Welcome to Bristol Mind

Our emotional support helpline MindLine is running an extended service during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and is now open  7 nights a week, 7pm-11pm on 0808 808 0330.
Our trans+ and non-binary helpline MindLine Trans+ is running as normal, 8pm to Midnight Mondays and Fridays on 0300 330 5468.

We have a dedicated counselling service for people who are shielding due to the pandemic. Details in the image below. An image description is provided in Alt Text for screen-readers.

Bristol Mind is currently providing a free counselling service to individuals shielding as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  UPDATE: please note that this service has been extended until 31st March 2021. Subject to availability, we will be taking referrals until 31st Jan 2021.  We are primarily looking to provide this service to those in the Bristol wards/areas stated below, and those identified as higher risk, such as BAME residents and older individuals:  Avonmouth, Barton Hill, East Hillfields, Filwood, Hartcliffe & Withywood, Knowle West, Lawrence Hill, Lawrence Weston, Lockleaze, Southmead, St Paul’s, Whitchurch Park  If you are interested in this service, please contact counselling@bristolmind.org.uk for a registration form. For this service we are accepting either self-referrals, referrals from family members, or referrals from agencies.   Please note that our general ‘Meeting Minds’ counselling service is not free but is low cost, and is self-referral only.We also have a dedicated daytime telephone line that can point you in the right direction to find support for mental health and wellbeing needs. Our Information and Signposting line is open between 9:30am and 3:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). You can reach us on 0117 980 0370, or at info@bristolmind.org.uk.

Our Outreach Advocacy drop-ins are not operating, but the Outreach Advocacy service is still able to help. Visit the Outreach Advocacy page to find out more. You can call the service on 0117 980 0376, or email advocacy@bristolmind.org.uk.
You can also take a look at our YouTube channel, where we have put together some short videos around ways to support ourselves during this difficult time. Below is a video on Managing anxiety during COVID-19 from Claire Plummer.

What we’re doing

The Bristol Mind building is currently closed to the public, but our services are still running through telephone and email. No drop-ins, groups, or face-to-face appointments are taking place. Please see here for more information.
We appreciate that this is a very challenging and anxious time for many, many people and we have put some advice, contact numbers and websites below which we hope are helpful.
For more information on looking after your mental health during this uncertain time, please click here.
If you wish to donate to Bristol Mind, please send electronic payments to Bristol Mind, Account No: 65050011 & Sort Code: 08-92-99
Please include the word “Donation” and your name or your organisation name as a reference.

Guide to Other Services and Organisations:


This really helpful guide from Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) brings together information about mental health support services and organisations local to the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire areas, and how they are responding to measures being taken to tackle to the spread of Coronavirus. National support services, and some other useful service information, is also included.
New information is being continually added and updated daily. If you see something missing, please get in touch with engagement@imhn.org to let them know, thank you.

Coronavirus, social distancing and their impacts on our wellbeing and mental health: advice and contact numbers

Positive social support improves our ability to cope with stress, but right now, as a result of COVID-19, many of us are facing periods of enforced isolation.
Such isolation may lead to anxiety, depression and loneliness and these in turn affect our resilience and physical health.
Particularly vulnerable groups are the elderly, those living on their own, those with existing mental health problems and those who are not connected with family via the internet.
Enforced isolation with family members may also increase relationship pressures and parent-child and partner conflicts which can impact on mental health.
Anxiety about health, financial consequences and uncertainty may also increase vulnerability during this time.

Good ways to maintain our wellbeing are:

  1. Staying connected with other people – make sure everyone in our neighbourhood is getting twice-daily contact with friends, neighbours or family. Facial contact is more real than texts/calls, so if the person is on-line use facetime/skype/zoom (which allows larger group calls), or wave as you pass their house.
  2. Avoid constant checks on the news – perhaps check in with a regular, trusted news programme twice a day. Public health advice and case numbers only get updated daily. The rest of the media is flooded with worry-inducing stories of the latest theories and incidence rates from around the world.
  3. Establish a routine – plan your day. This can help us fell more in control and retain some predictability
  4. Do something that helps others – an act of kindness – it helps them and makes you feel good too.
  5. Keep physically active – there are several good on-line exercise routines e.g. this from the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-51924305. Also yoga (helps with relaxation as well) – many places are doing on-line classes. See e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–jhKVdZOJM
  6. Get enough rest and sleep. Avoid watching news just before bedtime + anything with bright lights (e.g. social media); avoid caffeine after mid-day. Have a regular get up time.
  7. Breathing exercises are a good way to keep feelings of anxiety and stress at bay
  8. Treat yourself – cake, box sets, a new book – whatever works for you.
  9. Avoid / reduce alcohol intake: during this period of low socialising and additional stress it may be tempting to drink more than usual, but this can be counter-productive. Keeping alcohol consumption to low levels improves sleep quality (alcohol stops you sleeping deeply), helps you feel better in the mornings, and makes you less tired during the day.

FACE COVID – How To Respond Effectively To The Corona Crisis

In this brief animation, Dr Russ Harris, author of the international best-seller The Happiness Trap, illustrates how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to deal with the Corona crisis and the fear, anxiety and worry that goes with it.

Sources of help and advice

If you’re worried about a friend or family member – MIND provides excellent advice: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing
If you’re a parent of children / adolescents, the link below takes you to a good source of info for supporting children of different ages with worries re-COVID-19: https://emergingminds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf
If you can volunteer your time, Bristol City Council have established a volunteering page: https://candobristol.co.uk/activity/coronavirus–covid-19-%5Bofficial-volunteering—register-interest-w-bristol-city-council%5D
North Somerset and South Gloucestershire links hopefully coming soon.

Helpline Numbers:

please note these are likely to be very busy currently, with surges in caller numbers and reductions in volunteer capacity.
Samaritans offer a 24 hour helpline service: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/
Call: 116123    email: jo@samaritans.org (you may need to wait 24 hours for a response)
Silver Line is a national, free and confidential helpline dedicated to older people (24/7). They offer information, friendship and advice – or just someone to chat to: 0800 4708090
SHOUT operate a text/SMS based service for people who are in a crisis, anxious, worried or stressed.  Text: 85258 https://www.giveusashout.org/
YoungMinds: If you have parenting concerns or difficulties, or concerns for a young person YoungMinds provides a helpline for parents: 0808 802 5544
Off The Record Bristol also provides support (including online help) for young people (11-25) https://www.otrbristol.org.uk/


There are also some helpful online NHS approved self-help apps, see: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/category/mental-health/
Other popular apps include:
Headspace (for anxiety)
CALM (meditation and sleep)
For those interested in reading a psychologists advice about dealing with anxiety during the current crisis – there’s some wise advice here: https://theconversation.com/7-science-based-strategies-to-cope-with-coronavirus-anxiety-133207


Remember we can only control what is in our control…



Bristol Mind is affiliated to National Mind and is committed to National Mind’s values and quality management standards.  See the national Mind website.
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