If you're experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.
At Time to Change, we focus on challenging stigma and discrimination in society, so we're not able to provide individual or emergency support for people in crisis. But there are lots of people who can. They are listed here:
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Email: [email protected]
Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or text 86463
Email: [email protected]
Mind provides confidential mental health information services.
With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental health problems, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind works in partnership with around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.
Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line
Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (9.30am - 4pm Monday to Friday)
Email: [email protected]
Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England.
Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm-10:30pm)
Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them.
Telephone: 0808 808 4994 (11am-11pm, free to call)
Email: Helpline email form
Crisis Support: Text 'THEMIX' to 85258.
The Mix provides judgement-free information and support to young people aged 13-25 on a range of issues including mental health problems. Young people can access the The Mix's support via phone, email, webchat, peer to peer and counselling services.
Telephone: 0800 1111
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything - no problem is too big or too small.
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. Elefriends is run by Mind.
If you're a carer needing support you can contact all of the above as well as Carers Direct and the Carers Trust, both of whom are able to provide support and advice on any issues affecting you.
Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that can cause extreme periods of low (depressed) and high (manic) moods. Bipolar used to be called manic depression.
here are different types of bipolar disorder, and it can only be diagnosed by a psychiatrist.
You can find out more about the types of bipolar at Mind.
What are some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
There are both low (depressed) and high (manic) symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Symptoms of mania can include:
Feeling euphoric, excited, confident or adventurous
Having racing thoughts
Difficulty concentrating / being easily distracted
Increased sex drive
Hearing voices or seeing things that others can’t hear
Misusing alcohol or drugs
Symptoms of depression can include:
Feeling down, hopeless, empty or upset
Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, feeling worthless
Tired, heavy, sluggish feelings
Lack of motivation and inability to enjoy things
Sleeping too much / difficulty sleeping
Suicidal thoughts and feelings
What is it like to live with bipolar?
We all have changes in our mood over periods of time, but if you experience bipolar disorder these changes in mood can be particularly difficult and get in the way of your day-to-day life. High and low moods may be extreme and feel overwhelming.
Everyone’s experience is different, but when experiencing a period of mania people might feel more active, friendly and excited than normal, but they might also become more aggressive, behave out of character and take more risks. During a depressive episode, people may become more withdrawn or step back from the things they’d normally enjoy.
Lots of people with a diagnosis of bipolar have shared their experiences in our stories section.
Where can I find out more?
Visit the Mind website to find out more about bipolar, including information on diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and recovery.
You can also find information about bipolar on the Rethink Mental Illness website.
The precise amount of blood in a person’s body will depend on their size. In addition, the blood’s composition varies between individuals. This difference in structure is what makes a person’s blood type.
An individual’s blood type depends on which genes they inherited from their parents.
ABO is the best-known system for grouping blood types, though there are other methods. There are four major categories within the ABO group: A, B, O, and AB. Within these groups, there are a further eight blood types.
When a person needs a transfusion, doctors must give them the right type. The wrong blood type can trigger an adverse reaction that could be life-threatening.
How does blood work, and what problems can arise?
What makes a blood type?
Doctors often use the ABO grouping system to classify blood types.
The main components of blood are:
red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body
white blood cells, which play a crucial role in the immune system
plasma, which is a yellowish liquid that contains proteins and salts
platelets, which enable clotting
The blood group will depend on which antigens are on the surface of the red blood cells.
Antigens are molecules. They can be either proteins or sugars. The types and features of antigens can vary between individuals, due to small genetic differences.
The antigens in blood have various functions, including:
transporting other molecules into and out of the cell
maintaining the structure of red blood cells
detecting unwanted cells that could cause illness
Scientists use two types of antigens to classify blood types:
Antigens and antibodies play a role in the immune system’s defense mechanism.
White blood cells produce antibodies. These antibodies will target an antigen if they consider it a foreign object.
This is why it is essential to match blood types when a person needs a transfusion.
According to the American Red Cross, If a person receives red blood cells with antigens that are not already present in their system, their body will reject and attack the new red blood cells.
This can cause a severe and possibly life-threatening reaction.
How much blood is in the human body?
ABO and the most common blood types
The ABO blood group system classifies blood types according to the different types of antigens in the red blood cells and antibodies in the plasma.
They use the ABO system alongside the RhD antigen status to determine which blood type or types will match for a safe red blood cell transfusion.
There are four ABO groups:
Group A: The surface of the red blood cells contains A antigen, and the plasma has anti-B antibody. Anti-B antibody would attack blood cells that contain B antigen.
