A SERVICE providing free mental health advice to thousands of people has won the contract to continue giving treatment and support.
iTalk is a psychological therapy service run in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and charity Solent Mind.
We are delighted at Solent Mind to have been recommissioned to carry on providing this vital service.Richard Barritt
It was started in 2010 and thanks to a new contract will continue to offer a range of treatments freely available to anyone aged 16 and over and registered with a GP.
Operating in Fareham, Gosport and Havant as well as wider areas the service helps patients tackle common issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic, agoraphobia, social anxiety and insomnia.
Solent Mind chief executive Richard Barritt said: ‘We are delighted at Solent Mind to has been recommissioned to carry on providing this vital service.
‘More than 1,000 people every month get help from iTalk for mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
‘The feedback from patients is fantastic. People can access it very quickly. We get some of the best outcomes in the country.’
Since starting in 2010 iTalk has expanded and now employs 150 staff and has helped 55,000 people. It offers one-to-one treatments, groups and online support.
And it offers employment support for patients who are struggling at work.
Hazel Nicholls, consultant clinical psychologist and clinical director of primary care at Southern Health, added: ‘Winning the tender is great news for us. Having been the provider for the last six years we have been able to build iTalk around the needs of the communities we serve.
‘We want to continue refining what we do to provide the best possible outcome for the people we see.
‘Helping people understand their issues and providing them with the tools they need to manage how they are feeling is something we are proud to do and are excited to continue.
‘It is really important that we continue to find new ways to meet the demand of the communities we work with.
‘Our new model allows us to better identify and meet gaps and this was a key part of our bid.’
n For more information visit italk.org.uk or call (023) 8038 3920.
n In Portsmouth call Talking Change on (023) 9289 2920.