NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Talking Therapies

Talking Therapies, formally known as 'Healthy Minds' or 'IAPT' provides a range of free, confidential support to people across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. This includes: 

We can also help you find and access a variety of groups, courses and activities delivered by voluntary, charity and social enterprise providers that can support your physical and mental wellbeing.

Frequently asked questions

What happens after I am referred?

Once you have referred yourself then you will be contacted on the telephone number on the referral form by one of our Healthy Minds administrators who will book you into a screening slot with one of our practitioners at a time and date convenient to you. Screening appointments are available within 2-3 weeks of us receiving your referral.

If you have been referred by another health professional then this referral is reviewed by one of our duty workers before we contact you to make sure we are the right service for your needs.


What happens during the screening appointment?

The screening appointment will occur over the telephone and last approximately 45mins. During this time the practitioner will discuss with you your current difficulties, make sure that we are the right service for you, and if so, talk about the treatment approaches that best suit your needs. It helps if you come prepared for your screening appointment by thinking beforehand the main difficulties that you need support with, and your goals for treatment.


What support can the service offer?

If we feel we can support you, your practitioner will talk to you about the most appropriate treatment for you needs and place you on the waiting list for this support. All of our treatment requires you to be collaborative in the process and some require you to complete tasks in between sessions to move closer to your treatment goals.

The following treatment options are available:

Supported online programme, Silvercloud.

This is different from the more general Silvercloud option which anyone can access, anytime. You will be guided through the online course with our team and it will be tailored to meet your specific circumstances.

There is no real wait to access this. You can expect to be up and running within a week or two of the assessment if this is deemed an appropriate option.

Psychoeducational courses

Online psychoeducational courses about anxiety and depression are run frequently, these are facilitated by two of our Practitioners, and run for 6 weeks. There is no expectation for you to speak about your difficulties in front of the other participants, but the courses provide a supportive environment to teach you how to understand your difficulties and make changes to work towards your goals.

Guided Self-Help

With Guided self-help you will received weekly or fortnightly telephone calls with one of our practitioners who will support you to make changes in areas that will help you to feel better. These calls last approximately 30mins, and there is an expectation to do some work to move towards your goals between the sessions.  The waiting list for guided self-help is around 8-12 weeks depending on which county you live.

High Intensity 1-1 Therapy

We run a range of traditional 1:1 support.  For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Counselling for Depression (CfD) along with other forms of CBT. All these will be explained to you if this is the best course of treatment for you. The waiting time depends on the type of treatment that you and your practitioner identify as the most appropriate at screening, and the area in which you live. Unfortunately some of these waiting times can be lengthy. 

We are working really hard to minimise the wait for 1:1 support as much as we can. You may be invited to access the supported online programme and/or a group session until we can confirm an appointment.

High Intensity Group therapy sessions

If it is identified at screening that you need a High Intensity approach to treatment you may be offered group therapy as a way to learn to understand your specific difficulty and ways to change this. You will be placed in an online group run by two Hi Intensity Therapists and with around 8-12 others experiencing similar difficulties to you. The facilitators will lead discussions and talk about ways to change. People can really benefit from hearing from others who are experiencing similar things to them. It creates a peer support network.


What can I do while I am waiting?

There are various self-help resources and other services that you can access whilst you are waiting for your treatment to commence. 

  • Silvercloud: Silvercloud courses are designed to help you improve and maintain your wellbeing by changing the way you think and feel about things. There are several free courses to pick from including positive body image, panic, COVID-19, depression, anxiety, stress and many more. All you need is access to the internet and sound on a computer, tablet or mobile. The programme is flexible so you can use it anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. They feature videos, activities, quizzes, audio guides and your own online journal. The self-led online therapy can be accessed using your own email and chosen password along with the access code: SIGNPOST. For more information and to sign up visit: Silvercloud
  • Qwell: Free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support for adults across the UK 
  • Self-help guides: Comprehensive digital guides covering a wide range of mental health challenges available in PDF and audio formats 
  • Every Mind Matters: Expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing 
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College: Courses and workshops to give people the tools, skills and understanding that they need for their own wellbeing and recovery. 
  • Here2Help (if you live in Worcestershire): Here2Help is a service that offers support for people of all ages. It includes information, advice, tools, guidance and local support available in the local community
  • Talk Community (if you live in Herefordshire): Talk Community is helping residents, businesses, community leaders and our council to make Herefordshire a better place to live and work 
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire Wellbeing and Recovery College Courses and workshops to give people the tools, skills and understanding that they need for their own wellbeing and recovery. 
  • There’s also lots more on the Healthy Minds website


What if I feel worse in the meantime?

The resources and services you can access will hopefully help improve, or at least manage, how you are feeling. However, you may need to return to your GP surgery for a further discussion. If you feel like you need urgent support, or are at crisis point, then please call the local 24/7 urgent mental health helpline. It is free and open to everyone in Herefordshire and Worcestershire by calling 0808 196 9127

Working with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWPs)

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) help people improve their mental wellbeing through a range of interventions such as short educational courses, online therapy programme (SilverCloud) and Guided Self-Help (face to face or via the telephone). This includes setting realistic goals and looking at how what we think and what we do affects the way that we feel.

A PWP can offer up to 6 one to one sessions, each lasting around 30mins. During these sessions questions will be asked in order to monitor your progress.

Working with a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

What we think and what we do affect how we feel. When we have negative or anxious thoughts and listen to them, we can begin to change our behaviour and act in ways that reinforce the thoughts. We can all develop patterns of thoughts and behaviours that are unhelpful; after all we’re only human.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an approach that helps you recognise and change those patterns. By changing what we think and what we do, we can change how we feel for the better, and this is what your CBT Therapist will help you to do.

