Take a step – our mental health support offer

If you're feeling stressed, struggling to cope or need urgent help, we’re here for you. We know it’s not always easy to ask for help but we have a range of services available for you to #takeastep and support you through.

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Connection - here for everyone, of all ages, in Dorset

If you are struggling and need to talk or experiencing a crisis or nearing a breakdown, Connection is a 24/7 helpline open to all ages. Dorset residents, or people visiting Dorset, can call 0800 652 0190 or NHS 111 for free. You do not need to be known by our services and can also phone for support and advice about a friend or family member experiencing poor mental health. Find out more.


Dedicated support for children and young people


Young people aged 11 - 19 across Dorset can access support via a secure and confidential text messaging service called ChatHealth. The anonymous service provides a way to get in touch with a healthcare professional for advice. Guidance can be given on sexual or emotional health, alcohol, drugs, smoking and other things that may be getting in the way of having a good quality life. Just send a text message to 07480 635511 and a member of the Dorset HealthCare’s School Nursing Team will reply. Find out more.

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CAMHS provides tailored support for children and young people up to the age of 18 across Dorset with significant mental health difficulties, offering assessment and treatment. Those aged 16-18 can refer themselves via CAMHS Gateway and any young person under 16 can be referred by their GP, teacher or school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator. For further information and useful resources visit www.camhsdorset.org

The Discovery Project

The Discovery Project works across the whole of Dorset with schools, charities, and a wide variety of organisations to create an offer for young people (13-25) and their parents/ carers. It's a partnership initiative between Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Mental Health Forum, and combines the expertise of NHS healthcare professionals, the lived experience of peer specialists and the voice of young people to create spaces to explore and share what mental health, recovery, and wellbeing means by looking at what matters to you. Find out more.


Kooth offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people aged between 11 – 24 years and is available up to 10 pm every day. Find out more.

For other self-care apps specifically for young people visit the Our Dorset webpage or Dorset Youth Association, where you'll discover a detailed breakdown of each app, including the specific benefits they offer. By understanding how each one works, young people and their parents can decide which apps best suit their needs.


Dedicated support for adults

The Retreat

The Retreat in Bournemouth and Dorchester are open to anyone aged 18 or above, providing a safe space to seek face-to-face help and support. Find out more

Community Front Rooms

Community Front Rooms (CFRs) are open to anyone over 18 who needs face-to-face support. They provide a welcoming, safe space where you can discuss problems and work towards possible solutions. The Community Front Rooms are staffed by mental health professionals and peer specialists (people with personal experience of mental health issues) and are there for you if you are struggling to cope and feel you are approaching a crisis point. Find out more

Community hubs

Sometimes when you’re worried or struggling, it can be difficult to know where to turn. The Access Wellbeing hubs in Poole and Weymouth offer a welcoming space to find support on the issues that matter to you, your family, or supporters.Whatever is on your mind, our friendly, skilled wellbeing coordinators will take the time to listen, then help you to access the right support and advice, whether that’s from a charity or community group, the NHS or local authority. That might be practical advice on topics such as money, benefits or housing. It could be emotional support and mental health advice. You might be looking for social connections through groups and activities. Or you may simply need a friendly ear at a tough time in your life. The hubs are available for those in Dorset 18 and over, but we will support and signpost those under 18 to the right resources. Find out more.


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Steps2Wellbeing is a free, NHS Talking Therapies service for anxiety and depression. It provides mental health support through talking therapies, online courses and guided self-help for Dorset and Southampton City residents who are feeling down, stressed or worried. It also helps people who are having problems at work or living with a long-term health condition to improve their mental wellbeing.

You don’t need to be referred by your GP or other health professional, you can just reach out for help when you need it. Mental health professionals and peer support workers will be on hand to help you avoid a crisis and help you find the path to recovery. People of any age and their families can access our services. Find out more


Other support available

Armed Forces Health and Wellbeing

The Armed Forces Community Health and Wellbeing Team (AFCT) can help people in the Armed Forces Community access health and social care services across Dorset (including Bournemouth and Poole). Find out more.

Dorset Mind

Dorset Mind offers a range of safe, wellbeing support services that can be tailored and mixed to meet your needs. They aim to develop and improve positive mental wellbeing for everyone. Our support can be divided into ‘group support’ and ‘one to one support.’ Find out more.

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Every Mind Matters helps you make small changes that fit your life, so you feel better and healthier every day. It gives you simple and practical advice to get a healthier mind and get more out of life – from how to deal with stress and anxiety, to boosting our mood or sleeping better. It will help you spot the signs of common mental health conditions, get personalised practical self-care tips and information on further support. You'll also learn about what you can do to help others. Find out more.


Self-help resources


Instant online help is available for those aged 17 or over in Dorset who are struggling to cope. Download distrACT on your phone or tablet to find out more, or read further information on the NHS website.

Other smart phones apps

View a selection of self help apps we reccommend for your smart phone that can help to improve your wellbeing.


Mental Health and learning disabilities