The new edition of our HIV, mental health & emotional wellbeing booklet is now available through our patient information scheme (more details below). Members can access it online here: clinic.nam.org.uk
Living with HIV and mental health
Emotional wellbeing and mental health are important for everyone, regardless of their HIV status. With access to HIV treatment, HIV has become a manageable medical condition. Living with HIV however, can mean you are more likely to experience mental health problems. There are different reasons for this, including HIV-related stigma, self-stigma and treatment side effects. Also, the groups most affected by HIV (such as migrants, gay and bisexual men, and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups) are more likely to experience mental health problems. Sometimes mental health challenges are not directly linked to having HIV, but other factors and life events.
A mental health journey is a unique experience. There are different ways to help you manage and improve your mental wellbeing or support someone through a difficult period. This may include different ways to look after yourself and finding informal or professional support.
Information in this booklet
Our new booklet explores the considerations and support options for people living with HIV who are experiencing mental health challenges, including:
- Dealing with mental health problems
- Professional support (understanding the different professions involved in mental health support)
- Peer support
- Naming and understanding mental health problems (including emotional distress, anxiety, depression, treatment for depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive impairment, mania, mood and mental health side effects of HIV treatment)
- Looking after your emotional and mental health
- Supporting somebody with emotional or mental health problems
- Where to go for emotional and mental health advice and support.
The new booklet is still in the handy, pocket-size format of previous editions, but has been redesigned to fit in with the style of our newly redeveloped aidsmap website.
NAM’s Patient Information Subscription Scheme
UK-based HIV and GUM clinics can order copies of HIV, mental health & emotional wellbeing, as well as our other booklets and leaflets in the series The basics, through our online portal as part of their patient information subscription.
To find out if your clinic is registered or for information on joining the scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3727 0123.
We would like to thank the following people for their assistance: Dr Pepe Catalan (Psychiatrist, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust), Dr Stuart Gibson (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Psychology Service, Infection & Immunity, Barts Health NHS Trust), Meriel Rattue (CEO Positively Mindful CIC) and Sophie Strachan.
We are grateful to the Make a Difference Trust and Wandsworth Oasis for funding towards the production of this booklet.