Taking part in CBT involves, attending weekly sessions that are typically 50-60 minutes

  • Attending around 12 sessions
  • Practicing skills in between the sessions
  • Developing the strategies and techniques you need for a calmer and happier life


Working with a Counsellor

Our Counsellors’ are trained to listen to you and value your point of view.  We aim to provide a supportive and therapeutic space to help understand your thoughts and feelings.

Counselling is a form of talking therapy that has been proven to help lift symptoms of depression.  Depression can be caused by many different life events and situations; including bereavement of a loved one, relationship difficulties, low self-esteem and changes in circumstances.

Counselling will generally run for 6 weekly sessions and each session lasts for 50 minutes. During these sessions we will ask you to complete some questionnaires for us to monitor your progress.


Employment Support Information

If you access Worcestershire Healthy Minds, you will also have access to a specialist employability service, delivered in conjunction with Mental Health Matters. This additional service will give access to Employment Advisors to provide specialist free confidential advice if you are unemployed and looking at gaining employment, as well as support if stress, anxiety and depression are affecting your work. You can find out more about the employment service by heading to the Mental Health Matters Website

If you access Herefordshire Healthy Minds, you will also have access to Landau Herefordshire an employment and training services. If you are unemployed and looking at gaining employment, as well as support if stress, anxiety and depression are affecting your work. You can find out more about the employment service by heading to the Landau Herefordshire Website

What you can expect from us

  • Our team are trained and supervised in evidence based therapies as recommended in NICE guidance to ensure you receive the highest quality of care
  • We will work with you to help you achieve your goals around your mental health
  • We will review your commitment to making changes if you do not seem ready  
  • We are obliged to keep you and others safe. Therefore, there may be occasions when we need to share information with other services or agencies
  • If your difficulty requires treatment we do not offer we will suggest alternative organisations or refer you on to the appropriate service
  • The Healthy Minds team offers help and support to persons of all faiths and none. We help everyone with equality and diversity; regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender

What we expect from you

  • Only refer yourself to the Healthy Minds if you are able to wait for treatment and do not have an mental health emergency.  There are other services for people with more urgent needs, and you can find out more about how to access them on our Urgent Support page
  • Making progress in therapy requires regular attendance, and it is important that you attend all scheduled sessions in order that you benefit from therapy
  • To get the most from therapy you will need to attend regular appointments and be willing to make changes
  • Tell us as soon as possible if you are unable to attend any of your appointments
  • If you attend your session via video call, or over the telephone, please ensure you are in a confidential space on your own, that is noise, distraction, and interruption free
  • If things should get worse for you while waiting for treatment from the service please refer to the guidance on our Urgent Support page

Philippa's Story

I will be taking away an entire toolbox of knowledge, understanding and ways to manage and boost my self-esteem. I have grown and made many positive changes over the weeks as a result of this group and I now understand myself much better and view life through a completely different lens. My outlook on past situations has changed and I have developed the skills of self compassion and the importance of self-care. Going forward I feel totally free from the fear and constraints of low self-esteem.

I can’t thank the team enough they are amazing kind and compassionate humans and it has been a pleasure to be part of their group.

Richard's Story

My name is Richard, and I was referred to Healthy Minds by my GP, following years of suffering Complex PTSD, anxiety and depression.

I had hit a real low and didn’t see any way out of it all. I’d been through numerous counselling, group sessions and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy over the years, but always felt slightly misunderstood and as if an endless supply of medication was the only solution.

If I’m honest, I had my doubts and I was sceptical about approaching the service after what I can only describe as previous negative experiences with therapy, counselling, etc. I felt like I was taking the wrong turn, again. The fact that we couldn’t meet face to face and that sessions were to be on the phone because of Covid restrictions added to the thoughts of, “How can this possibly work?”

I was proven wrong. Since accessing Healthy Minds I have felt relieved, positive, motivated, and I have a new-found energy.

When I first accessed the service, I hadn’t been out of the house for months. My therapist tried to arrange to meet up one day at my home to go for a short walk. I cancelled the appointment the day before; I just felt I couldn’t face leaving the safety of my home. She then suggested that whilst on the phone, I went to stand outside my front door. I couldn’t even manage that. This got me thinking, “If I don’t begin to make a change, how will I ever make that step forward?”

So, a few days later, I hesitantly took my first steps outside the house. I was able to go for a short walk near my home for about half an hour.  We even did one session on the phone while I walked.

I received a phone call a few days later informing me of a charity who were holding a walk/run challenge for the whole month of April to complete 150 miles. I jumped at the chance to do it; it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something positive, not just for myself, but for others, too. I completed the 150 miles within 18 days (the first person to reach that target), and continue to go for daily walks (about 8 miles a day). I also raised over £1450 for the charity. The support of family and friends was the catalyst to really motivate me to take on the challenge.

However, without the support, encouragement and help from my Healthy Minds therapist, I would never have been able to achieve what I have. If I can do it, anyone can! To access the Healthy Minds services, you can make a self-referral on their website. It will be the start of a new you, a new future, and I have no hesitation in recommending their services. 

My message to anyone struggling and thinking of accessing the service would be, ‘Do it!’ It’s been the most positive experience for me, even from the very first phone call. Immediately on contact with Healthy Minds I felt that here was someone who understood me, was empathic, non-judgemental, understood my symptoms, and how they affected me, and who would encourage me and made me feel that there was, after all this time, light at the end of the tunnel.

My therapist has a very positive energy and approach, and a personality that I instantly connected with. Whilst I am still early on in the process of recovery, without her help, support and advice, I wouldn’t be on this journey to finally getting my life back on track and taking back control. She has made sense of what, more often than not, felt like the senseless.