Category Archives: Information

In a crisis?

Crisis Contacts


Listening service for anyone who wants to talk about any topic. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The phone number is free to call.
Phone 116 123
Email [email protected]
Visit 20 Oxford Place, Western Approach, Plymouth, PL1 5AJ (office open Mon & Tues 15.30  – 21.00, Weds – Fri 12.30 – 21.00, Sat 18.30 – 21.00, Sun 15.30 – 18.30)

Head Space

Head Space is based in Plymouth and offers an out-of-hours service for people who consider that they are approaching  a mental health crisis. The service aims to provide a non-clinical setting with a safe, calm and structured environment, where individuals can go to access peer support.

Further information here


Specialist mental health helpline, open daily from 4.30pm – 10.30pm
Phone 0300 304 7000


Support line for teenagers and young adults (under 35) feeling suicidal. Open weekdays 10am – 10 pm, weekends 2pm – 10pm and bank holidays 2pm – 5pm.
Phone 0800 068 4141
Text 07786 209 697
Email [email protected]


Open to children and young people up until their 19th birthday. Calls are free and won’t show up on the phonebill.
Phone 0800 1111
Online counselling via the website –

Bullying UK

Free and confidential helpline for children and adults affected by bullying. Open weekdays 9am – 9pm, weekends 10am – 3pm.
Phone 0800 800 2222

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Organisation dedicated to helping men who feel suicidal. Helpline and webchat. Open 365 days a year 5pm – midnight.
Phone 0800 58 58 58
Webchat via the website –

CRUSE bereavement

Offering support to those in crisis following a bereavement. Helpline open weekdays 9.30am – 5pm (until 8pm on Tues, Weds & Thurs).
Helpline 0844 477 9400

Switchboard – LGBT+ helpline

Offering support to the LGBT+ community. Help with whatever you want to talk about – nothing is off limits. All volunteers are LGBT+
Helpline 0300 330 0630
Webchat via the website
Email – [email protected]


If you are feeling immediately unsafe, suicidal or are worried about your self-harm, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital, or ring 999 for an ambulance.
Derriford Hospital, Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8DH

2014-2016 Side by Side

Side by Side

In September 2014, the Big Lottery Fund awarded National Mind £3.2 million to improve access to peer support across England.

With this grant, National Mind are running a two-year programme that aims to:

  • build an evidence base for the effectiveness of one to one, group and online peer support
  • promote the value of peer support to people with experience of mental health problems, service providers and commissioners.

Plymouth Mind are one of the nine local Minds which have been chosen as ‘Peer Support Hubs’.

As part of this 2 year project, we will be running 3 Peer Support Networking Events and 4 ‘Expert-on-Call’ Sessions to support and grow peer support in our community.

What we have achieved so far?

  • 1st networking event held on 17 September 2015 – 31 attendees who are currently involved in peer support or interested in developing peer support in Plymouth
  • 2nd networking event held for those who could not attend in September – 12 attendees
  • 3rd networking event held on the 14 January 2016 – 13 attendees
  • 1st ‘expert-on-call’ session on the 26 January 2016 – focused on peer support training. 17 attendees worked with trainers from the Institute of Mental Health to develop listening skills, and understanding of different narratives, how to manage disclosures and shared experiences.

What are we planning next?

  • One more networking event to facilitate in June 2016 (date tbc)
  • 3 more expert on call sessions – April, June and August 2016 (dates tbc). We have narrowed down the sessions that people want most to 4 options. Please help us choose the next 3 sessions by taking part in our Doodle Poll.

Where can you find out more?

The following pages give you a flavour of what is going on in peer support in Plymouth, how you can get involved, and much more….


From another place – March – April 2017

An exhibition of electron microscopy images of meteorite samples from beyond our world

Plymouth & District Mind is incredibly excited to have been involved in the ‘From Another Place’ exhibition with Plymouth University.  This was such an exceptional opportunity for the people of Plymouth to experience and learn about the universe around us and to hear more about the incredible stories behind each meteorite. We were also very humbled that the proceeds from the online auction were donated to Plymouth & District Mind. The funds raised will be used to grow our peer support network for mums experiencing mild-moderate mental health problems during pregnancy, or in the year after giving birth. This currently affects around one in five women in the UK. Meteorites, it seems, are not only vital for our scientific understanding, but they can play a key role in promoting mental wellbeing! 

