Therapy For You, the NHS Talking Therapies service available in North East and South East Essex, is breaking down barriers to mental health support by offering a range of clinically-driven online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) courses. These first-of-their-kind courses provide immediate and convenient access to essential mental health resources for patients.
Developed through a collaboration between Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Omnitherapy, Therapy For You’s online CBT courses are free to use and accessible to individuals in Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point, and Rochford.
Those struggling may also need even more help. If this is the case, we would recommend looking at inpatient rehab for mental health.
Online therapy enables immediate support for well-being
The issue of mental health access has gained significant attention, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently allocating an additional £150 million in funding to improve mental health services across the UK. However, the scarcity of high-quality therapists has resulted in long waiting lists, both in the NHS and private practices. Recent data shows that there is currently only one consultant psychiatrist for every 12,000 people in England, while the number of referrals to talking therapy services in the UK exceeded 1.4 million in 2020-21.
Waiting lists are not the only obstacle preventing individuals from seeking help. A recent YouGov survey revealed that the social stigma associated with face-to-face therapy is another common deterrent. Therapy For You’s online courses address these challenges by providing accessible support that circumvents waiting times and addresses people’s concerns about in-person therapy. Thousands of individuals have already benefited from these courses, acquiring techniques to support their well-being.
“Whether accessing mental health support through private practices or the NHS, the process can be time-consuming or intimidating for some. However, patients should not have to go without support during the waiting period or compromise on their well-being,” says Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at EPUT.
Recognising the need for online services, Therapy For You partnered with Omnitherapy to develop clinically written and professionally delivered online CBT courses. These courses allow patients in North East and South East Essex to access essential support for free, whenever and wherever they need it.
How Therapy For You’s online CBT courses work
Therapy For You offers a variety of online CBT courses presented through video sessions led by qualified NHS Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs). The current collection of 9 courses:
- Stress & Anxiety
- Panic Attacks
- Understanding Self-Esteem
- Living Well With Physical Health Problems
- Managing Stress in Parenthood
- Postnatal Depression
Upon creating a free account on the Therapy For You website, patients can immediately begin any online course. At the start of each course, users are asked to complete clinically-approved surveys, GAD-7 and PHQ-9, which assess their overall mood.
Throughout the course, individuals continue to complete these questionnaires at the beginning of each session, enabling both users and the Therapy For You team to monitor their mood changes as they implement the learned techniques.
“GAD-7 and PHQ-9 are easy to complete but crucial for our process. By assessing patients’ initial mood, we gain a clear understanding of their overall well-being, which allows us and the users themselves to monitor progress throughout the course,” explains Richard.
Each course is tailored to address specific problems individuals may be facing. All courses are based on CBT techniques, a form of talking therapy that targets negative cycles between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through focused exercises and strategies.
The video-led courses are accompanied by downloadable resources that encourage individuals to put the techniques into practice. Moreover, each course is divided into smaller sessions, with a mandatory 4-day break between sessions, making them more manageable and accessible for use anywhere, from the comfort of one’s home to the morning commute.
“The 4-day break is a crucial aspect of our online courses as it allows users to apply what they have learned, complete the provided worksheets, and take small, positive steps towards improving their mood. These skills can be utilised throughout life. It’s like learning a musical instrument—the more you practice, the better you become,” explains Richard.
Therapy For You’s pioneering approach to online therapy has already made a significant impact, helping thousands of people in the local community access vital mental well-being support.
“We are delighted that our online courses have had such a positive impact in our area and on our service. Looking ahead, we remain committed to enhancing our library of resources, enabling users to develop long-lasting CBT skills for life and positioning our service as a relevant resource in our increasingly digital world,” concludes Richard.