Self Help

Self Help - Minor Illnesses, Self-help Groups

We encourage you to look after your own health as much as possible.

Minor illnesses and accidents should be treated at home without needing to see the doctor.

The Department of Health nurse-led telephone and internet advice site is the NHS website.

Many common infections e.g. colds and sore throats are caused by a virus - antibiotics do not treat virus infections. Most will settle over a few days requiring only simple pain-killers.

However, if you are uncertain as to what to do or are worried, please ask us for advice.

We hope that you will find the advice on the following conditions helpful.

Back Pain

Burns and Scalds


Colds and Runny Noses





Diarrhoea and/or vomiting



Head Injuries

Heart Attack

Insect Bites and Stings

Nose Bleeds


Sore Throats

Sprains and Strains




Mental Health Resources

Self Help Resources

A good starting point is Reading Well Books on Prescription.

This is a collection of highly recommended self-help and health information books, all of which are available in our local libraries. There is a useful website for more information, or speak to a librarian.

The list includes cognitive behavioural therapy bases approaches to managing common mental health challenges, including insomnia, panic, anxiety, depression and anger.  There is also a section aimed at younger people.

Online resources include: - a range of NHS self-help workbooks and information - a free CBT based programme for managing depression and low mood - a free programme to help you deal with a wide range of emotional problems, including panic attacks - a charity website that offers advice and strategies, as well as recordings to help you through a panic attack.

Mindfulness and meditation:

Mindfulness and mediation to manage anxiety and depression are increasingly backed up by research evidence.  Good starting points are:

  • Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world Book by Danny Penman and J. Mark G. Williams
  • Headspace app – free for the first 10 sessions, this is a good introduction to mindfulness and how it might fit into your life.
  • - this website has lots of information about mindfulness, as well as free downloadable guided meditations
  • Mindfulness UK app – high quality downloadable meditations (£8.99 for full set, less for selections) including specific sleep, stress, and exam stress sections.

Lifestyle Measures

These are important for everyone.

Physical Activity – it is well established that being physically active is good for your mood, as well as your body.  Research shows that even benefits can be gained from as little as 10 minutes per day of physical activity.

Alcohol – although alcohol can make you feel temporarily better, from a few hours later it can worsen anxiety and depression, so consider reducing or cutting out alcohol.

Socialising – even though it can be hard, keeping in touch with friends and family, and trying to keep up your usual activities as much as possible, can help support you through difficult times, and improve your mood.

Counselling and Therapy

There are plenty of local therapists.  The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Counselling Directory are good websites where you can search for local therapists and find out a little about each one.

BACP:  or  01455 883300

If you contact a therapist, and feel they aren’t the right one for you, or they are unable to take on new clients, they will often be able to give some advice on someone who might be right for you.

NHS Counselling and Therapy

Talking Therapies Berkshire is the adult service. They offer a wide range of options, including online resources, telephone support, group sessions and face-to-face therapy courses.

You can self-refer via

Time to Talk is our local young person’s service. They have a very helpful website:

You can self-refer via

There is also the Emotional Wellbeing Academy, a psychology service to support families and children with emotional needs.  For more information see

Resource for Mental Health - Talking Therapies in Berkshire

Problems such as anxiety, depression, stress and phobias are very common. Talking Therapies is a friendly and approachable service that helps people with these problems.

You can refer yourself to Talking Therapies now, or ask your GP or healthcare Professional to refer you.

Visit the Talking Therapies website.