A psychological therapy service

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In this section you can find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.



Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pay for treatment?

No, the italk service is completely free to patients, it is run by Solent Mind in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

What geographical areas do you cover? 

We are commissioned to provide a service in the following areas of Hampshire: Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Bordon, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, New Forest, Petersfield, Romsey and Winchester. 

My GP isn't in one of the areas listed above, can I still access italk?

If your registered GP isn't in one of the areas we cover we are unable to offer you support. Please speak to your GP for advice on services in your area, or you can view a list of IAPT services in England here 

Do you provide counselling?

No, italk has many different treatment options available but it is not a counselling service. The main therapy offered is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a talking therapy which looks at thoughts, feelings and behaviours and teaches coping strategies and other ways to manage how you are currently feeling. Click here to have a look at all our treatment options.

Are all the appointments on the telephone?

We normally book patients in for an initial Telephone Assessment, unless there is a specific reason that you need a face to face appointment. Your assessment is a discussion with one of our practitioners about your current difficulties. Through this the practitioner will assess what is the most suitable of our treatment options for you. We have many different treatments options, some are face to face, some are carried out over the telephone, see the treatment options section of the website for more information.

How long will I have to wait for my appointment?

Once you have contacted us we will aim to book your assessment for a date and time to suit you within 28 days.

What happens at my assessment?

You will be asked for a brief summary of what your main difficulties are, how they are affecting your day to day life and if there are any triggers to you feeling this way. Think of it as visiting your GP and giving them information in order for them to be able to suggest the best treatment for you. Please make sure you have your patient MDS questionnaire with you if you have not already completed it online. This will have been sent to you prior to your appointment; if you do not have a copy you can find it here. You need to be in a quiet place where you can talk about confidential matters and allow approximately 45 minutes for the appointment. Please note for safety reasons we cannot carry out appointments if you are driving at the time.

Does telephone treatment work?

Telephone treatments are proven to be just as effective as face to face, and it provides added convenience and saves you the hassle of travelling to appointments. Many of our patients tell us that telephone appointments work really well for them, see patient experiences for their stories.

I haven't got a mental illness, I am just struggling a bit at the moment. Is this the right service for me?

italk can help people with a variety of issues like low mood, sleep problems, stress, anxiety, depression, phobias and many more, you do not have to have been diagnosed with a mental illness to get our support. The best thing to do is have a Telephone Assessment where you can go into more detail and the practitioner can assess if we are the right service for you.

If you can't help me, what happens for me next?

If it is decided after your Telephone Assessment that italk is not the most appropriate service for you at this time then your practitioner can signpost you to other services and organisations that may be able to help you. The practitioners can also refer you on to other services such as Community Mental Health Teams if this is the most appropriate level of support.

Why do you keep my GP updated?

When you refer to the service you will be asked for your permission to keep you GP informed of your care with italk. The reason for this is to maintain the duty of care for patients, GPs are instrumental in patient care and it is very important therefore that they are aware of the treatment that you may be receiving. If you have any concerns about information shared then you can discuss this with your practitioner.

Why do you store my information?

We keep a record of your details, and notes from your appointments on our patient management system which is completely secure, confidential within italk and complies with Data Protection legislation. We keep the information in order to book appointments, keep track of progress and to record what is said; similar to the way GPs and other healthcare services keep information. If you have any concerns then you can discuss these with your practitioner.

How can I make a request to see any information you hold about me?

Under section 7 of the Data Protection Act you have the right to request a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as a Subject Access Request. To make a Subject Access Request you can call the team on: 02380 383920 or by emailing us on: info@italk.org.uk . However, we would need written conformation of your request so it may be quicker to write directly to: italk Subject Access Request team, 3rd Floor, Black Horse House, 8-10 Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9FH. Please note that whilst we will make every effort to respond before then, the maximum time for a response to your request is 40 days.

Why do you share information with the Department of Health?

We will share basic anonymous information relating to your care with the Department of Health unless you ask us not to. This information may be for example your age or gender, but nothing that would identify you. We would never share your name or address for example. 

The information is used by the Department of Health to monitor all of the services across England and no sensitive information will be shared by them with any 3rd party. All information is kept in accordance to the Data Protection Act. 

Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to opt out of sharing your information with the Department of Health. 

Why have I been discharged from the service?

italk is a high demand service and we have many patients that need our support; our policy is that if we have tried to contact you several times and you have not responded within a two week period, then we will discharge you from the service. This does not mean however that you can't come back; patients can re-refer themselves by telephone, online or via their GP.

I have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia or Personality Disorder, can I use the italk service?

If you have received a diagnosis of Bipolar, Schizophrenia or Personality Disorder we would recommend you discuss support with your GP, as italk is unfortunately unable to support you in treatment. 

I work full time, will I be able to get an appointment?

The italk service operates Monday to Thursday from 8am to 8pm and 8am to 4:30pm on a Friday (excluding bank holidays), so appointments can be arranged for patients outside of work hours based on availability.