A helping hand for people with anxiety

Dave Higgins(left) and Kevin Johnson pictured outside the People Centre.
Dave Higgins(left) and Kevin Johnson pictured outside the People Centre.
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WELLBEING courses are on offer to people with anxiety issues thanks to a helping hand from a Tees Valley business.

Talking Matters is offering sessions in the Peoples Centre, in Raby Road, for people who feel they have issues with anxiety and mood problems.

Kevin Johnson, psychologist wellbeing practitioner, said: “We offer free cognitive behavioural therapy to anyone over 16 if they are in full-time education, or to anyone aged over 18.

“We have been working as a service for the last four years and we are trying to get more people through the service in the Hartlepool area.”

The team achieves its aims through sleep and relaxation courses including methods such as breathing techniques.

“We do self esteem and confidence and all these courses are running free in Hartlepool. That is one of the main messages.”

Kevin added: “It is all over the newspapers that one in four people are suffering from a mental health condition. In areas such as the Tees Valley, there are a lot of issues such as finance and unemployment.

“We find that providing these interventions can be a useful way to get people help.

“It is a really widespread problem and something that needs to be talked about more.”

The courses are offered by an organisation called Talking Matters which is part of a body called Mental Health Matters which is both a registered charity and a registered company.

Its courses in Hartlepool are available to everyone from workers in 9 to 5 jobs to general members of the community.

To take part, are first involved in a discussion before the option of going on to a course follows on.

Team leader Dave Higgins said: “The courses have been going for quite a few months and the take-up is getting better but we are trying to get in touch with more people.”

Mental Health Matters is one of Tees Valley’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services (IAPT). IAPT is directed by the NHS to help people with issues such as anxiety.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is putting thousands more trained therapists into general practices, providing easy access to treatment on the NHS to everyone who needs it.