Living with a long-term condition isn't always easy. Help is out there if and when you need it. You can turn to others in the same situation as you or to trained professionals.
There are also practical techniques that can make a real difference to the way you feel.
Find out more
Living well with MS sessions
We run online sessions where you can chat, share experiences and explore different ways to live well with MS.
Our virtual wellbeing sessions and information webinars are designed to connect you will other people affected by MS - whether you're newly diagnosed or you've been living with MS for a while.
Talking therapies can help you come to terms with change, and overcome anxiety, depression and other emotional difficulties. They offer a chance to talk about the problems you face in a way that helps you to understand yourself and how you're feeling.
Using this understanding, you may be able to work out ways of taking positive and constructive steps towards improving the way you feel. You may also find you deal with situations in new ways that make them seem less stressful or difficult.
Talking therapies can also help all those affected by MS to feel less alone when dealing with distressing symptoms.
The MS Society Helpline also offers information and support to anyone with MS, their families, friends and carers.
There are a number of different talking therapies, including:
- Counselling: This allows you to talk about the difficulties or troubles you are facing without being interrupted. Counselling is completely confidential
- Psychotherapy: Tries to help you understand why you feel the way you do, and what lies behind your responses to other people and things that happen to you.
- Cognitive behaviour therapy: Focuses on specific, practical problem-solving techniques.
- Self-help groups: These groups, also known as peer support groups, are usually for people who want to overcome a shared problem. You can find out more about these different types of talking therapy from the mental health charity MIND or by asking your doctor. In Scotland, the Scottish Association for Mental Health has more information.
Your GP or MS nurse might be able to help you get access to talking therapies - just ask them to refer you to a specialist.
Unfortunately, access to these therapies on the NHS is limited, and varies from region to region.
If your GP or MS nurse can’t find you someone to talk to on the NHS, or the waiting time is too long, you might want to pay to see someone. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website can help you find a counsellor or therapist.
Your local MS Society group may also have information on counselling services, or may run a group or offer discounted counselling.
The charity MS-UK run a counselling service to people with MS across the UK. The service offers six 50-minute sessions with a qualified counsellor which can be delivered over the phone or via a video link. Find out more at www.ms-uk.org/counselling
Many MS Society local groups have regular support group meetings. Each group also has a fully trained MS support officer who can provide support and offer guidance about other local services available. Counselling is also available from some regional MS Therapy Centres.
Live in Scotland?
COSCA is the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland.
There are lists of accredited counsellor or psychotherapist members and voluntary sector counselling services on its website. These lists can help you find someone in your area. There are also guidelines on how to select a counsellor.
Find out more on the COSCA website
Our Wellbeing hub
Our Wellbeing Hub is a one-stop shop for the information and support you and your family might need during through the COVID-19 crisis in Scotland. It provides a range of free services, including counselling.
My MS, My Way: Tayside
We also run a service for people living in Tayside: My MS, My Way: Tayside. It provides a range of free services, including counselling.
Live in Northern Ireland?
Our Northern Ireland Resource Centre run a counselling service for people living with MS. Find out more by emailing [email protected]
We also run a project called ‘Mind my MS’, working with local charities, Aware NI and Action Mental Health New Life Counselling. Together we can help improve your emotional wellbeing through counselling, mindfulness, and social meet ups.
Live in Wales?
Our wellbeing hub in Wales offers support to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing. We provide counselling, exercise and physiotherapy sessions and activities including yoga, crafts, quizzes, choir, bingo, laughter therapy and tai chi.
These free services are available to anyone living with or affected by MS in Wales.
Contact Sianny Rose and Iwan to find out more: [email protected]