More help for mental health issues

BETTER access is to be provided to help people experiencing every day mental health problems.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is raising awareness about computerised programs which people can access themselves, as long as they are registered with a North Tyneside GP.

The programs are part of a government drive to improve access to psychological therapies.

Anna Hodgson, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) coach at the Trust, said: “Computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is great for people who lead busy lives or who find it difficult to make an appointment.

“You can log on and access the program at a time and location that is convenient to you.

“It’s straight forward to use and each person is linked with a CBT coach, to help them to get the best out of the program and to help to manage the symptoms of low mood or anxiety.

“It takes CBT out of the therapy room and into the front rooms and lives of people who use it.

“People who have used computerised CBT have liked the flexibility of the program, being able refer back to sections and speak to someone to help them to manage their symptoms better.

“Many people have said that working online has helped them to gain the confidence to be open about the issues affecting them now.”

The “Beating the Blues” computerised program is available if people are feeling low. The program takes people through eight steps, showing them how to challenge unhelpful ways of thinking, manage their sleep and reintroduce pleasurable activities into their daily life.

Meanwhile, the “Fearfighter” computerised program can help people if they stop going to certain places because of fear or anxiety. The program helps people to work out exactly what brings on their fear, so that they can learn how to face their fears until they subside.

For more information, visit www.northtynesidebrighterminds.nhs.uk or call (0191) 295 2774.