How mental health services in Hampshire have adapted during the coronavirus pandemic

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THERAPISTS providing mental health support have reassured people they are still here for those who need help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff at italk have been providing support by phone or video calls, making their online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme service, SilverCloud, more accessible, introducing mood management webinars and offering guidance to help maintain the health and emotional wellbeing through lockdown.

Dr Laura Dannahy, divisional lead for Psychological Therapies, said: ‘We are still here to support your mental health needs. If you are suffering with stress, low mood, depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, OCD, or a specific phobia that impacts on your life – we can help you.

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‘We can offer a range of interventions, these include online therapy, and practical courses to introduce you to coping skills, including specific evidence based psychological interventions for mental health difficulties.

‘We can also offer video appointments so you can speak to a professional from your own home at this time. So if you are in need of mental health support, please make sure you access our mental health services and help us help you.’

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Southern Health NHS Trust’s italk provides vital mental health support to anyone, over the age of 16, living in Hampshire – excluding Southampton, which has a similar service called Steps to Wellbeing, and Portsmouth which has a similar service called Talking Change run by Solent NHS Trust.

The Southern Health team has replaced face to face appointments with telephone and video calls using a communication platform called Visionable. The trust has now delivered over 169,000 minutes of video calls and this equates to over 10,000 hours of patient support.

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italk has also published a number of videos highlighting their ‘five steps to wellbeing’ to help people maintain their mental health and emotional wellbeing

Sara Langston, italk patient engagement and marketing manager, said: ‘Our five steps to wellbeing are just like getting your five fruit and veg a day but for your emotional health rather than your physical health.’

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