Plymouth University had a team of high-profile meteorite scientists from around the globe lending their support to this project by sponsoring a print with their name and a description or story about their chosen meteorite, including Prof. Monica Grady, professor of Space Sciences at the Open University, UK; Dr Mike Zolensky, curator of the astromaterials research collection at NASA Johnson Space Center; and Prof. Sara Russell, head of mineral & planetary sciences at the Natural History Museum, London, to name a few.

After the exhibition, the framed prints have been auctioned off online, individually, to the highest bidder and all proceeds will be donated to Plymouth & District Mind. Please do visit the exhibition to experience the beautiful images and the story behind these meteorites from far flung places!

Annual Report 2015/2016

Our Achievements

woodside_offices_pp-300x2292015—2016 was a transformational year for Plymouth & District Mind. Sharon Claridge retired from the CEO position in December 2015. Sharon played an incredibly important role in re-shaping Plymouth & District Mind, including the development of the Recovery College, now in its third year. In January 2016, Olivia Craig assumed the position of ‘new’ CEO, following nearly 2 years with the organisation as Operations Manager.

During 2015-2016, we got involved in a number of large scale projects, of regional, national and EU importance:

  • Our selection as one of only 9 Peer Support Hubs across England as part of the national MIND funded Side by Side project was an important milestone for our peer support work. During this year, we supported 31 organisations in Plymouth and surrounding areas to gain access to training and support to develop sustainability within their own peer support networks.
  • Our involvement in mental health training for Blue Light personnel, funded by government Libor funds, saw us deliver 35 ‘Managing Mental Health at Work’ courses to 378 personnel over a 6 month period. Attendees came from the fire, ambulance, police, and search and rescue services across Devon and Cornwall.
  • Our inclusion as a delivery partner for the Devon and Cornwall wide Victim Care Network, funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has enabled us to seamlessly refer victims of crime, both reported and non-reported, to appropriate agencies in a joined up way, thus reducing the stress on individuals who need these services.
  • Our leadership of a large Erasmus funded project, Deliberate Self-Harm: Positive Choices, has enabled us to develop a suite of comprehensive resources to support young people with alexithymia who are using self-harm as a way to cope with their mental health issues. We are leading on this project which is being implemented in 6 countries across Europe.

The reputation for the quality and professionalism of our Recovery College has continued to grow across the city, and we have seen an increase in the number of GP referrals, in addition to self-referrals, contacting us for support. Our mental health training portfolio has also expanded considerably, and in 2015-2016, we received more requests for courses such as Mental Health First Aid and Wellbeing in the workplace than ever before. We have continued to work closely with National MIND to develop a partnership that is positive and supportive on both sides.

Our commitment to the local community 

This year, we began to work more in our local communities to deliver additional services alongside those already offered from our Woodside base close to the centre of Plymouth. We recognised an increasing demand for support services that were co-located in GP surgeries, and within other community services and community centres. The main aim was to enable the more vulnerable members of our community to receive support in locations that they already felt comfortable in. This move saw us deliver a regular suite of stress management and mindfulness courses to carers at the Carers Hub in Plymouth, in addition to supporting individuals through the co-location of our services in Working Links.

In 2015-2016, we also made changes to the open access services that were delivered from our Parkside building. We took on board requests from our service users to offer more structured activities such as exercise classes, creative courses such as jewellery making, computer courses, and more peer support groups. We now offer a programme of weekly activities from Parkside that enable people to socialise and develop new skills at the same time.

The staff and volunteers at Plymouth & District Mind work with a tireless determination to ensure that we can support all those who seek out our help. Our capacity to reach more people was boosted by the appointment of a new Volunteer Coordinator at the beginning of 2016. We are now able to offer a transition from our Recovery College services into volunteering as a meaningful pathway for recovery. Peer support remains an important underpinning theme for our work, and we will continue to grow and develop new peer support groups in the areas that most need them.  We have made it a priority to continually invest in our staff and volunteers so that they have access to opportunities to enhance their learning and to develop new skills.

