Managing Mental Health and Illness

Health and Social Care Trust Mental Health Services


Lifeline (0808 808 8000)Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.Lifeline

Aware Defeat Depression Helpline (08451 29 29 61)The Aware Defeat Depression Helpline is a support and information service for anyone affected by depression – those who experience depression or the family and friends of those who experience depression. The helpline offers a non-judgmental listening-ear to people who may be worried or distressed, or just need to talk to someone who understands depression. You can also get in touch if you are worried about someone who may be depressed or for information about depression or our other services.

Aware NI

The Samaritans (08457 90 90 90)

If there is something troubling you, get in touch. We’ve been talking to people about how they feel since 1953. In that time we’ve learned a lot about what helps them through. We can help you explore your options, understand problems better, or just show you that someone is always prepared to care.


Peer-led support organisations and advocacy services

The Irish Advocacy Network The Irish Advocacy Network Ltd was set up to offer peer advocacy services throughout the island of Ireland. Peer advocates are people who have experienced mental health difficulties and having achieved a sufficient level of recovery, complete an accredited training course. We have peer advocates working in the majority of counties throughout the island of Ireland and we regularly meet people in acute psychiatric units, training centres, day centres and day hospitals etc. We can meet people in the community. Peer advocacy is not about judging people or telling them what to do. Indeed our primary purpose is to provide information, choice and support to people experiencing mental health difficulties, enabling them to take control of their lives.Irish Advocacy Network

Life After Mental Health Problems (LAMP)LAMP provides peer-advocacy to people who are in distress and we cover any issue that is affecting their mental health well-being. LAMP as a peer-led group gives the mental health service user group/perspective to health and social care trusts and others at meetings, workshops and training.


Mind Yourself & Foyle Advocates

Mind Yourself! is a peer-led organisation. All of us - volunteers, paid staff— have survived mental ill health. We all know what it’s like: “been there done that”. We may have long term conditions but are in charge of our lives. Our recovery is based on empowerment - taking control of our own lives. We speak up for ourselves, support each other and share strategies for living. We share this expertise with the public and mental health professionals as well. Mind Yourself! also provide accredited peer advocacy training and for the statutory sector (e.g. we provide training to approved social workers and other professionals.)

Mind Yourself

Federation of Experts by Experience (Febes)

FEBEs is an information sharing network linking people across NI who have experienced mental health crises or use the mental health services.

Hearing Voices Network (HVN)

If you hear voices HVN can help – we are committed to helping people who hear voices. Our reputation is growing as the limitations of a solely medical approach to voices become better known. Psychiatry refers to hearing voices as ‘auditory hallucinations’ but our research shows that there are many explanations for hearing voices. Many people begin to hear voices as a result of extreme stress or trauma. We offer information, support and understanding to people who hear voices and those who support them. 

Hearing VoicesHearing Voices Ireland

Aware Defeat Depression – self-help support groups

Our self-help support groups are one of Aware Defeat Depression’s key services, providing regular in-person support in communities across Northern Ireland. The groups are for people who are affected by depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression). This includes sufferers, relatives and friends. Our support group meetings are attended by men and women of a variety of ages.

Aware NI

MindWise: Advocacy Services

MindWise empowers those that use our advocacy services to take a lead in securing the rights and services to which they are entitled. We offer: support to ensure that views are heard, representation, help to resolve issues and protection for those that are particularly vulnerable or who are unable to make informed decisions. Advocacy can be provided long-terms or for short-term crisis needs.


NIAMH: Beacon advocacy services

An advocate can provide you with information in relation to the options available to you under four broad areas: clinical, legal, treatment, environment. The advocate will help you to express any concerns and to pass these on to relevant professionals. An advocate can be a paid member of staff or someone who has experienced their own mental health problems and have been trained to take on the advocacy role.


Other networks with peer involvement

Mental Health Trialogue Network Ireland The aim of this Network is to empower communities in Ireland to become proactive in communicating about mental health through a powerful open dialogue and participatory process called ‘Trialogue’.Trialogue Network Ireland.

