Mental Health

All of us have physical health and mental health. Just like our physical health, sometimes our mental health is not so good. This can especially true in times of stress. It is well established that there is a close correlation between physical and mental health wellbeing.

NHS Lothian operate a drop in service when you will see an experienced mental health practitioners  - the Thrive Welcome Team.

Click here for further information.


A Community Link Worker is based in the practice Tuesdays and Fridays every week.

You can be referred to The CLW by your GP, Nurse or practice reception staff.

A community Link Worker uses social prescribing to help you have more control over your life and what matters to you.

This is a short term support for adults aged 16 and over.


balancing stones


  • iThrive: an up-to-date mental health information website which provides a directory of mental health services in Edinburgh, mental health fact sheets, and links to mental health information.

  • NHSInform: has a page of links and information on identifying, treating and managing mental health problems and disorders

  • Health In Mind: a Scottish mental health charity promoting positive mental health.
    A 6 week online Workshop called Wellbeing Toolkit is being provided by Health in Mind from January 2023 - This Workshop will provide tools and advice on managing anxiety, depression and low mood. You can be referred to this workshop by the practice CLW - All sessions are on zoom.

  • Feeling Good App: Developed by the Positive Mental Health Foundation. This is a video and audio programme which can be downloaded on to iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets. Please watch this video explaining the service.
  • PF Counselling: a voluntary sector Counselling service, based in Morningside, which is part funded by NHS Lothian.


  • South East Counseling - Health in Mind - This service offers telephone, face to face, video call counseling. You can have 12 sessions. Referrals made through CLW

  • Hope Park Counselling: This is a self referral service. The centre offers person centered and / or psychodynamic counseling to residents in Edinburgh aged 16 and over. The Centre is part of the University of Edinburgh and is a practice research centre for Counselors in training.

  • Steps for Stress: Scottish government publication and simple guide to stressing less and enjoying life more

  • SAMH: a Scottish MH charity with information, advice and tips about mental health problems and online support

  • Mental Health Information Station: you can speak with an NHS Mental Health professional on a Thursday between 9.30am and 4.30pm. Please call on 0131 537 8650 and ask for the Mental Health Information Station. If staff are busy, you can arrange a call back. Or you can email: at any time with specific queries and a request for a call back.

  • Living Life telephone based CBTNHS 24 offers a specialist telephone support service for people using the online Living Life to the Full computerised CBT life skills course. Living Life is open from Monday to Thursday 10am to 9pm and Friday 10am to 6pm on free phone 0800 328 9655. You can just self refer. Further information is available at

  • No Panic Helpline: Mon - Fri, 10am-10pm - 0300 772 9844

  • Breathing Space: Mon - Thu, 6pm - 2am and Fri - Mon, 6pm - 6am - 0800 83 85 87

  • Anxiety UK: Mon - Fri, 9:30am-5:30pm and Sat - Sun, 10am - 8pm - 03444 775 774 or text support on 07537 416 905

  • Support in Mind Scotland: offers a national information service which can signpost you to the local support that will most fit your needs. Tue - Fri, 9am - 3:30pm - 0300 323 1545

  • Financial Advice: A quick guide to “crisis response” resources to help individuals with immediate essential living costs.

Support for Families

  • Support for Families: this is an online resource put together by Edinburgh Council with links available under varied categories.

  • Online Resource for Parents and Carers: The Scottish Government has announced that all families in Scotland will have free access to the Solihull Online resource for parents and carers from the antenatal period to 19 years. Solihull Online offers a series of modules containing interactive activities, quizzes and video clips. To access the free courses, families need to use the access code TARTAN

  • Home Link Family Support: An award winning charitable organisation providing support to families with young children in Edinburgh and Midlothian. The services offered are centered around an assessment based model of support, working with families in their own homes. There is an option to self refer at or referrals can be made through Practice CLW

Support for Carers

  • VOCAL Support for Carers: VOCAL supports and empowers unpaid carers in Edinburgh and Midlothian through individual support, information, training and access to services

  • Caroline O'Hara is the current dementia advisor for Alzheimer’s Scotland. She covers South East and works with families caring for dementia patients. Referrals can be made through CLW

Children and Young People

  • NHS CAHMS Online Resources: Further well-being and mental health information for parents, as well as children and young people is available on the NHS Lothian CAMHS website

  • Hands On Scotland: a website that provides help and practical advice for supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. It has been created by Fife CAHMS team (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)

  • Young Scot: National youth information and citizenship charity for 11-26 year olds

  • Hopeline UK: This is a helpline for children and young people under the age of 35 years old who are experiencing thoughts of suicide and for those concerned about a young person experiencing suicidal thoughts. Mon - Fri, 9am - 10pm and Sat - Sun, 2pm-10pm - 0800 068 4141


  • Maggies Edinburgh: the information on this page will help you to find out more about grief and bereavement, ways to help you cope practically and emotionally and how Maggie's can help.

  • Cruse Bereavement Care: Cruse Scotland has been supporting bereaved adults, children and young people across Scotland for over 60 years.

  • Child Bereavement UK: they help children, young people, parents and families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.

