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Survivor Resources for Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week 15th-21st May, which is an important time to reflect on the impact of mental health on our daily lives and those around us. We want to take this opportunity to reach out to survivors of trauma and domestic abuse, and let you know that we see you and we support you. We recognize that these experiences can have a significant impact on mental health and well-being, and we want to do our part in providing resources and support to those who need it.

Throughout the week, we will be adding valuable information and resources that we hope will be helpful to you. Remember, you are not alone.

If you are a professional who supports survivors you can access a resources collection on our Twitter account @AVAproject

Resources for anxiety after experiences of trauma

Our Breathing Space mobile and web app – provides a range of tools and resources to help individuals manage stress and anxiety. The app includes guided meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices that can help users feel more calm and centered.

Women’s Aid’s The Survivors Handbook – provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse, with simple guidance on every aspect of seeking support.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) guide to anxiety – provides a range of helpful resources and tips for managing anxiety. It includes information on what anxiety is and how it can manifest, as well as practical strategies for coping with anxiety symptoms. The guide covers a range of topics, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, and cognitive-behavioral strategies.

Anxiety UK Get Help webpages – provide a range of resources and information to help individuals who are struggling with anxiety. This includes self-help guides, information on different types of anxiety disorders, details about treatment options, and a directory of therapists who specialize in treating anxiety. They also offer a helpline and email support service.

NHS Anxiety, Fear and Panic webpage – provides a range of information and resources for individuals who are experiencing anxiety, fear, or panic. The webpage includes information on the causes of anxiety, as well as tips for managing symptoms and seeking help.

Resources for experiences of financial abuse, homelessness/insecure housing & the current rise in the cost of living

Groundswell & Mind’s ‘Mental Health & Homelessness: Health Guide’ – provides information and guidance on how to support the mental health needs of people experiencing homelessness. The guide includes practical advice on how to identify mental health issues, how to provide appropriate support, and where to find additional resources and services.

The Financial Support line run by SEA and Money Advice Plus may also be able to offer support Financial Support Line for Victims of Domestic Abuse (moneyadviceplus.org.uk)

There is a list of grants and benefits that people may be entitled to on the Citizens Advice Bureau Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills – Citizens Advice

If you are looking to flee to a refuge there is a rail to refuge scheme which is open to all survivors, and you can get more details here.

Surviving Economic Abuse has a list of support and grants on its website to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Women’s Aid webpage on housing advice – provides helplines and advice split for if you want to leave your home or stay in your home, as well as information about refuges and your legal rights.

Shelter helps people struggling with bad housing or homelessness through free advice, support and legal services.

Crisis will talk to you about how to find a safe home, gain skills, apply for jobs and look after your mental health during a period of insecure housing.

Resources for Black and minoritised women

Information on Southall Black Sisters website on The Domestic Violence Destitution Concession (DDVC) – If you’re making an application for indefinite leave to remain under the Domestic Violence Rule, you can access accommodation and to welfare benefits through the DDVC while you make your application.

Roshni Ghar is a mental health charity that provides culturally appropriate, responsive services for South Asian women experiencing mental ill health and you can self-refer to their services.

The Empowerment Group supports people of Black African and Caribbean heritage aged 18 and over in the UK facing mental health challenges. This is achieved through heavily subsidised online 1:1 culturally appropriate therapy.

Black Minds Matter UK is a charity that connects Black individuals and families with free mental health services by professional Black therapists to support their mental health.

The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network is the largest community of Counsellors and Psychotherapists of Black, African, Asian and Caribbean Heritage in the UK. They also have an extensive collection of links to ‘educate, support and inspire.

Rights of Women has a specific helpline for women who need advice on their immigration status. They can advise you on:

  • immigration law including domestic violence, long residence and family life
  • the rights of Europeans and their families in the UK
  • claiming asylum
  • trafficking
  • financial support options including for women with no recourse to public funds.

