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There With You: Online therapy service offers support to people living or working in Newham

PUBLISHED: 17:25 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:25 23 April 2020

Therapists have turned to tech to keep in touch with their clients. Picture: Ian Roylance

Therapists have turned to tech to keep in touch with their clients. Picture: Ian Roylance

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An NHS online mental health support service has been set up for people who live or work in the borough.

Ian Roylance, deputy clinical lead at East London NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: Ian RoylanceIan Roylance, deputy clinical lead at East London NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: Ian Roylance

Newham Talking Therapies is offering a range of therapies to anyone aged 17 or above experiencing low mood, stress, anxiety or depression.

It comes after face to face services were forced to close because of social distancing and lockdown guidance.

People can refer themselves to the service after which team members carry out assessments within a week or two before deciding what help can be offered.

That assistance could be speaking to a therapist by phone, instant messaging or via webcam or joining a group therapy webinar. A range of therapies are available including cognitive behaviour therapy.

Newham Talking Therapies offers a range of support including cognitive behaviour therapy. Picture: Ian RoylanceNewham Talking Therapies offers a range of support including cognitive behaviour therapy. Picture: Ian Roylance

Anyone at imminent risk of harm would be referred to a more suitable service. Newham Child and Family Consultation Service in Barking Road, Plaistow, support youngsters under 17.

Deputy clinical lead at East London NHS Foundation Trust, Ian Roylance, said: “Things that keep us balance in our mental health, such as meeting friends, have gone.
“As a result for some depression can start to creep in. Never has it been more important to acknowledge this as a service and say to people we are here and available to help you.”

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Demand for help has increased at the trust as a result of the coronavirus with people who would usually be able to cope finding the added stress has triggered things.

Ian explained that it’s important to ask yourself how you are feeling.

“When we feel depressed or anxious we can do things that have a short term benefit, but not a long term one.

“If someone is feeling low, they might not go out or feel concerned about going out and lock themselves away.

“It feels good to not put yourself at risk. But you might then think why aren’t people thinking about me so it generates thoughts which can be harmful,” Ian explained.

However, he added that with everyone experiencing the same worry about Covid-19, people’s capacity to support one another is less than usual.

“It’s really important to check in with each other though. If someone has gone really quiet or introverted, reach out,” he urged.

Visit newhamtalkingtherapies.nhs.uk or tweet @newhamiapt or call 020 8475 8080.


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