Mental Health Mondays

A resource guide for better mental health. By Dr Kathryn Ragan.

Mental Health

It’s important to look after our mental health and emotional wellbeing. Many of us live a fast-paced lifestyle in a busy world that can often become overwhelming and stressful. When you have a lot going on, are experiencing big changes or loss in your life, and even when it seems like there’s no reason, we can all find that we feel anxious or low in mood.

Sometimes these feelings pass on their own and other times we need help. If you are ever struggling to manage your feelings, you can speak to your GP. You can also self-refer to NHS Talking Therapies. You can find your local service here. These services are designed to support everyone, no matter the severity of their mental health problems, so please do not worry about “not suffering enough” or being “too complex.” They are there to guide you to whatever support you need.

Special thanks

Dr Kathryn Ragan
HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist

Carringtons Coffee Co. give a special thanks to Dr Kathryn Ragan for her expertise and time in writing what we hope is a useful signpost to those seeking mental health help and advice.

Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

  • Feeling tired, struggling to sleep, oversleeping
  • Low appetite, or overeating
  • Negative thoughts about yourself and the future
  • Feeling lethargic, moving and speaking more slowly
  • Suicidal thoughts and urges to harm yourself
  • Feeling empty, numb, and disconnected
  • Heart beating really fast, trouble catching your breath
  • Feeling hot and sweaty, or clammy
  • Tension in any area of your body, but often your jaw or shoulders
  • Feeling restless and unable to relax
  • Racing thoughts
  • Worrying about the future, preoccupation with things going wrong

NHS Talking Therapies

Our brains have evolved to protect us from danger and our bodies have complex defence mechanisms to help us stay safe. However, these defence strategies can become more and more sensitive as our brains work hard to protect us, and we can find that we become scared or avoidant of things that aren’t threatening in reality. The best way to overcome this is to challenge ourselves, but this is difficult, and so you may benefit from support with this. NHS Talking Therapies are a great resource for this support.

Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts are distressing but are a warning sign that we feel hopeless and overwhelmed by our feelings. We can worry about upsetting people by telling people that we feel this way. When we feel suicidal, our problem-solving skills shut down and death can feel like the only escape. We can feel like we are the only person that feels this way and that no one will understand. This is never the case, and I would encourage you to reach out to someone. This might be someone you already know, or it can be a professional.

Talking Helps

Many people do not talk about their emotions and become less likely to do so when they are struggling. It is important for us to challenge the stigma around mental health problems, because when someone keeps difficult feelings to themselves, their wellbeing can decline. If we speak honestly about our own distress and make an effort to genuinely ask others about their wellbeing, we can help these conversations become more normal and less shameful. 

The Samaritans

The Samaritans are always there to listen, no matter what is on your mind. They are available 24/7 every day of the year. You can contact them in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable

Free phone

116 123



Letter: Just address your letter to



There is a lot of information out there for people that want to learn more about different mental health problems and how to manage them. The amount of information can be overwhelming at times, so here are a couple of sources that I would recommend:

Get self help 

NHS self-help guides

Headspace App

Samaritans App

Outdoor Pursuits For Better Mental Wellbeing: Research

Exercise is a strong anti-depressant intervention

Morres, I. D., Hatzigeorgiadis, A., Stathi, A., Comoutos, N., Arpin‐Cribbie, C., Krommidas, C., & Theodorakis, Y. (2019). Aerobic exercise for adult patients with major depressive disorder in mental health services: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Depression and anxiety36(1), 39-53.

physical activity in natural spaces can reduce the risk of experiencing poor mental health

Mitchell, R. (2013). Is physical activity in natural environments better for mental health than physical activity in other environments?. Social science & medicine91, 130-134.

Outdoor swimming is good for both mental and physical wellbeing

Burlingham, A., Denton, H., Massey, H., Vides, N., & Harper, C. M. (2022). Sea swimming as a novel intervention for depression and anxiety-A feasibility study exploring engagement and acceptability. Mental Health and Physical Activity23, 100472.

Spending time in green and blue spaces in general is related with positive wellbeing and lower mental distress

White, M. P., Elliott, L. R., Grellier, J., Economou, T., Bell, S., Bratman, G. N., ... & Fleming, L. E. (2021). Associations between green/blue spaces and mental health across 18 countries. Scientific reports, 11(1), 8903.

Mindfulness skills help to support good wellbeing and the benefits can be greater when you practice these skills in a natural outdoor environment

Djernis, D., Lerstrup, I., Poulsen, D., Stigsdotter, U., Dahlgaard, J., & O’Toole, M. (2019). A systematic review and meta-analysis of nature-based mindfulness: Effects of moving mindfulness training into an outdoor natural setting. International journal of environmental research and public health16(17), 3202.