The list below of specialist by and for Black and Minoritised ending VAWG agencies is taken from Imkaan’s website – Imkaan are the only UK-based, umbrella women’s organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and Minoritised women and girls


Ipswich – Suffolk – East Anglia

Wales – Pan Wales

  • BAWSO – 0800 731 8147

East & West Midlands

Sunderland – North East

South Shields – North East

Middlesborough – North Yorkshire – North East

Manchester – North West

Liverpool – North West

Rochdale – Greater Manchester – North West

Blackburn – Lancashire – North West

Bradford – West Yorkshire

Rotherham – South Yorkshire

Sheffield – South Yorkshire

Edinburgh – Scotland

Glasgow – Scotland

Resources for children & young people following experiences of trauma

Place2Be’s blog – tips on how children & young people can cope in moments of feeling anxious

This list below is taken from Mental Health Foundations’ website:

Organisations that can help

  • Barnardo’s protects and supports the UK’s most vulnerable children. They provide a range of services to help and support children, young people, parents and carers.
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) runs a free, confidential helpline and webchat service offering help and advice to anyone feeling down or in need of support.
  • ChildLine is a free, confidential service where children can talk about any issue they’re going through. You can call their helpline or use their webchat to speak to a trained counsellor.
  • The Children’s Society supports children going through serious life challenges. They run services and campaigns to make children’s lives better.
  • Contact offers advice and support to families with disabled children. If you’re a parent caring for a disabled child, you can arrange to speak to an adviser for practical and emotional support.
  • Family Lives offers information and support on all aspects of family life, including the stages of child development, issues with schools, parenting support, bullying and mental health concerns.
  • Papyrus supports people under 35 who have thoughts of suicide and others who are concerned about them. You can contact them by phone, text or email.
  • Penumbra supports adults and young people in Scotland with mental health problems. They offer services that provide practical and emotional support.
  • You can text Shout on 85258 for confidential support by text.
  • The Mix offers free emotional support to people under 25 by phone, webchat or email. They also offer a short-term counselling service.
  • YoungMinds offers information and support to young people about their mental health and helps adults to support young people in their lives. If you’re a parent worried about a child’s mental health, you can call their helpline.

The list below is taken from the Government’s site The Education Hub:

These resources are dedicated to children and young people’s general mental health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on mindfulness with developing coping skills in young people. 

  • NHS Apps library  helps people find apps and online tools to help manage their health and wellbeing. For example:  Calm Harm is designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm.  Catch it helps people manage feelings like anxiety and depression and improve mental wellbeing. 
  • The Student health app is designed to reduce your worries, feel more confident and get the support you need at what can be a challenging time for any student. 
  • Thrive helps you prevent and manage stress, anxiety and related conditions.
  • Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.
  • Togetherall is available for students at eligible universities and colleges who are feeling stressed, anxious, low or not coping. It provides an anonymous online community who share troubles and support each other. It is a safe space as it is moderated by trained professionals who are available 24/7. 
  • SafeSpot is an iPhone and Android app that promotes positive mental wellbeing in children and young people and has been designed to help children and young people with their coping skills.  
  • BBC’s wellbeing resources for families. 
  • Young Minds: a letter about how I’m feeling: worksheet to help pupils express their feelings and understand what may have triggered them. For use with pupils in school or at home. 
  • NHS: Mental Health Helplines for Urgent Help – NHS 24-hour advice and support for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for. Help is available to speak to a mental health professional. 
  • Headspace: Headspace for Educators offers educators access to free mindfulness and meditation exercises and resources for every age group, and a free Headspace Meditation App. 
  • Public Health EnglandEvery Mind Matters: Looking After Your Mental Health Resources aims to support everyone to feel more confident in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing by promoting a range of self-care actions. 
  • Public Health England: Every Mind Matters Self-Care Tool when you complete the 5 ‘Survey’ questions, a ‘Mind Plan’ is generated, with signposting options to many useful resources.
  • Anna Freud: self-care strategies for young people* feeling low or anxious and self-care tips for parents and carers.
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