Media Release: Tackling anxiety, depression and stress might be easier than you think

Fiona McConnell GSH

ANXIETY, depression and stress can have a major negative impact on our lives but tackling it might be easier than you think.

Edinburgh-based charity, Health in Mind, is funded by NHS Lothian to deliver a Guided Self-Help service which is confidential, free, easy to access and available to anyone living in Edinburgh and Midlothian.

Fiona McConnell is the service’s senior guided self-help worker and she explained that the service is based on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach.

“Guided Self-Help is simply one to one support to help people access bespoke self-help materials which will help them deal with mild to moderate anxiety, depression or stress,” said Fiona.

Guided self-help is delivered over four sessions, usually about two weeks apart and varying from half to three-quarters of an hour to 50 minutes.

Fiona continued: “Our practitioners work with people on an individual basis; listening and talking to them about their concerns, identifying their priorities and supporting them to understand their issues and how they impact on their lives.

“Understanding what can trigger anxiety, depression and stress is important and when we introduce people to a range of self-help materials we also provide guidance to ensure they are used effectively.

“Recently, one of our service users commented on how Guided Self-Help had changed their life and they said: ‘I felt listened to and felt safe about opening up about my worries without being laughed at or not believing me. All the worksheets really helped me realise the way I was thinking and I was able to complete tasks that were originally terrifying to me. It changed my life! “Thank you.’”

Guided Self-Help has helped many people to make positive and practical changes in their lives and all anyone needs to access the service is a referral from their GP.

“We’ve worked hard to reduce the waiting list so it shouldn’t be long before they come along to their first session,” said Fiona.

The Guided Self-Help team provides the service in local health centres throughout Edinburgh and Midlothian as well as the Health in Mind offices at 40 Shandwick Place in the west end of the city.


For further information, contact Health in Mind communications manager, Doreen Graham, on 0131 243 1307 or 075 9000 9953.

Notes for editors:

Health in Mind is a Scottish charity with almost 35 years’ experience delivering specialist mental health and wellbeing services including support services; talking therapies; information and a range of self-management and preventative services.

Last year, we worked with nearly 2,500 people in Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders, dealing with over 1,300 enquiries in our Information Service.

Our training programme offers a wide range of courses to Health in Mind staff and volunteers as well as externally and includes Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid course (SMHFA).

We employ around 120 staff, supported by around 298 volunteers. We are accredited with both Investors in People and Investors in Volunteers.

Health in Mind is governed by a board of directors, who are trustees of the charity and the day-to-day running is delegated to our chief executive, Gwenn McCreath.

Our vision is of supportive communities where all people are resilient; experience positive mental health and wellbeing; realise their potential and can participate equally.

Our values are important to us and include compassion; respect; realising potential; integrity and inclusion.

We believe in recovery and strive to help people lead the lives they want to live.

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Health in Mind contact details…

Contact: Doreen Graham
Phone: 07590009953