Our Goals for 2016/2017

This year’s annual report sets the scene once again for Plymouth & District Mind as we work to grow our services in a sustainable and effective way.  Our ambition to become the number one organisation for mental health and well being in the city still stands, and 2015-2016 has brought us closer to achieving that vision. While we cannot lose sight of the uncertainties in future funding, and the need to grow our unrestricted income so that we can invest back into our services, we remain optimistic that the next 12 months will bring more positive outcomes for our organisation and the people we support.

New Chief Executive Officer

7028627We would like to welcome our new CEO – Olivia Craig. Olivia has been with Plymouth Mind for 2 years, previously in the role of Operations Manager. Olivia has a vision for developing community partnerships and will be making her way around the city in the coming months to meet with other organisations supporting the mental health of their users. ‘We want to bring our services into the heart of communities so that we can support those who are the hardest to reach‘ adds Olivia. If you would like to contact Olivia, please email [email protected]

Sofia’s Story

As part of the MIND Side by Side peer support project, we will be featuring case studies and blogs about the role that peer support plays in helping people with their mental health. If you would like to send us your story, we would love to share it. We can do so anonymously if you do not want to be identified. Please email [email protected] or call 01752 512280. Find out more, by visiting our Side by Side page.

Here is Sofia’s story…

I am 36 years of age and I have been in and out of services most of my adult life because of my mental health issues.

I have moved around the UK since I was 17 as I thought that each new move, new city, new people would help me to leave my crippling depression and anxiety behind. I moved to Plymouth 5 years ago with my new boyfriend at the time, and after a promising start, the old cycle began again. Soon, my boyfriend was gone, my ‘new friends’ had all disappeared, and I was alone again with only my self-destructive thoughts to keep me company. About 2 years ago, I was encouraged by a very supportive GP to access services at Plymouth Mind.

I wasn’t interested to be honest, because by now I had resigned myself to a lonely life where I felt no-one could ever help me.

Through Plymouth Mind I accessed support groups that were facilitated by a member of staff. Slowly I began to open up and share. For the first time, I had met ‘people like me’. As part of this new project, Olivia encouraged me to get involved with a new peer support group that was starting up. She felt ‘I should give it a go’ because she knew I loved arts and crafts, and this group had decided to get together, chat, and make some jewellery at the same time.

I’ve been involved with the group since October 2015 and I feel I have arrived!

I have made some really great new friends, and while we all came together because of our mental health problems, the glue that keeps us together is our love of arts and crafts. We feel safe to share when we have had a terrible week, and the other members of the group are so supportive of each other.

It’s been such a wonderful experience after such a long time in the darkness.

New Graduates!

We would like to extend huge congratulations to all those who successfully completed the City & Guilds Level 3 Working in Community Mental Healthcare course with Plymouth Mind. Some of the ‘graduates’ came to Plymouth Mind for a cuppa and a cake on Monday 22 June, where they were presented with their certificates by Olivia Craig, Operations Manager. ‘I am immensely proud of their achievements’, added Richard Wakerell, Training Manager at Plymouth Mind. ‘These students showed great enthusiasm and energy while managing very busy lives, which is never easy’. Well done everyone!


If you are interested in finding out more about this course, please click here











It’s been a busy and exciting few weeks! We have some great people who do amazing things for us and we wanted to share their successes…..

Skydive Superheroine – Lisa Taylor

skydive (2)Thank you Lisa Taylor for your amazing fundraising efforts! Lisa completed a tandem skydive from 15,000ft on Saturday 6 June, raising over £10,000 for Plymouth & District Mind in the process.

This money will be used to support the expansion of our Recovery College services so that more people can access support when they need it.




Volunteer Award Winner – Jonathan Spurling


Jonathan runs the Cafe in the Park in Freedom Fields and organises the annual Freedom Fields Festival. Jonathan provides an environment where people who are living with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can come and volunteer and develop their self-confidence.

Jonathan was awarded the Long Term Commitment Award at the Volunteer Awards held at Plymouth University on Thursday 4 June. Well done Jonathan! We value all your hard work.