The service, which is freely available to anyone aged 16 and over and registered with a Hampshire GP, provides a range of treatments to people experiencing common mental health issues.
Operating in Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Bordon, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, the New Forest, Petersfield, Romsey, and Winchester it provides therapies to help patients tackle common issues such as depression, stress and anxiety disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobias, Social Anxiety and insomnia are also treated.
Starting in 2010, italk’s aim to provide free NICE Recommended Evidenced Based Interventions (Guided Self Help, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy, Couples Therapy) for people experiencing common mental health problems has seen the service continue to grow and expand. In 2013 the service took on new staff and expanded to the north and east of Hampshire.
Now employing over 150 members of staff the service has seen almost 55,000 people enter treatment since it first opened its doors. Winning the new tender will allow italk to reach more residents across Hampshire and continue providing free psychological support to those who need it.
With mental health at the top of the health agenda and more people than ever addressing their mental health, italk has worked hard to increase the variety of treatments it offers. Over the last year this has seen the service launch SilverCloud a computerised Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy programme which people can access via their smartphone, laptop or tablet and a range of group workshops aimed at giving people the practical tools and skills they need to help them manage their symptoms.
Hazel Nicholls, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director Primary Care & IAPT at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said:“Winning the tender is great news for us. Having been the provider for the last six years we have been able to build italk around the needs of the communities we serve and we want to continue refining what we do to provide the best possible outcome for the people we see. Helping people understand their issues and providing them with the tools they need to manage how they are feeling is something we are proud to do and are excited to continue.
“It is really important that we continue to find new ways to meet the demand of the communities we work with. Our new integrated model will allow us to better identify and meet gaps and this was a key part of our bid.”
italk provides a range of treatments including 1-2-1 treatments, groups and online support. It also offers employment support for patients who are struggling at work because of mental health problems or have had their mental health problems triggered by work-related stress.