CNWL’s talking therapies service in Milton Keynes is continuing to deliver support to patients suffering anxiety and depression despite the lockdown, and they are expanding to deal with concerns raised by the pandemic.

Therapists from the Milton Keynes IAPT Service have started delivering webinars on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills, techniques and tips to help people who may be struggling with worry or low mood as a result of the current social distancing precautions.

The service normally delivers such webinars in a group setting or face-to-face but following the guidance on social distancing had to think of alternate means of delivering to patients – either new or existing and also to free up resources to cope with an anticipated increase in concerns.

The weekly webinars give suggestions of practical ways to manage your anxiety about Coronavirus and how to cope in isolation.

They are available to the general public by self-referral to IAPT and to health or social care staff in Milton Keynes by registration.

While the webinars are not totally interactive, patients are able to email and receive an answer during the weekly session.

So far it’s proving popular with 18 people attending over the two sessions.

Therapist Marion Barnbrook said: “We know people will need our service so we had to find a way of continuing to provide this service during this really stressful time. We know there will be a demand from people struggling with isolation and this feels to be the best way of delivering to people.”

A survey from the first two webinars had positive feedback.

Attendees said:

  • “I liked the answering of individual questions – it made me feel less like I was passively watching a video, and felt more involved”
  • “I must admit I’m one of the ‘shut up and get on with it’ brigade but I think in this mad world that we are in at the moment, it’s getting increasingly difficult to do that so I’ll definitely encourage my team to join the webinar; might even join again myself just to see it through to the end. I LOVED her ducks  I want some for my house!!!!”
  • “It was fab! There was a link to some documents that she shared which are on the public domain so I’ve shared them with my team and mental health group, who are going to share them business wide. Personally though, I need to recognise when I’m worrying about something and put it aside until my allotted time to worry about them! It’s a useful tool.”

The service is still accepting referrals as normal at this time with telephone assessments continuing as well as planned treatments by phone or video.

For further details go to Talk For Change.