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Emotional support

We all have worries around difficult things to deal with at different times of our lives. Sometimes you may need some extra support.

Talking it over with someone

Counselling

Counselling is more than just talking about your worries and problems. By discussing feelings with a trained counsellor you can try to find out what makes you feel this way, and what you can do to cope. Counselling can be really helpful because you can share how you are feeling with someone who doesn't know you or your family. You can also be sure that what you are talking about will stay confidential.

Counselling can be a difficult process because it can be hard to talk about things that have distressed or hurt you. However, by working through your problems with your counsellor, you can accept them and understand yourself better.

Therapy

Therapy is like counselling, but there is usually a clearer goal of aiming to treat either specific or deeper problems. You might have identified these yourself, or they might have been diagnosed by a mental health professional. Therapy is confidential and can be undertaken in individual sessions or in a group. Therapy requires you to actively take part in tackling your problems. You will need to set yourself goals and might need to work both within and outside sessions to achieve these.

If you think either counselling or therapy would be right for you then you should talk to your GP in the first instance. Alternatively you could also look at our list of local and national accredited helplines to see if any of the services on it can help you or Barking and Dagenham Talking Therapies.

Talking therapies

Barking and Dagenham talking therapies is a free NHS service which offers help to learn new ways to cope with everyday pressures, or unexpected events which leave you feeling a little or very low in mood or anxious.

We offer talking therapies, short courses, relaxation classes, stress workshops and exercise to combat low moods.

If you are aged over 18 years, then why not give us a call on 0300 555 1018 and talk to one of our advisors. Our office is open between the hours of 9am to 5pm and we will book you in for a short telephone assessment and if we can’t help we may be able to help you find a service that can.

Speaking to somebody about the problems you are dealing with can really help you to feel supported.

Support groups

Joining a local support group can help you to meet other people who are dealing with the same things as you. You can get informal help, advice as well as learning from others' experiences. You might be able to help someone else too.

There are lots of support groups that offer help and advice for different problems and situations. Our list of local and national help lines can help you to find support groups where you are.

Befriending

Everyone needs someone to talk to, but not everyone has someone who they can rely on for guidance and advice to help them through difficult times. Volunteers can help fill this gap by offering their free time and providing support to people who would otherwise be socially isolated.

What it is

Befriending is a one-to-one, non-judgemental relationship where volunteers provide support and encouragement to someone at a time of change in their life or when they are socially isolated. People who need support come from all walks of life and ages, from teenagers through to the older people. Many volunteers will help over a long period of time, helping to build trust and a relationship. The volunteer is someone other than a family member or friend and the relationship is usually set up and supported by a group or organisation. 


A number of different types of befriending are available, including:

  • one to one visits to your home
  • one to one sessions to support you take part in an activity of your choosing
  • telephone befriending where a someone telephones you at a mutually convenient time
  • group support for those with a shared need

Organisations which may offer befriending services are Age UK.

Big White Wall

Big White Wall (BWW) is a digital mental health and wellbeing service that has been commissioned by Barking and Dagenham Council, and is designated a High Impact Innovation by the NHS. It has no waiting lists and is available 24/7. Big White Wall is professionally staffed at all times, providing help and support to its members at whatever time that suits them.

Barking and Dagenham residents can join BWW simply by entering their postcode on the Big White Wall website.

As an anonymous service, BWW removes the barrier of stigma, helping people who may not normally seek help for their mental health issues to get the support they need. BWW supports many people who are unable, for whatever reason, to find support elsewhere, and helping them find their voice.

73% share something for the first time on BWW. 95% of members report feeling better as a result of using BWW.

Reconnections Service

The Reconnections Service by Independent Age launched in Barking & Dagenham in January 2020.

It is a volunteer-led service that supports over-65s in rediscovering their love of life in the communities where they live.

They introduce friendly volunteers to lonely older residents and connect them to local activities, gatherings and events that provide vital social connections and help break the cycle of isolation and loneliness.

Working together with local partners, they create a safe and supportive environment for older residents to reconnect with their community, make new friendships and rekindle their love of life.