Struggling to cope with your emotions? Here's how to find help

21 September 2022

People living with MS may be particularly affected by low mood or mental health issues. At times of upheaval, stress or change, you might feel overwhelmed by your emotions. If you feel you would like emotional support, here are some organisations you may wish to turn to.

  • Mind is a charity that provides confidential help and advice on a range of mental health issues, and have local Mind services around the country. You can phone them on 0300 123 3393 for information about mental health support. They have extensive support services listed on the Mind website.
  • Sane is a charity that offers confidential support to people facing crisis, despair or distress alongside mental illness. Their helpline is open between 10am-4pm every day on 0300 304 7000.
  • CALM offer a confidential helpline between 5pm and midnight every day on 0800 58 58 58.
  • Samaritans provides confidential emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair. You can call them on 116 123 or go to their website for online chat support.
  • Cruse Bereavement Support offer help to anyone who is suffering with grief or bereavement. They can put you in touch with trained grief counsellors and offer support.
  • The NHS Every Mind Matters website may be useful if you or a loved one is facing mental health issues in England. The website has links to urgent support services.
  • For mental health services in Scotland, the Clear Your Head website has tips and support.
  • In Wales, you can contact the CALL mental health helpline and also look at the Public Health Wales advice page for local services.
  • Northern Ireland Direct mental health information pages offer tips and links to local services.

How to help yourself

If you are struggling emotionally and would like to find ways to help yourself, this list of tips may be useful. It has been compiled with advice from MS health professionals specialising in mental health, and is taken from our information sheet 'MS and your feelings'. You can download MS and your feelings free from our online shop.

  • Try to keep a sense of normality. Carry on doing the things you usually do, especially the things that you enjoy.
  • Prioritise where you can, and focus your energy on the most important things and people in your life.
  • Look for the positives in your life, however small.
  • Be kind to yourself. Look after yourself and your body by eating and drinking healthily and trying to get enough sleep.
  • Looking after your mind is important too. You could try relaxation techniques, meditating or mindfulness.
  • Listen to soothing music or lose yourself in a good book. Whatever works best for you.
  • Go outside, perhaps for a gentle walk, or to simply sit and breathe. Fresh air can help clear your head and help you feel more connected.
  • It's OK to rest. You're allowed to chill out, relax, take a warm bath or pamper yourself.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for, or accept offers of, support if you need it. Even if you're doing OK at the moment you can always let people know you may need their support in the future.
  • Find ways to release tension. Thump a cushion, sing along with music, or simply cry and let it all out.
  • Share your feelings with someone you trust.