Managing your mental health and recovery – training and other support services

Aware Defeat Depression training courses
  • Mental Health First Aid training covers topics including understanding what is mental health, the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems, dealing with crisis situations such as self-harm or suicidal behaviour and learning where to get help and what sort of help.
  • MindWise Community Services

    NIAMH: Beacon Day Support ServicesBeacon manages 14 Day Support Schemes, providing support to nearly 1,000 Beacon members. Day support schemes provide a range of help and opportunities through recreational activities, accredited courses, social activities, coping strategies, outreach and community involvement.

    NIAMH Beacon Day Support

    Praxis Care Floating Support Services

    Floating Support services are short term (less than two years), flexible services provided to individuals in their own homes. Floating Support services are linked to the individual and not the accommodation meaning that if an individual moves house the Floating Support can follow the individual as long as they remain in the service’s catchment area. Floating Support aims to maximise individual’s independence while supporting them to maintain their own home.

    Praxis Care

    Mindwise: Community Bridge Builder programme

    The Community Bridge Builder project, funded through the Big Lottery’s Reaching Out – Connecting Older People programme, will work directly with older people to develop their links with the community around them. Local ‘Community bridge-builders’ will help older people access opportunities to help with their learning, volunteering, improving their mental and physical health through sport and exercise and creative activities (music, drama, creative therapies or art).

    MindWise Community Bridge Builder

    Action Mental Health (AMH) MensSana and Men’s Shed

    AMH MensSana supports young people and their key contacts in the area of mental health and emotional wellbeing through a range of activities tailored to suit group needs. AMH MensSana operates across the Southern Trust and Library Board area.

    AMH MensSana

    Men’s Shed is a programme for men aged 60 and over based in Downpatrick. Men work on a project of their own choosing, at their own pace, in a safe and friendly inclusive environment.

    Mindwise: Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme

    MindWise has been contracted by the Department of Justice to deliver the Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme across Northern Ireland. The scheme aims to protect and safeguard the rights of young people and mentally vulnerable adults who are detained by the Police. Appropriate Adults are not there to offer any form of legal representation of advice, their role is to make sure an individual is treated appropriately and that they full understand the process of police detainment. The scheme is accessible to every PSNI station throughout Northern Ireland.

    MindWise Appropriate Adult Scheme


    FASA provide a wide range of specialised services in substance abuse, suicide and self-harm. Services range from counselling, holistic therapies, group programmes to one-stop-shop information services for young people and other community projects.


    Suicide prevention and awareness services

    LighthouseFor those bereaved through suicide or other sudden death. Lighthouse is an organisation committed to providing support services to families who have lost loved ones and for those who are in crisis. Lighthouse aims to be a beacon of hope for all of those within Belfast and the surrounding areasIf you are having suicidal thoughts you can contact a member of Lighthouse staff. We are here to help you through your difficult time. Lighthouse also see people in crisis, so if you are feeling that life is not worth living please come in a talk to us.
    LighthousePIPSPIPs Programmes is a Not-for-Profit social enterprise which has developed a number of suicide prevention and awareness training programmes. Since 2008 we have now trained thousands of ordinary people – like you – in skills that will help them save someone from suicide. We aim our training at ordinary people because suicide can affect any member, family, school or workplace in our community.


    Niamh Louise Foundation The main aim of the Niamh Louise Foundation is to work with a range of voluntary and statutory agencies to reduce the numbers of people taking their own lives in Northern Ireland and in order to do this the charity provides suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and postvention services across the areas of Armagh, Tyrone and further afield, particularly to rural areas, as very often rural areas can be very hard to reach and suicide is still very highly stigmatised in rural areas.

    Niamh Louise Foundation

    Counselling services and other family support services

    For a full range of counselling and family support services check also theFamily Support NIwebsite. This site provides details of a wide range of services provided by statutory, voluntary and community organisations. You can access up-to-date information on a range of services available to support families.

    Check also the Counselling Directory