Welcome to our Self-Help page

Learning ways of improving our mental health and wellbeing is important to all of us.

Research has shown that for many people, self-help can be an effective way of learning how to manage stress and common mental health problems.

On this page you will find up to date information about a range of self-help resources, materials and services which are easily accessible and free of charge.

Table of Contents



Self-Help Booklets

A number of booklets and leaflets are available to view and download from this site. These leaflets are also available from other sources such as GP surgeries, community mental health nurses, and local organisations that support people with mental health difficulties. These have been organized into three different levels.

Simply click on the titles below to access the booklets online or to print them off. These files are provided in Adobe PDF ©  format set to open in a new window.

Level 1 – Information on Mental Health Conditions

The main focus of these booklets is to provide information about common mental ill-health conditions and psychological distress.

Lothian Psychological Interventions Network Booklets

Talking About… Booklets

The Talking About… booklets reflect discussions, suggestions and comments made by service users, health professionals, professional bodies, lay and voluntary organisations.

Level 2 – Advice and Coping

These booklets provide advice on coping with psychological issues, and include some information about where to get further help and support.

Lothian Psychological Interventions Network Booklets

Level 3 – Self Directed Planning

These booklets are self-directed and encourage the user to be reflective. The user is encouraged to record progress through observation of changes. When using the material, the user plans and implements changes to their behaviour and routine.

Moodjuice Booklets

These booklets cover a wide variety of subjects and offer useful skills to cope.

Self-Help Books: Help Yourself to Health

From Your GP and Local Library

Your GP or health professional can now recommend a self help book by giving you a book prescription. On it will be details of a suggested book title from a recommended list which you can borrow from your local library.  Your prescritpion might also include some useful websites.

These books have been specifically chosen by health and information professionals to help people cope with difficult and emotional times in their lives.

You can access these books through your GP by prescription of from City of Edinburgh Council libraries.

Please click here for a full list of books available as part of the Help Yourself to Health scheme plus a bit of information about each book.


Guided Self-Help

Edinburgh GPs can now refer people to Guided Self-Help, a short term therapy for people with mild to moderate stress, anxiety, depression or low mood.

The service is run by trained Guided Self-Help Workers. The Workers can introduce you to and supply you with self-help materials which you can work through on your own. These materials are designed to help you understand and address your problems independently.

Most of the materials used are based on ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ techniques (‘CBT’). The CBT approach is structured, commonly using images, self instruction and other techniques to develop thinking and strategies to enable us to overcome and deal with situations which may currently contribute to our depression or anxiety.

Workers can offer up to four 1 to 1 sessions (usually a few weeks apart) to review progress and support you to develop some of the self-help ideas further.


To find out more about Guided Self Help contact your GP or click here.

Stress Control Classes

Stress Control is a 6-week evening class focusing on understanding what stress is, how it affects us and how we can manage it. At any one time, it is believed 1 in 5 of us suffer from stress and the sources of stress are widespread. During the course, we explore how stress affects how we think, how our body feels, what we do and our sleep pattern. The course is educational and each session is complimented with a summary handout and relaxation materials.

The course is free to attend and places can be booked by contacting Health in
Mind on 0131 225 8508 or contactus@health-in-mind.org.uk

You can find out when the next classes are running on the Edspace Events page here and on the NHS Lothian website here.


 Telephone Self Help

Living Life is a free telephone self help service, for adults in Scotland who have anxiety, stress, depression and/or low mood. You can call the confidential phone line on 0800 328 9655 for more information, or see here.


Self-Help Groups

A range of self-help groups are also run at different locations across the city. Use our Service Directory to search for self-help groups.


Self Help Websites


Translated Self-Help Information

Information available in different languages is available from the following websites: