italk provides free treatment to people suffering from common mental health problems including depression, anxiety and stress.
italk is the IAPT service delivered in partnership by Solent Mind and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
italk was launched in September 2010 as part of the 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' (IAPT) scheme to provide Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based interventions for people experiencing common mental health problems. Since the launch the service has continued to grow with an expanding team of staff and new interventions. From December 2013, we have been providing a service in the Basingstoke, Bordon and Petersfield localities.
History of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
IAPT is a national initiative (England only) which delivers steps 2 and 3 of the National Guidelines (published in 2004) for patients experiencing depression and anxiety disorders. The National Guidelines have been set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which is an independent body established to identify the most effective ways to treat ill health and promote well being.
In the guidelines, certain psychological treatments are recommended, based on many years of clinical research, which have demonstrated that "talking therapies" can be as helpful as medication to treat anxiety and depression. The recommended treatments are referred to as "evidence-based treatments" because of the research that has proven their effectiveness.
The guidelines also recommend that delivery of the evidence based treatments follow a "stepped care model" which ensures that the treatment offered to people is appropriate to their needs.
The treatments delivered at italk are listed below:
The NICE guidelines were followed in 2005 by a paper written by Lord Richard Layard. The paper showed that using psychological therapies to treat depression and anxiety could have economic benefits nationwide. The overall number of sick days taken by people experiencing depression or anxiety could be reduced if people were able to access talking therapies. In 2006, this idea achieved £3.7million funding to set up two pilot sites in Doncaster and Newham which were successful.
The IAPT programme is now available across England and has recently been extended to 2015 as part of the 'Talking Therapies: a four year plan of action' publication by the government. IAPT has also been expanded to children and young people, and people with long term physical conditions, medically unexplained symptoms or severe mental illness.
italk staff deliver psychological therapies at two levels, also known as 'steps'. These can be easily identified as Step 2 and Step 3.
Step 2: Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners
The PWP is a professional role which involves the practitioner acting as a coach to support, motivate and encourage patients. PWPs use a range of interventions individually tailored to each patient's needs as they work together towards recovery. These are usually delivered over the telephone which has proved to be a very welcome resource for our patients.
Step 3: High Intensity Therapists (HIT)
The HIT is a professional role delivering weekly therapy sessions, usually face-to-face with the patient.HIT work directly with the patient to support his/her needs, compiling a list of the difficulties the individual may be facing, the goals the patient would like to achieve and how to work together to achieve this.
Trained and experienced Employment Advisors are available to work with our patients who are having job retention issues which are affecting their health and wellbeing.
The italk service benefits form a dedicated administrative team who are available to deal with calls from patients, GPs and members of the public. Please note, that during busy times, it may not always be possible to answer your call but if you leave a message we will respond as soon as we can.