Posted on: 5 February 2020

CNWL is supporting Time To Talk Day on Thursday 6 February 2020.

On this day, we want you to take time out to talk to someone about mental health. A conversation about mental health does not need to feel awkward. You could talk to a colleague or simply text a friend –it can really make a positive difference to someone’s life.

Talking about how you’re feeling can help you for problems such as anxiety and depression.

Sometimes talking to a professional can be helpful too. You can speak to one of our Taking Therapies Services who provide free psychological treatment. Over the past year, the service has achieved the following:

  • Helped over 26,000 patients to enter treatment
  • Offered 145,000 appointments over the phone or face-to-face
  • A satisfaction rate of 91 per cent for the last quarter of 2019-2020
  • 94 per cent of patients reporting that they got the help that mattered to them

The type of treatment you receive can vary. Example of treatment methods include:

  • Guided self-help (face to face, telephone, skype)
  • Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT)
  • Signposting to Community Services
  • Employment Support
  • Psycho-educational Groups and Workshops
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Behavioural Couples Therapy

Patients who have used the service found it to be very beneficial. Here is what they had to say (names have been changed to protect identity).

Hannah’s story

"After an emergency C-section, I was feeling down, crying and being scared of going out with my baby, I was sure something really bad would happen to him. Fortunately, my health visitor identified the symptoms of a postnatal depression and recommended me to talk to my GP.

The therapist was great, professional and human; she included me in all decisions about the treatment and was always making sure I was happy with the treatment suggested.

In the course of six sessions she made me realise I was overestimating my fears and gave me the tools to deal with, and the most important thing, she made me feel "normal" and I understood I was not the only one with this problem.

She took into consideration my little baby so I could attend the sessions with him, and have flexibility with the appointments and locations what made things so much easier for me.

I am really glad this service is offered to people who need and it is easy and fast to access.

Thanks to it now I can enjoy my baby instead of being scared of everything."

Jack’s story

My therapist was welcoming and encouraging, explaining things clearly and simply and listening carefully. We agreed together what to tackle first, helping me to feel safe to talk. Over the 11 sessions I was able tackle things I’ve struggled with for a long time, learned new strategies to cope better and now feel more optimistic about the future.

If anyone is struggling with life and feeling unable to cope I would say that there is no shame in asking for help. The Harrow Talking Therapies service is confidential, free, and easy to engage with and you can refer yourself.

Frederick’s story

Over the years I have actually used Talking Therapies several times, times when I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for various reasons, and also my underlying belief that whatever I do I am simply “not good enough”.  I’m not going to tell anyone that asking for help, talking about things that hurt, or starting to gradually apply CBT techniques is easy; it can be a slow process, but it is a journey and one which the therapists walk with you every step of the way.

Jodie’s story

I started with group sessions, where you can start to understand how your negative thoughts reinforce themselves and heard about techniques that you can try to see what works for you.  Finding tools to help yourself through the day is very empowering, within the group there is no requirement to share experiences, but just knowing that there are other people struggling like you is reassuring.

We are also encouraging staff to mark Time To Talk Day in the workplace, this could be connecting with a colleague over a cuppa at lunch.

Gregory's story

This service helped massively to understand the triggers of my anxiety disorder. Each session covers a life skill and technique that you can master in your own time and to apply in your day to day life; to stop things spiralling out of control. It inspires you to not feel overwhelmed and to break life struggles into smaller tasks and to seek the right support in order to achieve your life goals.

Remember, starting to talk about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult – it can be as simple as making time to listen to someone talk about how they feel.

You can access the Talking Therapies on their website – remember you can refer yourself so there is no need to go through your GP.