Barton House

Close this search box.

Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Get Help

Learn how to talk about mental health or how to get help for yourself or someone you care about.

Below are a number of options available across Dorset that you can self-refer to.

Community Front Rooms

Community Front Rooms is open to anyone over 18 who needs medical health support in Dorset .They are staffed by mental health professionals & peer specialists & are there for you if you are struggling to cope & feel you are approaching a crisis point.

They offer informal, safe spaces for self-management advice & support that helps you find the solutions to aid your recovery. There is no referral or appointment needed. For further information visit:

distrACT Dorset HealthCare 

Instant online help is now available for people in Dorset who are struggling to cope and may be contemplating suicide. a new NHS phone app which gives easy, quick and discreet access to proven coping strategies and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

The free app, which has been developed by doctors and mental health specialists, also signposts users to the wide range of support available locally.

The distrACT app, which has won a British Medical Journal award for ‘best digital innovation in healthcare’, has been successfully rolled out in Bristol. Now Dorset HealthCare has provided funding to help make it available locally. As well as coping strategies, the app offers practical self-help guides and a ‘chill zone’ with ideas on how to focus on more positive thoughts.

There is also information about local support for people in crisis – in person, online or via the 24/7 Connection helpline on 0300 123 5440.

Download at

Dorset Open Door

Dorset Open Door has been set up to support those who are bereaved by suicide or suspected suicide. Experiencing bereavement is difficult at any time and for some people, it has been additionally traumatic during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have been bereaved by suicide, the grieving process can be even more complicated, distressing, uncertain and confusing. Dorset Open Door acknowledges that everyone has a different experience of bereavement. The team will listen to you and in the context of your personal experience, circumstance, strengths, and resources help you to navigate support and advice that is right for you and accept both self-referrals and referrals from professionals.

You can contact Dorset Open Door by calling 01305 361 361 or emailing [email protected]

Every Mind Matters.

Looking after your mental health – There are little things we can all do to help look after our mental health. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more, and enjoy our lives more.

You are able to find expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, so discover what works for you:

Harmony Dorset
Peer support for people living with mental health problems in West Dorset.

A friendly, welcoming, informal service offering peer support, information, signposting, and a variety of enjoyable activities to local people who are living with a mental health problem.

For anyone reaching a mental health crisis we provide a non-judgmental and safe space to talk and be listened to. 
Our services are for adults only and self-referral


Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness, and promote understanding & won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.  Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem.

When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information is vital.

Public Health Dorset

Public Health Dorset work with partners across the health and care system on campaigns and projects to improve mental wellbeing and raise awareness about the mental health services available for people living in Dorset. Mental health – Public Health Dorset


Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help.

They are here, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.

Samaritans is not only for the moment of crisis; they are taking action to prevent the crisis. They give people ways to cope and the skills to be there for others. And encourage, promote, and celebrate those moments of connection between people that can save lives. They offer listening and support to people and communities in times of need.

In prisons, schools, hospitals and on the rail network, Samaritans are working with people who are going through a difficult time and training others to do the same.

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, and Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide.

That’s why they work tirelessly to reach more people and make suicide prevention a priority. Samaritans


Self-referral support for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety & stress.

From referral to discharge S2W aim to support your journey in a way that suits you or take a look at their self-help at: