Where to get help

Where to get help

It is normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but in most people these will improve naturally over a few weeks. You should visit your GP if you or your child are still having problems about four weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome.

The details of the services presented here are being made available as an informative resource only. PTSD UK does not specifically endorse, recommend, or regulate any of the organisations listed below.

If you contact one of these services looking to have your clinical needs assessed then you should ensure that the clinical advice or care provided for you is delivered by someone who is professionally registered and suitably experienced to provide the care you require. You can check the registration of clinicians on websites such as www.bps.org.uk or www.hpc-uk.org/check

PLEASE NOTE: PTSD UK does not provide direct clinical care or individual referrals. We provide information to help you find local mental health services and information on trauma and PTSD.


IF YOU, OR ANYONE YOU KNOW IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 999.

For urgent psychological support, please call the Samaritans on 116 123 or text CONTACT to 85258 to reach trained volunteers at Shout. 

For urgent housing support please call Shelter on 0808 800 4444.


Samaritans: 116 123 The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call them on the phone: 116 123. Alternatively, writing an email can be a calm and safe way to work through what’s on your mind. Especially if it feels too upsetting to talk about on the phone. Samaritans volunteers answer each email that comes through to jo@samaritans.org

Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. We launched publicly in May 2019 and we’ve had more than 500,000 conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need immediate support. Text CONTACT to 85258

Mind Helpline: 0300 123 3393 The team at Mind (mind.org.uk) provide information on a range of topics including: types of mental health problems, where to get help and medication and alternative treatments. They will look for details of help and support in your own area. The lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays): 0300 123 3393

Mind Legal line: 0300 466 6463 The Mind Legal line provides legal information and general advice on mental health related law. We’re open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays). They can help with being detained under the Mental Health Act (sectioning), mental capacity, community care and discrimination and equality. Note: They do not provide information on welfare benefits, housing or clinical negligence.

ASSIST Trauma Care employs experienced therapists trained to work with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the after-effects of trauma in line with current evidence-based practices. If you or a member of your family have experienced a traumatic incident and would like to discuss whether therapy from ASSIST can help you, please telephone 01788 551919. assisttraumacare.org.uk

If you contact one of these services looking to have your clinical needs assessed then you should ensure that the clinical advice or care provided for you is delivered by someone who is professionally registered and suitably experienced to provide the care you require. You can check the registration of clinicians on websites such as www.bps.org.uk or www.hpc-uk.org/check

  • Clinical Partners is the UK’s largest private mental health partnership – helping over 10,000 patients each year to access expert, senior Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Psychotherapists. They work in partnership with some NHS trusts as well as accepting self funded referrals / health insurance. Their clinicians work with adults, children and teenagers to help diagnose, assess and treat conditions such as PTSD. Call them on 0203 326 9160 clinical-partners.co.uk/
  • Counselling Directory provides a nationwide database of qualified counsellors and therapists along with an advanced search tool that allows you to filter your search according to your needs and location. Or, if you’d rather receive support remotely, you can find a therapist offering online or telephone services. Find a therapist here: counselling-directory.org.uk/adv-search.html
  • Psychology Today's Therapy Directory lists clinical professionals, psychiatrists and treatment centres who provide mental health services. Find mental health professionals in the UK here: psychologytoday.com/gb/counselling

 
  • Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA) provide information and support for adults who have experienced any type of childhood abuse, run by survivors. havoca.org
  • The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) supports adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. Offers a helpline, email support and local services. Call them on 0808 801 0331 napac.org.uk
  • Childline provides support for children and young people in the UK, including a free helpline and 1-2-1 online chats with counsellors. You can call them on 0800 1111 childline.org.uk
  • YoungMinds are committed to improving the mental health of babies, children and young people, including support for parents and carers. Call the parents helpline on 0808 802 5544 or Young People can contact the crisis messenger by texting the letter YM to 85258 
  • Hourglass offers a helpline, text line, information and advice for older people who have experienced abuse. Also supports those concerned about an older person, such as families, carers or practitioners. Call them on 0808 808 8141 wearehourglass.org
  • Respond provide services for people with a learning disability, autism or both, who have experienced abuse or trauma. Call them on 0207 383 0700 respond.org.uk

  • Beating Addictions provides information about a range of addictive behaviours and treatments. beatingaddictions.co.uk
  • DrugWise provides information about drugs, alcohol and tobacco. drugwise.org.uk
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provides help and support for anyone with alcohol problems. Call them on 0800 9177 650 alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
  • FRANK provides confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects and the law. Call them on 0300 123 6600 talktofrank.com
  • Gamblers Anonymous offers support groups for people who want to stop gambling. gamblersanonymous.org.uk
  • Narcotics Anonymous offers support for anyone who wants to stop using drugs. Call them on 0300 999 1212 ukna.org
  • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous offers support groups for people with sex and love addictions. Call their infoline on 07984 977 884  slaauk.org
  • We Are With You supports people with drug, alcohol or mental health problems, and their friends and family. wearewithyou.org.uk
 

