More links have been added below (scroll down) – please keep them coming!
In the resources section of my website, I have a little page tucked away entitled self help. It’s where I’ve posted links to useful online resources to help you manage your mental health. It’s a random collection of what I happen to have stumbled across, mostly on twitter. I have to admit that I haven’t tried any of them personally – but they come highly recommended.
I’d like the page to be as helpful as possible – and I also know there will be things out there that I’d find useful myself, if only I knew about them! – so I’m inviting suggestions of free online resources that you have used and found helpful – or, alternatively, ones that you’d recommend people steer clear of! I’d like to mine the hive mind and see what we can come up with to help ourselves – so we can side-step those pesky waiting lists for treatment or do our best whilst waiting for treatment.
So far, my self help page includes links to three areas:
Free online cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
What is CBT? As Living Life to the Full describes it, “CBT is a structured form of psychotherapy that aims to alter the unhelpful thinking (cognitions) & behaviour that commonly occur during times of distress.” The 4 resources I’ve come across so far are:
- e-couch – An online programme for preventing and coping with depression, generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety
- Living Life to the Full (twitter @llttfnews) – This was recommended to me during a ward round. It’s a free life skills resource teaching practical skills using CBT. The strapline is, “Be happier, sleep better, do more, feel more confident” – which sounds pretty good to me!
- MoodGYM – An Australian National University training programme that teaches CBT skills for preventing and coping with depression.
- Moodjuice – A site developed by Choose Life Falkirk and the Adult Clinical Psychology Service, NHS Forth Valley. The site is designed to offer information, advice to those experiencing troublesome thoughts, feelings and actions.
Free online mindfulness
What is mindfulness? It’s a method of mental training, a simple form of meditation that can be quite quick to do – and can be done any time, any place, anywhere. The resources below include guided mindfulness exercises you can listen to online or download for later.
- Frantic World – Free meditations from mindfulness, taken from the book ‘Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World’. The book contains the complete 8 week mindfulness course developed at Oxford University.
- Free Mindfulness – A collection of free-to-download mindfulness meditation exercises.“
- Mindful – Free online audio and video mindfulness instruction, online courses in mindfulness and other resources
- UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Centre – Free guided meditations
Free online bipolar disorder resources:
- Beating Bipolar – “Beating Bipolar is an interactive internet based programme that aims to improve understanding of the condition. It includes video of professionals and people with lived experience of bipolar disorder and discuses various approaches that many have found to be beneficial.”
Have you used a free online resource that’s helped (or hindered!) you to manage your mental health? If so, I’d really appreciate it if you could share that with me – so I can share that with the lovely twitter people and readers of this blog. I know you’ll have some great ones, so I’m really looking forward to being able to add them to this blog … and thank you in advance!
UPDATE: Here are some of the fab links I’ve been sent already (they’ll be added to the self help page shortly):
- B-ead “Have a word with yourself” – Not so sure about this one: on the one hand it gives a way to challenge negative self-talk; on the other, you’re wading through a whole lot of negative statements to find the right one that applies to you to therefore find the specific statement to counter it! Website for young people on eating disorders. HT Deborah Lynn Oakley (twitter @DebsLinn)
- Get Self Help – Lots of CBT self-help resources. HT Sarah Davidson (twitter @sasperella21)
- Get Some Headspace – There’s a free app (plus a paid option) on this meditation website recommended by Ermintrude (twitter @Ermintrude2) and Frances Uku (twitter @missuku)
- Medical students’ mental health website from Dundee University medical school’s psychiatry department (twitter @DundeePsych) – Covers topics under the following headings:
- Mindfulnet – “Everything you need to know about mindfulness in one website” apparently! HT Sarah Davidson (twitter @sasperella21)
- Psychology Tools downloads – Free downloadable CBT worksheets, formulations, and self-help resources
- Storify story with some more suggestions (to be added to the blog!)