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Final year

BA (Hons) Social Work

I feel this topic is an important one.

At some point in our lives, we will all go through some form of worries, concerns, and challenges and will experience the need for professional support that doesn’t require an 18 month waiting list or a referral.

I’m going to provide you with a list of up to date professional, and most importantly free support that you can access locally and from anywhere within the UK.

Disclaimer: This post mentions sensitive and challenging issues. The information provided is informative and available to support those in need.

If you’re experiencing any of the issues mentioned, then please do reach out for support. You are important.

  1. Samaritans

Feeling overwhelmed with life and need someone to talk to? Samaritans are here to support anyone, 24 hours a day, via free and confidential helpline around suicide. If you’d prefer to speak with someone face to face, you can visit your local branch. All methods of contact are free, confidential and most importantly available 24 hours a day. So whatever time it is, if you’re worried about your thoughts or concerned for a loved one, please contact Samaritans to talk through your worries with a friendly and understanding volunteer.

Telephone: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org

2. We Are With You

Struggling with substance misuse or have a loved one who you’re concerned about? We Are With You cover Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch for free advice, 1-1 support, harm reduction and friend and family support for anyone concerned about drugs or alcohol. They are a service that support people over a range of weeks as they assess each individual so there may be a wait list in some cases. The service is entirely free and funded through BCP Council.

Telephone: 01202 558855

If you are concerned for someone’s substance misuse and want one off advice and a discussion around this, contact FRANK. FRANK are open 24 hours a day but unfortunately are not a freeline.

Telephone: 0300 1236600

Text: 82111

  1. The University Retreat

Finding it hard to manage your psychological and emotional wellbeing? If you’re looking for a safe space to talk to a non-judgemental support worker around your mental health then the University Retreat is a great place to start. It is a safe and confidential, free drop-in service for students 18+ that attend Bournemouth University and are experiencing a mental health crisis. They are open Monday-Saturday from 2pm-9pm. There is no need to book or be referred, it is open to all students.

Telephone: 079668 00100

Visit: The University Retreat, Tolpuddle Annex 02, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5BB

Email: universityretreat@bcha.org.uk

  1. Connections

If you’re struggling with your mental health or supporting someone else who is, Connections, Dorset, offer a free, confidential helpline service to talk through your needs in the moment. They are open 24/7 7 days a week and are based locally in Dorset.

Telephone: 0300 304 7000

  1. SHOUT

If seeing people face to face, or speaking on the telephone fills you with dread then you can text SHOUT to 85258 for free, confidential 24/7 text support. They can support you if you’re in an immediate crisis and offer help and support via text service.

  1. Switchboard

Switchboard is the national LGBTQIA+ support line for anyone in the UK , at any time in their journey. They focus on supporting people around sexuality and gender identity and create a safe space unique to the person’s identity, to explore, talk and be heard. There is also a free online chat service you can find on their website.

Telephone: 0800 0119 100

Email: hello@switchboard.lgbt

  1. Karma Nirvana

This service run the national Honour Based Abuse Helpline. Their website states: ‘Honour Based Abuse can take many forms, including child marriage, virginity testing, enforced abortion, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, as well as physical, sexual and economic abuse and coercive control’.

This shows the wide range of Honour Based abuse that can exist among us and how it may not always seem someone is a victim. If you feel you may be a victim of this or are worried about someone else you can contact the helpline for free Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. There is also an option to request a callback from their website.

Telephone: 0800 5999 247

 8. Dorset Open Door

This service is slightly different as it’s a partnership of local and national bereavement charities and health and care organisations working together. If you’ve suffered loss and bereavement and are looking for support, you can contact Dorset Open Door who will listen to your experience and help you to navigate the best support and advice tailored for you. They work in partnership with a range of partners such as Cruse Bereavement Care, Dorset Carers Project, Dorset Mind, Mosaic – Supporting Bereaved Children and many more.

Telephone: 01305 361 361

Email: dhc.dorsetopendoor@nhs.net

9. Missing People UK

Missing People are a national charity who support remotely those who are affected by missing. This can include those who are away from home, thinking of going missing or affected by a loved one missing. Missing is a very difficult subject and one that isn’t always black and white. If you’re thinking of running away, or struggling with someone missing in your life then you can contact them for free 7 days a week from 9am-11pm.

Text: 116000

Phone: 116000

  1. The Mix

The Mix offers 1-1 support for whatever challenges you’re facing, especially for 11-25 year olds. These challenges can range from mental health, exam stress, finances, sex, employment, housing, or relationships. There’s a wide range of support articles, youth forums and general advice on their website as well as lots of different ways to contact them for free.

Telephone: 0800 808 4994

Text: THEMIX to 85258 (in partnership with SHOUT)

Webchat: One to One online chat via their website

Ways to support yourself



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