The mobile facility is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, possibly the first in the world.
The service offers a range of effective, evidence-based treatments for a wide range of common mental health problems that may affect many of us at some point in our lives. In its two years of operation the service has treated over 45,000 people.
It specialises in treating anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress, worry, obsessive compulsive disorder and health anxiety, and low mood (depression). They also provide therapy services for people with long term physical health conditions as part of a team approach to patient care. Treatment is confidential and free and patients can self-refer without having to first visit their GP surgery.
Appointments are delivered in clinics across the area in GP practices, community venues such as libraries and supermarkets, NHS clinics and now on the Wellbeing Bus. Most therapy is face-to-face, but video and telephone appointments are also available.
Dr Sarah Watts, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead for the service said: “We are so excited to have this addition to our service. It is a much needed facility particularly in areas like Seisdon where GP practices may not have much free space to accommodate therapists to provide this vital service.
“We’ll also be out and about in the bus promoting the service, so look out for us and come and say hello. It has already been out promoting World Book Night, UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and Mental Health Awareness Week.
“Anyone aged 16 and over and registered with a GP in Staffordshire can contact us and book an assessment appointment to discuss how we can help. Our therapists are trained in evidence based therapies and are ready to talk with you and help you make those important steps towards feeling better.”
The team is made up of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, Nurse Therapists, Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, Interpersonal Therapists and Counsellors, including specialist bereavement counsellors.
Part of the national adult Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, the service is provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust in partnership with Mental Health Matters, the Dove Service, North Staffs Mind, Burton and District Mind and Changes Health & Wellbeing.
To self-refer info service call 0300 303 0923 or visit www.staffsandstokewellbeing.nhs.uk