Male or female, young or old - mental health doesn’t discriminate. Here’s how to get support from a mental health helpline​ if you live in Bradford and Craven.

Guide-Line, run by the charity Mind in Bradford, is open between 8am until 12am [midnight] 7 days a week, providing telephone and live-chat support every day of the year. 

We chat to their service manager Phil Woodward, who talks to us about those who have had their lives turned around after reaching out for support and how you can get the help you need. 

“Our service was continuing to expand to meet growing needs,” he says. “Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women, with only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies being used by men, resulting in three times as many men as women die by suicide. 

“We extended our opening hours this year to 8am. We hope to be able to support people who may be unable to get through to their GP at that time and are left feeling anxious or frustrated,” he added.  

“There is always emotional support available, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We can support and signpost but most importantly, we listen.” 

“And when we hear the feedback from those we have helped, it really speaks for itself as to the wonderful progress we’re making with mental health support.” 

Phil tells us about Patrick, a 50-year-old man who had struggled with his mental health for several years. He’s experienced problems with substance misuse, bereavement, sexuality, identity and self-harm. 

He became a regular called at Guide-Line eight years ago, where Guide-Line workers helped introduce him to methods of self-care and guiding him through techniques for self-harm, as well as supporting him as he came to terms with being a bi-sexual, Catholic man. 

“You have helped more than you can ever imagine,” he said of Guide-Line and their support. “Seven or eight years I hadn’t come out of the closet, I was using hard drugs, it was getting worse and you help me understand my sexuality and accept myself for who I am; a bisexual Catholic man. My drug use was partly due to not coming out of the closet and Guide-Line helped me with this and understanding myself.” 

Some other experiences of users who have reached out to Guide-Line 

  • “Guide-Line has been a great source of support and is the best helpline I have used.” 
  • “I can’t tell you how much difference you’ve made.”  
  • “Found it helpful to talk today to reduce feelings of isolation.”  
  • “I have calmed down while talking to you.”  
  • “You’re so calm, you let me speak and I can tell you are listening to me.”  
  • “Thank you, you really helped - this call means the world.”  
  • “It is nice to speak to someone who understands what I go through on a daily basis.”  
  • “I feel validated when I call Guide-Line.”  
  • “It’s really helped me and people at Guide-Line helped me through a bad patch.”  
  • “Guide-Line has helped me keep going and stay alive.”

The service has grown to help people of all ages who live in Bradford district and Craven who are seeking help with their mental health and emotional wellbeing, and carers and professionals looking for advice, both over the phone and online. 

Between April 2021 and March 2022, the Mind in Bradford team of staff and volunteers took more than 8,000 calls. A growing number of people are now choosing the live-chat option to access the service. Telephone support can now be offered in more than 100 languages, including Urdu, Arabic, Polish and Punjabi. 

Guide-Line can also arrange appointments with the new mental health crisis service Safe Spaces, which offers same-day support at hubs in Keighley and Bradford, drop-in sessions across the district and overnight stays for children and young people. 

The Safe Spaces service helps people aged seven upwards who are having distressing feelings such as severe anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, intense depression or feelings of disassociation.

Support is confidential and can be completely anonymous. To talk to Guide-Line, call 08001 884 884 or chat online