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Information alert

Please note that the IAPT service is not a crisis service, and we are not able to see people who are in a crisis or who need urgent help. 

The Talking Therapies service (formerly Improving Access to Psychological Therapies -IAPT) is for adults and older people aged 16 years and over, with mild, moderate and moderate-to-severe symptoms of anxiety or depression, who are likely to benefit from brief psychological therapy.

Using a stepped care approach, the team provides screening assessments and psychological interventions to individuals suffering with common mental health problems. They provide a range of evidence based psychological interventions, where all their therapies follow guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 

There are a variety of ways in which they can offer you help depending on your needs, these include: computerised packages, group interventions, telephone contacts or individual sessions.

Initially, you will be offered a telephone screening appointment to discuss the problem you are currently experiencing and want help with. As part of this you will be asked to complete some questionnaires about how you are currently feeling. These can also be completed online prior to the assessment. A decision will then be made about what help will be most beneficial for you at this time.

It is important to understand that psychological interventions can be hard work, both during and in between contacts. It is important to realise that there will be no overnight changes; it could take time and commitment to benefit from therapy.

At the end of each contact with a psychological practitioner, tasks you will need to complete before your next session will be agreed so you can put into practice the knowledge and skills you learn. Your progress towards achieving your specific goals will be reviewed at each contact. Research shows that people who set goals and carry out ‘homework’ recover quicker and stay recovered for longer.

It is important that you are able to make a commitment to regular contacts; whether they are over the telephone, group or face to face sessions, to get the best from psychological help.

The West Cheshire Talking Therapies Team consists of a range of Psychological Practitioners. These include: Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP’s), Cognitive Behavioural Therapists (CBT Therapists), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapists (EMDR Therapists) and Counsellors.

The team provides services across Western Cheshire, which includes Ellesmere Port and Neston, Chester, Chester Rural, Frodsham and Helsby. These clinic appointments are provided within local GP surgeries, community clinic venues, or hospital locations.

Self-help is a broad term that refers to improving mental health or personal wellness without extensive professional help. It can be used for a variety of issues and you can do this work in your own time to help with problems such as stress, anxiety and depression.

They can also be convenient if:

  • you are wanting information about the problems you are experience o help you understand what you are experiencing and suggestions of what you can do to manage these more effectively
  • you are short of time, you have family or work commitments
  • you can't get out easily

For some, this is enough to help and they no longer need therapy as they can put into practice the information they have been looking in to. Whilst for others, educational reading and self-help techniques from a range of different resources can help individual prepare for therapy and find it easier to engage with. The list below details some recommended online self-help materials and resources:

  • Northumberland self help - this includes a large range of self-help guides that are available to download in several formats. Information is available on abuse, alcohol, anxiety, bereavement, self-esteem, depression, controlling anger, and much more. 
  • Moodjuice website - on the Moodjuice site, you can print off various self-help guides covering conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, panic and sleep problems.
  • Moodgym - Moodgym is a free, web based programme that a range of self-help information for low mood.
  • Get Self Help - Get Self Help is a website based on CBT techniques and information. 
  • CCI Health - the CCI Health site focuses on anxiety, low mood and eating disorders.
  • Life Signs - the Life Signs side aims to raise awareness about self-injury and provide information and support to people of all ages affected by self-injury.
  • No More Panic - the No More Panic site provides information about Panic, Anxiety, Phobias and OCD. 
  • Big White Wall - this is the support network for emotional wellbeing. It also provides resources for Serving Personnel, Veterans and their families.

If you would like to access an online programme and work alongside a practitioner then SilverCloud could be a useful option for you. SilverCloud enables you to access a programme full of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques for anxiety and depression. It allows you to complete therapy in your own time, at a time and pace that suits you, whilst having regular online reviews with a qualified mental health practitioner. It is particularly useful for individuals that would struggle to attend regular appointments during the day.

You can view a video for more information below:

The service is for anyone aged 16 and older who is living in West Cheshire and experiencing any of the following difficulties:

  • Depression and Low mood
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Health Anxiety and Medically Unexplained Symptoms
  • Social Phobia
  • Specific Phobia
  • Single Incident Trauma (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Bereavement & Loss
  • Insomnia
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Anxiety/ depression in people with long term conditions
  • Post-natal anxiety/depression

You can access the service in more than one way:

Make a self-referral by calling us

Our administration team are available to take your Self-Referral call on 0151 488 8348 between the hours of 9am and 5pm Mon to Fri excluding Bank holidays. They will take your details along with a brief description of your problem and a mental health nurse will review your referral and an appointment will be sent to you within a few days.

GP/health professional referral

The IAPT service will accept referrals from GPs or other healthcare professionals (e.g. health visitors or community nurses). If you ask your GP to refer you to the service, he or she will be able to complete our referral form and refer you to our service.

Make a self-referral to acess SilverCloud online therapy

To use the SilverCloud platform, you can complete a self-referral form on the Patient Portal website. Once you have completed the form, the system will inform you whether this option is appropriate for you. If it is appropriate, you will be contacted directly by a member of the team.

Monday to Friday: 8:00am until 6:30pm