NHS Dumfries & Galloway

Mental Health and Wellbeing

We have been living with Covid-19 for over a year now and there are still uncertain times ahead as we move forward through the year. As such, we wanted to continue to connect with you during these challenging times in which we still find ourselves.

If you feel that you need specialist advice today, please contact your GP by telephone or contact 111, if your GP surgery is closed. If you are worried about the safety of any person living in Dumfries and Galloway, then please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 030 33 33 3001 or Social Work Out of Hours on 01387 273 660.

We created this webpage in April 2020 and we have been updating it as we move through Winter and now into Spring. The page has tabs that you can press which will take you to a range of resources (including other websites, apps and written information) we think might be useful. We hope that having them all in one place where you can dip in and out of them as you want or need to, will be helpful. There is a new section on ‘Long Covid’ which has some helpful resources but will be expanded as we have more to offer.

If you know someone who does not have access to the internet but would find some of these resources helpful, you can download and print where permitted. Please also feel free to direct people to our website.

During 2020, the Psychology department moved to offering most of our appointments ‘remotely’ via the internet using a programme called NHS Near Me or via telephone. We are now offering most of our appointments in this way. Most people have found this a really easy and comfortable way to work with us, from their own home.

If you have recently been referred to our service, we will write to you asking you to confirm you want to be seen and ask for contact details. Then, one of our team will make contact with you to arrange an initial discussion. We aim to arrange this within around 2 months after you have been referred. We will also discuss the best way for us to meet – NHS Near Me, or, we still offer face to face appointments but only where this is essential. If we do invite you to a face to face appointment, we will send you all the information you need so that we all stay safe. During 2020, we did use telephone calls to meet with clients but service user and staff feedback has indicated that this is not always a suitable alternative to face to face appointments. Telephone calls will only be used for review appointments or where absolutely necessary.

As we move into Spring, there are signs of progress with Covid-19 restrictions easing and the roll out of the vaccination programme in our communities. It is important we optimise these opportunities to gradually introduce ‘normality’ back into our lives, such as a meet up with a friend outside, getting our hair cut in the next few weeks and getting outdoors more. However, even with all these positive signs, some of us may still experience days where we do not feel at our best. Please make use of the resources here or contact your GP for further help.

In the meantime, please do remember the key FACTS with regard to Covid-19:

With best wishes to you all,

Dr Louise Cumbley, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, 
Director of NHS Dumfries and Galloway Department of Psychological Services.

We want you to remember that

  • Everyone’s mental health is as important as their physical health
  • If you are feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, you are not alone. These are stressful, uncertain times, made even harder by us all having to follow strict Government guidance to stay at home as much as possible and isolate ourselves when required.
  • It is absolutely ok to feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed. The likelihood is that most people will feel this way at some point. This is a normal response to what we call acute stress.
  • It is really important to acknowledge this and to share how you are feeling with others.

There are a few 'golden rules' that are agreed will help us get through these times, including

  • Trying to stay connected to those who are important to you, maybe by phone, social media, internet or video conferencing, eg face time, Skype etc. Try to plan regular calls.
  • Acknowledging your feelings and sharing how you are feeling with others. If this feels too hard then maybe writing your feelings down or joining an online support group.
  • Noticing the impact TV and social media are having on you – consider taking a break or reducing how much you watch, perhaps only watch the news once a day.
  • Trying to keep in a routine, particularly with your eating and sleeping, and try to incorporate some physical activity into your day.
  • Creating new rituals such as a weekly film or games night, so that you have things to look forward to.

For those with Learning / Intellectual Disabilities and their Carers

Please read the following guide 'Feeling Down Looking After My Mental Health'


For help with anxiety or worries CLICK HERE


For help with feeling angry CLICK HERE


For help with feeling sad,depressed or low in mood CLICK HERE


For help with worries about my health CLICK HERE


For help with Self Harm CLICK HERE


For help with sleep problems CLICK HERE


For help with stress CLICK HERE


Visit the NHS approved apps library for more information and support by CLICKING HERE  

If you need someone to talk to you can call Cruse Bereavement Care on 0808 808 1677.

Cruse Bereavement Care

For Children, Young People & Families

A booklet for children under 12 years old to help manage feelings about coronavirus


If you need someone to talk to, call : Childline 0800 1111

Visit these websites to find out more about managing your feelings about Coronavirus:

Download the HospiChill app for help with worries and ideas for activities.

Download the Chill Panda app for help managing stress and worry.

If you need someone to talk to, call :

Childline 0800 1111

or Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87.