  • Cruse Bereavement Care Grief is a natural process, but it can be devastating. Cruse are there to support you after the death of someone close. You can call their helpline on 0808 808 1677 (Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 9.30am - 8pm and Weekends 10am - 2pm) cruse.org.uk
  • The Compassionate Friends TCF offers many different kinds of support for bereaved families. Whatever the cause of your loss, wherever you are in the UK, and whatever your circumstances – they are there to help. The TCF Helpline is available for support and understanding on 0345 123 2304. You call will always be answered by a bereaved parent tcf.org.uk

  • First Person Plural (FPP) specialises in working for and on behalf of all those affected by Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and similar complex trauma-related dissociative identity conditions. These similar conditions include type 1 Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), and a type of Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD) which is described as DID-like firstpersonplural.org.uk

Some organisations below choose to specify that their services are for men, or for women. This may change as they reflect on inclusivity, and does not always mean they cannot offer support. If you are transgender or non-binary, we have also listed some dedicated LGBTIQ+ support services for domestic abuse.

  • The Dash Charity offers a helpline, advocacy services and legal support for adults who have experienced domestic abuse. Also runs refuge accommodation in Berkshire for women and children. Call them on 0175 354 9865 thedashcharity.org.uk
  • One in Four Offers advocacy services, counselling, and resources for adults who have experienced trauma, domestic or sexual abuse in childhood. Call them on 0800 121 7114 oneinfour.org.uk
  • Safer Places provide a helpline, a live chat and information for adults who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse or violence. Call them on 0330 102 5811 saferplaces.co.uk
  • Ashiana supports Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and refugee women in England who have experienced domestic abuse, forced marriage and honour-based violence. Also supports children and young people. Call them on 0114 255 5740 ashianasheffield.org
  • Roshini supports people from BAME communities who have experienced domestic abuse, honour-based violence, forced marriage, rape or sexual assault. Offers two 24-hour multilingual helplines – national support for domestic abuse, and support in the West Midlands for forced marriage and honour-based abuse. Call them for support 0800 953 9666 (domestic abuse) and 0800 953 9777 (forced marriage and honour-based abuse
  • The Hide Out offers information to help young people understand domestic abuse, and what to do if it's happening to them. Run by domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid. thehideout.org.uk
  • Respect Not Fear provides information for young people about domestic violence and abusive relationships. respectnotfear.co.uk
  • Bi Survivors provides support and advocacy network for bi+ people who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and abuse. Runs moderated chats every fortnight via a secure messaging app. bisurvivorsnetwork.org
  • Galop provides helplines and other support for LGBTIQ+ adults and young people who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse. Call them on 0207 704 2040 (LGBT+ hate crime helpline) or 0800 999 5428 (National LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline) galop.org.uk
  • Men's Advice Line provide confidential advice and support for men who have experienced domestic violence and abuse by a current or ex-partner or family member. Call them on 0808 801 0327 mensadviceline.org.uk
  • Men’s Aid works to promote welfare for men who have experienced domestic abuse, as well as families and children. Call them on 0333 567 0556 mensaid.co.uk
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline is a free 24-hour helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse and violence, with all female advisors. Also offers a live chat and can help to find refuge accommodation. Run by the domestic violence charity Refuge. Call them on 0808 2000 247 nationaldahelpline.org.uk
  • Refuge offer support, information and advocacy for women and children who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. Call them on 0808 2000 247 refuge.org.uk
  • Surviving Economic Abuse provide information and resources for women who have experienced economic abuse. Also a helpline offering advice to those experiencing domestic abuse in financial difficulty, run with Money Advice Plus. Call them on 0132 363 5987 (Financial Support Line) survivingeconomicabuse.org
  • Welsh Women's Aid provide information and support for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, including a directory of local services. Call them on 0808 80 10 800 (Live Fear Free Helpline) welshwomensaid.org.uk
  • Women's Aid (England) provides information and support for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, including support by live chat, a directory of local services and a forum. Use their Women's Aid Live Chat support by clicking here.    womensaid.org.uk
 
 

  • The Firefghters Charity exist to support the mental, physical and social needs of all serving and retired members of the UK's fire family. Call their Support Line on 0800 389 8820  firefighterscharity.org.uk/
  • Police Care are the charity for serving and veteran police officers and staff, volunteers, and their families who have suffered any physical or psychological harm as a result of policing. You can call them on 0300 012 0030 (lines open mon-fri 9am-5pm. policecare.org.uk
  • The Ambulance Staff Charity The ambulance community deal with traumatic situations every day and alongside life’s usual stresses, it can take a real toll on your mental health. TASC are here to help. Call them on 0800 1032 999 theasc.org.uk/

These organisations offer support for people who are experiencing, or have experienced, sexual abuse.  Some organisations below choose to specify that their services are for men, or for women. This may change as they reflect on inclusivity, and does not always mean they cannot offer support. If you are transgender or non-binary, we have also listed some dedicated LGBTIQ+ support services for sexual abuse.

