Talking Therapies in BaNES deliver among the best recovery rates in the country

Therapy services in BaNES which help people deal with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression has among the highest recovery rates in the country NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (BaNES CCG) has revealed this World Mental Health Day (10 October).

The Talking Therapies Service, which is run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and funded by BaNES CCG, offers support for a range of issues including eating disorders, health anxieties, relationship problems and panic attacks through group courses and one-to-one sessions.

The service, which is free for people who are registered with a GP in BaNES, has resulted in over 60 percent of participants reporting an improvement in their symptoms – higher than the national target of 50 per cent.

The services are available for anyone over the age of 18 who is registered with a GP practice in BaNES, as well as those aged between 16 and 18 who are out of full-time education. They can find out more on the Talking Therapies website where they can book themselves onto a course they think is right for them.

Ursula James, Clinical Lead of the BaNES Talking Therapies Service, which is an open access IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) service, said the courses are for anyone experiencing difficulties.

She said: “Life can throw up all sorts of difficulties and even day-to-day life, both at home and at work, can be stressful.  We offer many types of support for a variety of issues, ranging from general stress to low self-esteem and anxiety.

“We run a wide variety of free psycho-educational courses around a range of psychological and emotional difficulties.  We aim to help people feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible, so no-one will be asked to do anything that they do not wish to.”

All of the courses are run by trained practitioners and most use the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) technique which has been proven to help treat a wide range of mental health problems by looking at how people perceive a situation and how this affects the way they we act.

Although some of the courses are for groups of up to 15 people there is no obligation to speak and there are no “ice-breaker” exercises.

Courses are run at different times during the day and in different venues around BaNES.  The courses vary in length, with a range of two to five weekly sessions.  For most of the courses, each session lasts for two hours with a ten minute break halfway through.

Recent patient feedback showed that there is a high level of satisfaction among patients who used the service with 107 people out of 112 saying they felt staff listened to them and treated their concerns seriously at all times. Furthermore 90 people said they had confidence in their therapist at all times and 78 said they felt involved in making choices about their treatment.

Sue, 55 from Keynsham attended a course in May to help her manage stress.

She said: “The course taught me lots of useful techniques like breathing exercises and how to talk about my problems. It was nice to be with people who are in the same situation and I was given information on what I could do to help myself after the course had finished.”

There are a range of events taking place in BaNES on Saturday to mark World Mental Health Day including:

Stalls, music, workshops (such as circus skills), massage, and a café, at the Friend’s Meeting House in York Street, Bath open to the public from 10-3pm.

There will be a programme of open air eye catching, thought provoking activities, as well as live music by buskers at the bottom of Milsom Street / corner of Old Bond Street, Bath from 10-3pm.

A double decker community bus will be in Radstock and Midsomer Norton offering information and advice about services in the area at the following venues:

  • Paulton: 10.45 – 12, Tesco Old Mills, BS39 7SW
  • Midsomer Nauton: 12.45 – 2, Sainsburys, BA3 2DT
  • Radstock: 2.30 – 3.45, Co-operative, 3 Wells Road, BA3 3RQ

Find out more at on the Talking Therapies website