Patients with long term conditions are benefitting from enhanced mental health support in North West London.
Talking therapies support* is available for people who find the day-to-day management of their condition leaves them feeling low.
In the last four months, more than 200 people living with long term conditions have received treatment for low mood, anxiety and depression.
Existing talking therapy services have recently been expanded in North West London to focus on providing support for people living with long term conditions, predominantly diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).
A Brent patient who is living with Type 2 diabetes used the talking therapies service run by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. They said:
“Thank you so much for just listening to me and reinforcing that I was doing well. Talking therapies have been so important in reducing my anxiety and helping me to allow myself to feel confident in the management of my health. I feel so much better than when I first came and I know what I need to continue doing to get where I want to be in the future.”
Since undergoing a new training programme, counsellors and psychological wellbeing practitioners have a more in-depth understanding of the relationship between mental and physical health. As a result they can provide better mental health support for people living with a long term condition.
The NHS in North West London teamed up with experts at the University of Kent’s Centre for Health Services Studies and Chartered Psychologist, Dr Kate Hamilton-West, to develop the training programme which enhanced participants’ understanding as well as their self-confidence. Upon completion, practitioners understood the role patients played in managing their condition and felt more confident in helping them to do so.
Kiran Seth (pictured), a counsellor for the talking therapies service in Brent, said:
“The training gave me a better understanding of long term conditions and how they can affect a patient’s mental wellbeing. This will help me build patients’ confidence in our service as they know we are aware of their needs.”
An online version of the training is available to all practitioners across the country and can be accessed here.
*Talking therapies offer range of services to help people who may be feeling low or in need of talking to someone about how they feel.