  • Lifecentre provides support for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and anyone supporting them. Includes a helpline, text support and email counselling. Call them on 0808 802 0808 (freephone) or use their textline 07717 989 022. lifecentre.uk.com
  • The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) supports adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. Offers a helpline, email support and local services. Call them on 0808 801 0331 napac.org.uk
  • One in Four offers advocacy services, counselling, and resources for adults who have experienced trauma, domestic or sexual abuse in childhood. Call them on 0800 121 7114 oneinfour.org.uk
  • The Survivors Trust lists local specialist services for survivors of sexual violence, including advocates and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). Call them on 0808 8010 818 thesurvivorstrust.org
  • Bi Survivors provides support and advocacy network for bi+ people who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and abuse. Runs moderated chats every fortnight via a secure messaging app. bisurvivorsnetwork.org
  • Galop provides helplines and other support for LGBTIQ+ adults and young people who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse. Call them on 0207 704 2040 (LGBT+ hate crime helpline) or 0800 999 5428 (National LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline) galop.org.uk
  • Mankind provides online counselling, therapeutic groups and couple counselling to men over 18 who have experienced sexual abuse at any time in their lives.mkcharity.org
  • Survivors UK offers support for men who have experienced rape or sexual abuse, including text lines and an online chat service. 020 3322 1860 (SMS) 074 9181 6064 (WhatsApp) survivorsuk.org
  • Mosac offers support, advice and information for non-abusing parents and carers whose children have experienced sexual abuse. Call them on 0800 980 1958 mosac.org.uk
  • CIS'ters (Childhood Incest Survivors) provides help and support for adult women who have experienced incestuous abuse in childhood. Call them on 023 8033 8080 cisters.org.uk
  • Rape Crisis England & Wales provides support for women and girls affected by rape, sexual abuse or any form of sexual violence. Provides details of local centres. Call them on 0808 802 9999 rapecrisis.org.uk
 
 

  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) are the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the UK and Ireland and promotes the development of the theory and practice of behavioural and cognitive psychotherapies. They can provide details of accredited therapists. A full directory of psychotherapists is available on their website: babcp.com
  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is the professional association for members of the counselling professions in the UK. They work to promote the role and relevance of the counselling professions in improving psychological wellbeing and mental health. A full directory of approved counsellors is available on their website: bacp.co.uk
  • EMDR Association UK is the professional body for EMDR clinicians and researchers seeking the highest standards of EMDR clinical practice in the United Kingdom. You can find an EMDR Accredited therapist here: emdrassociation.org.uk/find-a-therapist

  • Victim Support (England and Wales) Victim Support is dedicated to supporting people affected by crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales. They provide specialist services to help people cope and recover and to empower them to ensure their voices are heard individually and collectively at a local and national level. Their services help people affected by all types of crime and they provide free confidential support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people affected by crime and traumatic events — regardless of whether they have reported the crime to the police or when it occurred and for as long as it is needed. You can call their helpline on 0808 16 89 111 victimsupport.org.uk
  • Victim Support Scotland provides information, practical help, emotional support and guidance through the criminal justice system. We offer specialist services to support people who face specific crimes including murder, terrorism, rape and sexual assault, domestic violence and hate crime. We empower people to cope with the aftermath of a crime and find the strength to move forward with their lives. You can call their free helpline on 0800 160 1985 (8am-8pm, Mon-Fri) victimsupport.scot

  • Combat Stress are the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. They help former servicemen and women with mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. They provide specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues. If you’re currently serving or have served in the UK Armed Forces, you can call their 24-hour mental health helpline. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for veterans and their families. If you need support please call 0800 138 1619. Serving personnel and their families can call 0800 323 4444 and find out more on combatstress.org
  • Help for Heroes Serving in the Armed Forces takes strength, but it takes a different kind of strength to live with life-changing injuries. Every course and activity we offer aims to empower veterans to look beyond illness and injury, regain their purpose and reach their potential. If you are living with anxiety and stress, are struggling financially, or just need a listening ear, they can help. Start your recovery journey today. helpforheroes.org.uk/get-support/get-support-today
  • PTSD Resolution provide counselling for former armed forces, reservists & families. For free, immediate help call 0300 302 0551 or visit ptsdresolution.org
  • Phoenix Heroes support veterans dealing with PTSD. We work alongside local organisations and professionals and act as a support platform to place veterans and families on outdoor group activity projects. They now have a strong support structure to help our homeless veterans too. They also offer training courses and seasonal employment opportunities across the spectrum of the event industry. phoenixheroes.co.uk
  • SSAFA support covers both regulars and reserves in the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army and the Royal Air Force and their families, including anyone who has completed National Service. They are all entitled to lifelong support from SSAFA, no matter how long they have served. Call their Forces line on 0800 260 6767. They are open 09:00 - 17:30, Monday to Friday.

Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.