Mental health sufferers encouraged to use NHS talking therapy service

Richmondshire residents experiencing mental health difficulties are being encouraged to refer themselves to a NHS talking therapy service.

It is known that one in four people will experience difficulties in their mental health at some point in their lives.

Significant events or a build-up of stresses such as work place problems, a change in life circumstances, a traumatic event or a specific phobia could lead to difficulties managing our mental wellbeing.

Problems with low mood, depression and anxiety can develop and make it difficult for us to cope with life’s daily demands.

NHS officials say the North Yorkshire Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service, known as IAPT, can support people experiencing mild to moderate difficulties with any of the following:

  • depression
  • anxiety and worry
  • panic attacks
  • health anxiety
  • social phobia
  • specific phobias
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Dr Charles Parker, clinical chair of NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (HRW CCG) which buys the service for the local area said: “We know that the winter and festive period is particularly challenging for people who experience mental health difficulties; especially those who live in our most isolated areas.

“If you, or someone you care for start to feel the need for mental health support, you can contact the IAPT service directly which means you don’t have to see your GP first.

“We also have a service specifically for vulnerable veterans and adult dependants due to our large serving and retired personnel populations.

“We also think it’s important for patients to know that the IAPT service is not a crisis or urgent response service for people who are severely unwell.

“ou should always dial 999 in a medical emergency, call NHS 111 for any urgent concerns or ring your local GP practice if you feel IAPT is not for you. You can visit to find contact details for your local crisis support team.”

Andrew Wright, North Yorkshire IAPT service manager, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said: “To make sure IAPT is right for you, you will be offered a focused initial assessment over the phone. (Alternative arrangements can be made if required)

“At the end of the assessment you will be directed to the most appropriate support for your needs. This might include guided self-learning, attending a psychoeducational course, computerised guided self-help, or in some cases cognitive behavioural therapy.

“If you would prefer to discuss things with your GP first, please make an appointment. Your GP can also help you refer to IAPT, or to a suitable alternative.”

IAPT is a national NHS programme to increase the availability of talking therapy treatments recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to treat anxiety and depression.

More information can be found at

1 Comment

  1. No. The article above is ill-informed. IAPT fails as it places focus on a mere symptom of the main problem. IAPT statistics are manipulated in many areas of the UK, in order to obtain service payments from local doctors. I have spoken with friends who just like I did, found that patients are expected to report feeling better – even when they’re not. This is NOT a mental health service. It’s a ‘temporary make over’ service that will toy with your life and ‘sex up’ their results.

    IAPT may have some good aspects to boast of and some nice people but overall, their ethos places their own exitence well before the patient. Staff are often under unreasonable pressure to create ‘money’ for the service. You can ssense this all the time. It’s a bad approach but it is fairly normal in IAPT services.

    In IAPT the patient’s wishes are often completely ignored. Instead, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is the name of the game. If attending, you will meet staff having grand titles but very basic training, who know precious little awareness of psychological conditions, duty of care or genuinely ethical practice.

    By all means try IAPT but do not go there if you have any serious family or relationship concerns or if requiring any medium to serious disturbing problems investigated. IAPT are never thorough. You will not find the quality of help you deserve and your care will be heavily rationed. IAPT will attempt a short-term fix and will mostly even fail at that. Over half the people who go there walk away feeling badly let down. IAPT is the NHS at it’s very worst. It employs the most basic and watered down treatments. I would be more kind with my words if the situation wasn’t so potentially, deadly serious.

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