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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Therapy For You’s Innovative Online Courses Overcome Barriers to Mental Health Access

Therapy For You, the NHS Talking Therapies service available to patients in North East and South East Essex, is breaking down barriers to mental health support by offering a range of clinically-driven online cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) courses. These courses, developed in partnership with Omnitherapy, provide patients with immediate and convenient access to essential mental health resources.

In light of the ongoing need for improved access to mental health services, as highlighted by the UK government’s pledge of an additional £150 million in funding earlier this year, Therapy For You’s online CBT courses address the pressing demand for prompt and accessible support. The limited number of high-quality therapists has resulted in substantial waiting times, both within the NHS and private practices. In 2020-21 alone, there were over 1.4 million referrals to talking therapy services in the UK, highlighting the urgency of the situation.

However, waiting lists are not the only obstacles preventing individuals from seeking the help they require. A recent survey conducted by YouGov revealed that the social stigma associated with face-to-face therapy also acts as a deterrent. To overcome these challenges and offer support during waiting periods, Therapy For You has developed online courses that have already helped thousands of people develop techniques to support their mental wellbeing.

Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), explains the rationale behind these online courses: “Whether seeking private or NHS support, accessing vital mental health services can be time-consuming or intimidating for some individuals. However, patients should not have to compromise on their wellbeing while waiting. That’s why we partnered with Omnitherapy to develop a new type of online CBT course that is clinically written and professionally delivered, providing free and readily available support to patients in North East and South East Essex.”

Therapy For You’s online CBT courses consist of a series of video sessions led by qualified NHS Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs). Users can choose from a range of 9 courses:

Upon creating a free account on the Therapy For You website, patients can immediately begin any online course. They are asked to complete GAD-7 and PHQ-9 questionnaires at the start of each course, allowing users and the Therapy For You team to monitor changes in mood as the techniques taught in the courses are implemented.

Richard emphasises the importance of these questionnaires: “Both GAD-7 and PHQ-9 are easy to complete but play a vital role in our process. By assessing patients’ initial mood, we gain insight into their overall emotional state, which can be monitored throughout the course, enabling us to provide expert intervention if needed.”

The courses are tailored to address specific issues, based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques. Users are provided with downloadable resources to support the implementation of the learned techniques. Each course is divided into smaller sessions, with a mandatory 4-day break between sessions, making them easily digestible and accessible from any location. This approach encourages users to practice the learned skills and apply them to their daily lives.

Therapy For You’s pioneering approach to online therapy has already achieved significant success, helping thousands of individuals in the local community access vital mental wellbeing support. Richard expresses his satisfaction with the impact of the online courses and emphasises the commitment to enhancing the library of resources, ensuring users can develop lasting CBT skills that will remain relevant in our increasingly digital world.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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