Group B: The surface of the red blood cells contains B antigen, and the plasma has anti-A antibody. Anti-A antibody would attack blood cells that contain A antigen.
Group AB: The red blood cells have both A and B antigens, but the plasma does not contain anti-A or anti-B antibodies. Individuals with type AB can receive any ABO blood type.
Group O: The plasma contains both anti-A and anti-B antibodies, but the surface of the red blood cells does not contain any A or B antigens. Since these antigens are not present, a person with any ABO blood type can receive this type of blood.
Some red blood cells have Rh factor, also known as the RhD antigen. Rhesus grouping adds another dimension.
If the red blood cells contain the RhD antigen, they are RhD positive. If they do not, they are RhD negative.
Understanding ABO and Rhesus
Doctors need to take into account both ABO and Rh when considering blood types. This means there are eight main blood types in the ABO/Rh blood group system. Some are more common than others.
`Everyone has a different amount of blood in their body depending on their age and size. A person can afford to lose a certain amount of blood without causing any harm to the body.
Blood accounts for roughly 7 to 8 percent of a person’s body weight. Read on to find out the average volume of blood in men, women, and children. We also include information on blood loss and blood donation.
An average-sized woman has about 9 pints of blood.
An average-sized man has about 12 pints of blood.
An infant has 75 to 80 milliliters of blood per kilogram (ml/kg) of body weight.
A child has 70 to 75 ml of blood per kg of body weight.
Meningitis is a serious condition, and a person should seek help as soon as possible.
It can cause a high fever and severe headache to occur suddenly. Some people also have a sore throat.
It a person experiences fever, headache, and a stiff neck, they should seek help immediately.
Other symptoms can include:
In newborns, symptoms can include:
being slow or inactive
Learn more about bacterial meningitis.
A doctor can treat bacterial meningitis with antibiotics, and this should happen as soon as possible.
Both smoking and vaping have side effects and risks. Scientists do not fully understand the long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) yet, but the science indicates that they are not a safe alternative to smoking.
Vaping involves breathing in an aerosol that contains several chemicals, including nicotine and flavoring, through an e-cigarette or other device. A 2018 survey found that vaping is growing in popularity among teenagers.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), many people believe that vaping is safer than smoking, but this is not necessarily the case. Mounting evidence suggests that vaping is dangerous.
Neither smoking nor vaping is beneficial to human health. Based on the available evidence, smoking appears to be more harmful than vaping. However, this does not mean that vaping is safe.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, vaping may be slightly less harmful than smoking. They note that a person who smokes inhales about 7,000 chemicals, whereas vaping likely involves a lower number of chemicals.
The AHA note that vaping liquids contain fewer contaminants than cigarettes. However, they also state that vaping is not safe due to the following reasons:
E-cigarettes contain a large dose of nicotine, a substance known to slow the development of brains in fetuses, children, and teens.
The liquid that creates the vapor is dangerous to adults and children if they swallow or inhale it or get it on their skin.
Vaping also delivers several dangerous chemicals, including diacetyl, cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Vaping may normalize smoking again as it becomes more popular.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by early 2020, there had been a total of 2,807 hospitalizations or deaths from vaping.
However, the CDC also acknowledge that since the removal of vitamin E acetate from vaping products, along with other harmful ingredients, the number of symptoms that people experience from vaping has declined.
Unlike vaping, which is relatively new, there are years of research to fully back up claims that smoking is damaging to human health. According to the CDC, smoking causes:
damage to every organ in the body
more than 480,000 deaths a year in the United States
90% of all lung cancer deaths
about 80% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
an increased risk of death
an increased risk of developing health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke
Long-term effects of smoking
Smoking has many adverse effects on the body in the long term. The CDC report that smoking:
reduces sperm count
increases the risk of pregnancy loss or congenital disabilities
increases the risk of cataracts
impairs immune system function
increases general inflammation
can cause cancer in nearly any part of the body, including the lungs, kidneys, and stomach
triggers asthma attacks
causes blockages in veins and arteries
increases the risk of stroke
reduces the overall health of a person, causing issues such as missed work and increased healthcare costs
Long-term effects of vaping
Data on the long-term effects of vaping are currently limited. According to the University of Iowa, the idea behind vaping was that it would be a safer way for smokers to get nicotine. However, most evidence suggests that this is not the case. Vaping can:
damage the lungs
release free radicals into the body, which promote cancer development
weaken the immune system
delay brain development in fetuses, children, and teenagers
Future studies will likely show that vaping has additional long-term health effects that scientists have not yet discovered.
Some people have also reported sustaining burns when recharging e-cigarettes due to defective batteries leading to explosions.