPS Website with free workbooks and resources for varied mental health issues.
- Mood Gym Interactive self-help site for cognitive behavioural therapy for depression.
- Counselling Resources in Edinburgh Regularly updated website detailing free/low cost counselling services in Edinburgh.