Mental health problems – an introduction

Explains what mental health problems are, what may cause them, and the many different kinds of help, treatment and support that are available. Also provides guidance on where to find more information, and tips for friends and family.

Will I recover?

It is possible to recover from mental health problems, and many people do – especially after accessing support. Your symptoms may return from time to time, but when you've discovered which self-care techniques and treatments work best for you, you're more likely to feel confident in managing them.

If you're experiencing a more serious mental health problem, it's still possible to find ways to manage your symptoms. For many people, recovery doesn't necessarily mean going back to how your life was before, but learning new ways to live your life the way you want to, and gaining control over areas of your life that might have felt out of control before.

However, it's important to remember that recovery is a journey and it won't always be straightforward. You might find it more helpful to focus on learning more about yourself and developing ways to cope, rather than trying to get rid of every symptom of your mental health problem. What recovery means to you will be personal, but for most people, the most important thing is to find ways to live the kind of life you want.

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How volunteering helped my recovery

"It's helped me to remember that I needn’t be afraid of people..."

"With time you do learn to cope... I have struggled for 15 years with [my mental health problem], but every year I seem to get stronger and better at coping with it!"

This information was published in October 2017. We will revise it in 2020.

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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