Visit these websites to find out more about looking after your mental wellbeing during Coronavirus:

See the following apps for help with worries:

  • Mindshift CBT - for anxiety
  • HospiChill - for anxiety and relaxation
  • Calm Harm - for self-harm
  • BlueIce - for managing emotions and self-harm
  • Cove - for using music to express how you feel
  • Smiling Mind - for mindfulness activities, including a special programme (Thrive Inside) for supporting wellbeing when you are spending lots of time at home

For general mental wellbeing information and support:

For children or young people who were already anxious:

Recommended Books: 

A book for parents/carers:

  • Helping Your Child with Fears and Worries by Cathy Creswell

A book for helping with difficulties or worries: 

  • Think good, feel good: A cognitive behaviour therapy workbook for children and young people by Paul Stallard

Useful videos: 

Apps to help with anxiety in older children: 

An app to help with anxiety in younger children : HospiChill

For children or young people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

A book for helping with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

  • Talking back to OCD: The program that helps kids and teens say “No way” and parents say “Way to go” by John March and Christine Benton

Useful weblink : 

For parents/carers of adopted or looked after children and young people:

A book for parents/carers

  • The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting: Strategies and Solutions by Sarah Naish

Useful videos: 

Useful Links: 

For Parents/Carers:

For Children/Young People:

Helplines and support :

  • Mental Health Helplines
  • Visit NHS inform for mental wellbeing self-help guides
  • Carers Centre Dumfries - 01387 248 600
  • For educational support and managing the wellbeing of nursery or school age children, call the Educational Psychology and Educational Visitor Telephone Consultation Service on 01387 273784. This service is for children/young people who are from Dumfries and Galloway only. It is open 12.30-3.30pm for forster or kinship carers on Tuesdays, and 12.30-3.30pm for parents on Wednesdays.
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council Support - includes local information, financial support, school and childcare information, community newsletters, etc

Books for parents and/or carers:

  • No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson
  • The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegal and Tina Payne Bryson
  • The Incredible Years: A Trouble Shooting Guide for 3-8 years by Carolyn Webster-Stratton
  • Quiet the Mind: An Illustrated Guide on How to Meditate by Matthew Johnstone
  • The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting: Strategies and Solutions by Sarah Naish
  • A book for parents/carers – Helping Your Child with Fears and Worries by Cathy Creswell

For Adults

A local telephone hub service is currently offering brief psychological interventions, guidance and signposting for those with new, mild-moderate difficulties who may benefit from short term advice and support.
This can be accessed by first discussing with your GP or primary care mental health nurse at your practice to make sure that this service best suits your needs. Once you or your GP have made contact with our team, we aim to offer a first appointment within a week.

If you need someone to talk to, call : 

Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87


Samaritans 116 123.

Read the following : 

FACE COVID - How to respond effectively to the Corona crisis - by Russ Harris

Useful video:

A video about looking after your mental wellbeing during coronavirus

Please follow the links for information and support:

If you need someone to talk to, call Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87

Samaritans 116 123

Carers UK advice line 0808 808 7777

Carers Centre Dumfries - 01387 248 600

Useful links: 

Visit the NHS approved apps library : Click here 

Other useful apps:

Useful links for Mindfulness: 

Recommended apps:

  • Insight Timer - for sleep, anxiety and stress
  • Headspace - for everyday mindfulness 
  • Smiling Mind - to help de-stress and stay calm
  • Stop, Breathe and Think - for guided meditations and mindfulness
  • ACT Coach - for managing feelings through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles
  • ACT Companion - for managing feelings through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles (free for 3 months if you use the password “together”)

Adults Living with a Physical Health Condition

For Older Adults

The information in the 'For Adults' section above is also relevant to Older Adults.

For help and Guidance on using the internet to stay connected please Click here 

For information and advice on managing your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak please Click here 


For actions to look after ourselves and others please click here to view the Coping calendar

For other links, please see the Useful Organisations tab within the 'For Adults' section above

For online support and activities please click on the following links: 

Please use the following helplines for information and support: 

  • The Silverline 0800 4 708090
  • Age Scotland 0800 12 44 222
  • Carers UK Advice Line 0808 808 7777
  • Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87

Please use the following helplines for guidance and support: 

  • Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway 0300 303 8588
  • Carers Centre Dumfries 01387 248 600
  • Dumfries Dementia Resource Centre 01387 261303

An app to help support people who are feeling distressed and affected by suicide is now available.  The app provides information on local and national support services, an area to develop a safety plan for when you may feel distressed as well as links to useful information and guidance.

You can download it free by searching for ‘Prevent Suicide D&G’ via Apple AppStore or GooglePlay to your smartphone or device.

Breathing Space   Call 0800 83 85 87

NHS 24    Call 111

Samaritans  Call 116 123 or Email jo@samaritans.org 

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men     Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day or visit their webpage at https://www.thecalmzone.net/

Papyrus – for people under 35   Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm.  Text 07860 039967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline – for children and young people under 19     Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill

Shout 85258 – UK’s first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service.  Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, text “YM” if you are under 19.

Child Friendly video explaining Coronavirus

FACE COVID - How to respond effectively to corona crisis

Supporting Neurodiverse Children During Self-Isolation