Tracey is advising people in Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells areas of the easier access to free NHS talking therapies.
The number of organisations in the NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area which provide talking therapies such as counselling and psychotherapy has doubled, and patients can also refer themselves.
Talking therapies, also known as psychological therapies, help people cope with:
• emotional problems
• relationship problems
• troublesome habits like OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
• other problems, such as hearing voices and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
• anger management
They can also help people cope with life changes which occur when they have a long term illness.
Dr David Chesover, Lead GP for Mental Health at NHS West Kent CCG, said: “Talking therapies are available free on the NHS for people who meet the eligibility criteria. You can call direct to book an assessment or your GP can refer you.
“Treatment can include self-help booklets, online sessions, life skills workshops, counselling, and employment-related support and therapy.
“The person carrying out the treatment is usually called a counsellor or therapist. They don’t usually offer advice, instead they help people gain insight into their own issues, feelings and behaviour.
“Talking therapies really do help people to cope with all sorts of problems and in some cases enable patients to avoid medication.”
Most psychological therapies are one-to-one sessions or in groups. Patients may be offered six or more treatment sessions, depending on their needs.
Organisations providing talking therapies in Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells areas include:
Healthy Mind IAPT service in West Kent – www.healthymindwk.org.uk; [email protected]; 0800 2346 733
Insight Healthcare Talking Therapies – [email protected]; 0300 555 5555
KCA – [email protected]; 03000 120012
Kent and Medway Partnership NHS Trust – www.kmpt.nhs.uk/pcpts; 01892 524996/01622 776340/0800 2799500
Moving Minds/Healthshare – [email protected]; 01732 897878
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust SleepStation – [email protected]; 0845 260 6106
Psychology On Line – www.psychologyonline.co.uk; 01954 230 066; [email protected]
Talking Matters Kent – [email protected]; 0300 3305470
Dr Chesover added: “There are many different types of therapy and the initial assessment will help to determine which type is most suitable for the person needing talking therapies.”
You can find out about the different types of therapy on the Mind website – www.mind.org.uk
Kent and Medway have their own mental health website – www.liveitwell.org.uk which includes lots of useful information about therapies and mental health support locally.
If you do not have access to the internet, or would prefer to speak to someone, you can call the Live It Well 24 hour Mental Health Matters Helpline on 0800 107 0160 and a trained telephone adviser will support you to find help. Mental Health Matters also have a freephone number for mobiles: 0300 330 5486. You can also talk to your GP.