Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Patients frequently consult our doctors about mental health and wellbeing issues such as anxiety, depression, low mood, stress and burnout.  We have created this page to bring together useful resources for mental health and wellbeing issues.

We are not responsible for the content of these external resources and you use them entirely at your own risk.  External resources should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice.  If in doubt consult your GP.

5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

If you give them a try, you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life.

  • Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships
  • Be active – you don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life
  • Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?
  • Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks
  • Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges

Find out more about the 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Mental Health Crisis

  • Samaritans - confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone: 116 123
  • Lifeline - Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.  Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and help, in confidence.  Phone: 0808 808 8000

Useful websites

  • Moodcafe - relaxation exercises, tools for managing emotions and book recommendations
  • Moodjuice - advice, support and self help guides for a wide range of psychological, emotional and mental health issues
  • MIND - Mental Health advice
  • - An American website offering advice on a wide range of mental and emotional health issues
  • Mental Health Page
  • Headspace - a meditation and mindfulness app you can download on your phone
  • Inspire WellbeingInspire is a charity and social enterprise and our aim is wellbeing for all. We deliver mental health, learning/intellectual disability, autism, addiction and workplace wellbeing services across the island of Ireland
  • Inspire Mental Health - Inspire Mental Health, provides personalised, recovery focused, community-based support for people who have had experience of mental ill-health
  • Scraboview Community Wellbeing Service - Scraboview is a warm and welcoming centre designed to provide the support you need. They have a wide-ranging prospectus covering the '5 Ways to Wellbeing'.  Based at 81 Victoria Avenue, Newtownards, BT23 7ED. Phone (028) 91 811 035
  • NHS Moodzone - advice and audioguides covering: low mood and depression; anxiety control; overcoming sleep problems; low confidence and assertiveness; unhelpful thinking


  • COVID Recovery Service - The NI Chest Heart and Stroke COVID-19 Recovery Service is aimed at helping people recovering from COVID-19 deal with the physical and psychological problems caused by the illness

Recovery College


  • FamilyWorks NI - Free counselling for children and adults. Based in Newtownards. Phone (028) 9182 1721
  • Holywood Family Trust - Free counselling for adults. Based on High Street, Holywood. Phone (028) 9042 7842
  • BCM Therapeutic Counselling - This service, based at Newtownards, was set up in November 2003, and is provided to young people 16-25 yrs in North Down who have had experience of living in care. Phone 028 9182 7783. Email: 
  • Counselling Service for Schools - Information on the Department of Education funded Independent Counselling Service for Schools
  • Imagine If - Private counselling in the Newtownards and Belfast areas. Phone (028) 9182 1721
  • Alistair Shaw CBT - Alistair is our practice CBT Therapist.  He also has a private practice for patients who wish to see him privately
  • Christian Guidelines - Counselling in Bangor based on Christian values. Phone 028 9146 8846
  • Childline - offering counselling and support for anyone below age 19, online, on the phone, any time. Phone 0800 1111
  • Samaritans - We're here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it's best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don't have to be suicidal to call us. Phone 116 123
  • Connect Christian Counselling Donaghadee - Professionally trained Counsellors providing a voluntary community service.  Community counselling service for general mental health issues such as depression, anxiety/panic and relationship counselling. We provide a safe confidential place to explore personal difficulties. Tel: 028 9188 8080 | Email: 

Sleep Problems

Stress & Burnout


Addiction, Drugs and Alcohol

  • Addiction NI - help with drug and alcohol misuse or addiction
  • Alcoholics Anonymous - help with alcohol addiction
  • Alcohol and You NI - help to identify and address harmful drinking
  • For more information and resources see our Alcohol and Addictions page
  • The Daisy Project - The Drug and Alcohol Intervention Service for Young people is for young people and young adults aged 11 – 25 years whose substance use is impacting them, their families or communities and who are willing to seek support. 
  • The Stauros Foundation - Stauros extends the hand of fellowship to those who have alcohol or other drug related problems, with the view of helping them recover.  Stauros promotes the Christian message of Jesus Christ as the means of that recovery. 028 9082 5058 |

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence

  • Nexus NI - Help for anyone affected by sexual violence

Children and Family Issues


Victims and Survivors of the conflict/troubles

Veterans and service personnel

  • Combat Stress - A charity dealing with trauma-related mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.  Open to veterans, serving personnel, their families and carers. 0800 138 1619

Doctor Health and Wellness

  • ePhysician Health - ePhysician Health is the world's first comprehensive, online physician health and wellness resource designed to help physicians and physicians in training be resilient in the professional and personal lives
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