Thousands of Portsmouth residents going through depression and anxiety therapy, reveals NHS
HUNDREDS of depression and anxiety therapy sessions are being carried out in Portsmouth each month, according to statistics.
Figures published by NHS Digital show that Portsmouth CCG held 435 video appointments and 115 online therapy sessions in December last year.
A further 1,490 therapy sessions were held over the phone.
With the online therapy approach, known as internet enabled therapy, much of the learning required to help people deal with emotional difficulties can be achieved by them working through materials on the internet with ongoing contact with a therapist.
This could be by telephone or secure messaging, to provide encouragement, clarify misunderstandings and enhance learning.
Across England, 14,000 appointments were held face-to-face in December, while there were 76,400 video appointments and 37,700 internet enabled therapy sessions.
A spokesman for the NHS said: ‘The NHS has been open to people with concerns about their mental health throughout the pandemic, including through talking therapy sessions which the public can self-refer onto for both face-to-face and online sessions.
‘Referrals have been rapidly increasing recently and anyone who needs help should come forward for NHS support.’
Mental health charity Mind believes that while online therapy is beneficial to some people, it should not become a substitute for face-to-face appointments.
The recording of online appointments data has recently been introduced and some health organisations may be underreporting them, it added.
Leila Reyburn, the charity’s policy and campaigns manager, said: ‘For some people, accessing therapy digitally is preferable, because they don’t have to travel to appointments or prefer to access support from the comfort of their own home rather than a clinical setting, for example.
‘But for others, remote appointments can themselves be a source of anxiety, especially if we’re not used to talking to people over video or phone.
‘We might also be worried about sharing personal and confidential information relating to our mental health, particularly if we live in a small space with other people and are worried about being overheard.
‘We’ve also heard from many people who say that they find it more difficult to build up a trusting relationship with a therapist over phone or online than face-to-face.’
The News launched the There For Each Other campaign in December to highlight the support available to those needing help.