At some point in our lives, more than half of gay, bisexual and all men who have sex with men will experience some form of mental ill health.

 

Despite the fact that mental health issues are so common in our communities, many of us find it difficult to talk about our own mental health, or feel ashamed and stigmatised for doing so.  

At SX we want that to change. It is OK not to be OK, and support is there to help you.

Where can I go for support?

If your mental health is impacting on your daily life and you feel it’s affecting your health then it is important you seek help as soon as possible: 

  • SX - Our community services can provide one-to-one support to help you talk through the challenges you’re facing. We can also put you in touch with other organisations that can help. Contact us here.
  • Your GP – Your doctor will be able to offer information and advice, and possibly refer you on to local specialist services for support.
  • Talking therapies and counselling – talking to a professional in a safe, non-judgemental space can help you work through the challenges you face. Ask your GP about referrals.
  • Speak to someone you trust – whether it’s a partner, colleague, friend or relative, they will be there to listen and would welcome the opportunity to help you.
  • In an emergency - If you are feeling suicidal or in distress, then you should seek help immediately. You can call 999 and ask for an ambulance, or attend your nearest accident and emergency.
Can I make small changes to help?

Even if you generally feel well in terms of your mental health, there are times when we all feel pressure.

If you don’t feel you need formal support, there are simple things you can do yourself to improve your mental health:

  • Speak to a friend or relative - sharing how you’re feeling with a person you trust can help you make sense of things and deal with pressure.
  • Get active - exercise has proven benefits for mental health and it doesn't have to be a big deal. Even getting out for a short walk every day can help you to feel better.
  • Connect – when you’re feeling under pressure, it can be easy to feel isolated. Try to meet up with friends or sign up to a new hobby to meet people and get out and about.
  • Take a break - if you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a few minutes, hours or days (whatever is right for you) to unwind. Do something you enjoy like listening to some of your favourite music or going for a walk.

There are lots of great resources and ideas available from organisations such as SAMH, which you can find here.

You can also get in touch with our team at SX, who will help you look at ways of improving your mental health in a way that is right for you. 

Useful Contacts

If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are a number of charities that specialise in providing mental health support. You can contact: 

  • Samaritans 24/7 listening and emotional support service. You can call free on 116123
  • Breathing Space a free, confidential service for people living in Scotland who are experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. You can call free on 0800 838587 (Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am and from Friday 6pm – Monday 6am
  • Scottish Association for Mental Health Scotland’s leading mental health charity. There is lots of information and support available through their website.