Free help and advice for people feeling anxious or depressed

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Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (MECCG) is reminding people who live in the area that they can access a range of different psychological therapies for free.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is available for people who may be feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

IAPT provides a range of free support and guided self-help, individual cognitive-behavioural therapy (or CBT, a therapy which can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave), CBT courses for anxiety and depression as well as computerised CBT.

You can also access other therapies including counselling for depression and couples counselling for depression.

One-to-one sessions are available as well as courses which help with depression, anxiety and people with a mix of depression and anxiety. The courses run across mid Essex each month and rotate between Chelmsford, Witham, Braintree and Maldon.

With all of these services, the main aim of IAPT is to help you find ways of coping with different situations and help you get back to your usual self.

One of the best things about the service is that it is completely free to access and you can do it yourself, without needing to go to your GP.

There’s a link on the front page of our website here: which you can click to refer yourself. Alternatively, you can ring 01376 308704 or 01376 308705.

Chair of Mid Essex CCG, Dr Caroline Dollery, said: “Not many people know about this valuable service that is available either via your GP or, if you would rather, online.

“We want to let people know that they have discreet access to support and help at their fingertips for when they feel stressed, anxious or depressed.

“Using services such as these shouldn’t be seen as a weakness, we need to be more much open and honest when we talk about issues such as stress and depression.

“Everyone goes through stages of their life when they may be feeling worried, fed up or anxious, or they feel like things are getting on top of them. If you are getting these feelings regularly, we want you to know that you can fill in the form on our website or ring the numbers above and get support to get you back to feeling like your usual self.”