I was driving to the supermarket when over the radio I heard a general information bulletin regarding the talking therapies. This was the first time that I had heard that this service was available from the NHS. It got me thinking that maybe given the current pandemic situation and the subsequent restrictions to our normal way of life, that this offer needed to be investigated a little bit deeper.

I decided to log onto the NHS website and look for what was available on talking therapy. To my surprise I found a whole variety of resources, and materials, designed to help those who for whatever reason are struggling to cope. Individuals could even do a self-referral to get counseling from talking therapy. Looking into this further I discovered that to refer yourself you just need to be registered with a GP, you can then refer yourself online, by phone or by email. Once you have done this you will then be contacted by a member of the NHS mental health team, where you will then undergo a quick assessment to get you to the right therapy. These therapies can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can be delivered one to one, or part of a group, or self-help where you will have the support of a mental health adviser. You will also be encouraged, and guided, in ways where you can help improve your own mental health.

The site also as other resources which include things such as BlueIce (Blue Ice) which is an online app that can be downloaded to your Smartphone or a tablet PC. This app is designed mainly for young people to help them manage their emotions and reduce the urge to self-harm. There is also an app called Calm Harm which is designed for the adult age groups but works in the same way as BlueIce. There are many other free online apps such as Catch it, Chill Panda, Cove and amongst these variety of apps there are also several free courses. However, I did see the odd one which had a cost, so be careful of this when looking. 

All in all I found the site to be without doubt one of the best that I had come across, it’s not too difficult to navigate and is full of some very useful information including a video explaining the process. I would highly recommend this site if you or someone you know is struggling with poor mental health, whether that be anxiety, panic attacks, depression or just completely fed up with the current exceedingly difficult situation that we all find ourselves in. Remember it is good to talk and I think that this site by the NHS gives you the opportunity to do just that, and to also realize that you are far from being alone.