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Mental health partnership to provide access to talking therapies in mid Essex

A partnership between a mental health services provider and local mental health charity has been awarded a contract to improve access to psychological therapies for people living in mid Essex.

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) and Mid Essex Mind will work together to deliver the Improved Access to Psychological Therapy services (IAPT).

One in four people will experience some form of mental health illness at some point in their lives. IAPT offers access to treatment for mild to moderate mental health problems like anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress and depression, using a variety of therapies, including computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (CCBT), self-help, individual therapy, group treatment and employment support.

The varied range of treatments and support means that people can continue with their daily life but still have access to treatments that can fit in around work, family and other commitments.

While the partnership will be exploring opportunities to enhance the existing service, current service users and their families and carers will not experience any disruption.

Dr Nick White, HPFT’s lead for IAPT, said: “We are really excited to have won this contract. We have an excellent track record for delivering IAPT services to those living in Hertfordshire, and we recognise the benefits of these types of therapies to help those who use the services improve their mental wellbeing and let them live their lives to the fullest. We are looking forward to bringing our expertise to those in Essex who may need help with their mental wellbeing.”

Michelle Bennett, Chief Executive for Mid Essex Mind, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with HPFT to provide support work and specialist employment advice in the Mid Essex IAPT service. We fully support the benefits of talking therapies, and see our involvement as a way of making people aware that psychological treatments could help improve the quality of life of many people.

“To have the opportunity to help people in Mid Essex in new ways is a very exciting prospect, but we want to reassure people living with common mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, that we will work with HPFT to ensure a smooth transition from the current providers and continue to deliver high quality, person-focused support.”

Iain Tweedlie, clinical lead for mental health at Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “HPFT offers an innovative outreach approach. Common mental health problems can have a major impact on people’s lives so helping them access a range of talking therapies quickly can make a real difference.  It’s not just about reducing waiting times, it’s about developing the positive approaches already in place and working seamlessly with the other mid Essex mental health services so that people get the right care at the right time. Mid Essex and HPFT are committed to equality and diversity and will proactively engage with people who in the past may have found it difficult to get help or navigate health services.”

People can be referred to IAPT by their GP or they can refer themselves to the service.