  • Edinburgh Miscarriage Support Group: This groups offer an opportunity to meet with others who have experienced pregnancy loss, to share thoughts, feelings and experiences in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

Regular healthy nutrition

A healthy, balanced diet is an essential element for overall good health, and can reduce your risk of developing a number of Scotland’s leading chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. If you are overweight, losing weight, and keeping it within a healthy range, can work wonders for your health.

Obesity is a major health concern, and through it’s effects costs thousands of people a year their lives in Scotland.

  • Reduce processed foods high in sugar and salt
  • Aim for 5 portions of fruits and veg a day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Buy frozen fruit
  • Grow your own fruit and veg
  • Consider batch cooking and freezing portions
  • NHSInform on Food and Nutrition

Reduction in alcohol consumption

While there is some evidence that alcohol in moderation can have certain beneficial effect for your health, drinking over the recommended limits can be harmful, and heavy or binge drinking can increase your risk of developing liver problems, stomach disorders, mental health problems, sexual difficulties, high blood pressure, obesity, some cancers, as well as a host of other problems. 

The recommended limits are no more 14 units a week (for both men and women), best spread out over 3 or more days, but with at least a couple of alcohol free days a week. Further information is available at -

If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption, or that of someone you know, please look at the Southeast Edinburgh Hub’s website. It contains helpful information, including details of the locality drop-in service, which does not require a referral.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to join a gym. Even walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes a day can improve your health and fitness, as well as doing wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Studies show that walking can: 

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile
  • Reduce body fat
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of cancer of the colon
  • Reduce the risk of non insulin dependant diabetes
  • Help to control body weight
  • Help osteoarthritis
  • Help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of falls

(Sources: Davison & Grant 1993, US Dept of Health 1996, British Heart Foundation 2000)


  • Go for a walk at a quiet time round the block taking care to social distance.
  • Cycle to work if you cannot work from home
  • Consider a home exercise programme in your garden
  • Fitness Studio exercise video: NHS range of free online exercise including aerobic, strength and resistance, yoga and Pilates, dance including Latino and belly dancing
  • Follow “Just dance” videos free on YouTube
  • Fit for health: this is an exercise programme delivered by Edinburgh Leisure Leisure in partnership with NHS Lothian for people with long term health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, heart failure or diabetes/at risk of developing diabetes.
  • Edinburgh Leisure: Edinburgh Leisure general advice about Fitness at Home during Coronavirus including online exercises and workouts
  • Healthy Active Minds: Provided by Edinburgh Leisure. This is a one to one person centered service. A personal trainer will work with you to address specific needs and look at using physical exercise as a way of promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. GP or Practice CLW can refer to this service.
  • Couch to 5k App: An easy to use program to help you try running to boost your wellbeing
  • Parkrun: Parkrun is a free, community event where you can walk, jog run, volunteer or spectate. Parkrun is 5km and takes place every Saturday morning and even includes a junior parkun of 2km. Holyrood Parkrun is our closest event.


Lots of people struggle with poor sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation or poor sleep habits can leave us vulnerable to stress and poor mental health. It is also easy to let routines slip and become nocturnal if our mental health is poor. Difficulty getting to sleep can be a sign of depression, whilst frequent early wakening a sign of anxiety.

  • How to get a better night's sleep - from NHS Lothian
  • Sleep Action - (formerly known as Sleep Scotland) good information for sleep in all ages. It also include a support service specifically for parents/guardians struggling with children or teen sleep problems
  • Sleepio - a web based self-help programme based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) designed to help you manage sleep problems

Relaxation and Recreation

It is important that we slow down our busy lives to allow our brain to “decompress” enabling relaxation. This is when we are more likely to become aware of our emotions and thoughts and achieve mental wellbeing. We should all put some time aside each day to achieve this.

  • NHSInform: Five steps to mental wellbeing

  • Take 10 minutes out each day to practice MINDFULNESS
    • Notice the everyday
    • Keep it regular
    • Try something new
    • Watch your thoughts
    • Name thoughts and feelings
    • Free yourself from past and future

  • Headspace

  • Mindful breathing exercise video on YouTube

  • Limiting screen time, particularly in the evenings
  • Maintain social contact using online video conferencing tools
  • Maintain routine even if working from home. Don’t work in the evenings and weekends, but ensure you start at the usual time, stopping for coffee and lunch
  • Be realistic at what you can achieve in your day
  • Use extra time at home to finish projects that have been annoying you
  • Read a novel or download a book
  • Take up new hobbies or learning opportunities
    e.g Take a virtual tour of a Museum with Google Institute

Have a plan for a Crisis

Particularly at times of prolonged heightened stress and social isolation, it is important to reach out if you are significantly stressed or overwhelmed. We are open for telephone consultations in our usual hours for advice and support. In addition, below are some other crisis numbers

  • Bruntsfield Medical Practice 0131 228 6081 Monday-Friday 8-6pm
  • NHS 111 for out of hours GP advice
  • Edinburgh Crisis Centre: This centre is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year and provides community based emotional and practical support at times of crisis. This service is for people aged 16 and over. More information is available at their website or free phone 0808 801 0414
  • Samaritans: Samaritans of Edinburgh and the Lothians
  • Need Help Now: This is a list of further useful emergency numbers to have at hand in a mental health crisis.