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Talking therapies are working well to relieve stress and anxiety in Bath and north east Somerset

1st Dec 15

Talking therapies which help people deal with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression are working well in Bath and north east Somerset.

More people are responding to treatment in the district than the target set by the NHS.

Some 60 per cent of people who took advantage of the free local Talking Therapies Service felt better afterwards compared with a target of 50 per cent.

The service offers support for a range of issues including eating disorders, health anxieties, relationship problems and panic attacks through group courses and one-to-one sessions.

It is free for anyone aged over 18 who is registered with a GP in Bath and north east Somerset, and for youths aged between 16 and 18 who are out of full-time education.

They can find out more on the Talking Therapies website where they can book themselves onto a course they think is right for them.

Ursula James, clinical lead of the BaNES Talking Therapies Service said the courses are for anyone experiencing difficulties.

"Life can throw up all sorts of difficulties and even day-to-day life, both at home and at work, can be stressful," she said.

"We offer many types of support for a variety of issues, ranging from general stress to low self-esteem and anxiety. We run a wide variety of free psycho-educational courses around a range of psychological and emotional difficulties.

"We aim to help people feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible, so no-one will be asked to do anything that they do not wish to."

All of the courses are run by trained practitioners and most use the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) technique which has been proven to help treat a wide range of mental health problems by looking at how people perceive a situation and how this affects the way they act.

Although some of the courses are for groups of up to 15 people, there is no obligation to speak and there are no "ice-breaker" exercises.

Courses are run at different times during the day and in different venues around BaNES. The courses vary in length, with a range of two to five weekly sessions. For most of the courses, each session lasts for two hours with a ten-minute break halfway through.

Recent feedback from 112 patients showed that 107 felt staff listened to them and treated their concerns seriously at all times.

Ninety said they had confidence in their therapist at all times while 78 said they felt involved in making choices about their treatment.

Sue, 55 from Keynsham attended a course in May to help her manage stress.

She said: "The course taught me lots of useful techniques like breathing exercises and how to talk about my problems. It was nice to be with people who are in the same situation and I was given information on what I could do to help myself after the course had finished."

The local Talking Therapies Service It is run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and funded by NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group.

Article from Bath Chronicle >>

 

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