Are you feeling stressed, anxious or depressed?
If so, you are not alone - one in four of us will experience some kind of mental health problem every year.
Recognising that you may have a mental health problem and taking the first steps to get help can be difficult. Though it may take time to begin to benefit from help but there are many effective non-drug treatments for mental health problems.
There are a range of talking therapy options available to you on the NHS, and you don’t necessarily need to consult with your GP first.
Epsom Safe Haven
Safe Haven offers help and support to anyone going through an emotional or mental health crisis. It’s an informal, safe space that supports each individual to take control of, and improve, their own mental health.
You can find Safe Haven at the Surrey Choices building at the address below:
The Larches, 44 Waterloo Road, Epsom, Surrey. KT19 8EX
Opening times: 6pm-11pm every evening, 365 days of the year. A disabled toilet is available for anyone accessing the service.
Psychological therapies service
Surrey Downs CCG has introduced self-referral for free psychological therapy, meaning that you can book appointments direct with a therapist, without necessarily needing to consult your GP first. This direct access service is open to all patients who are over the age of 18 and are registered with a GP practice in the Surrey Downs CCG area (click for map). There is no upper age limit. This is also called improving access to psychological therapies, or IAPT for short.
Therapy may help if you experience:
- Generalised anxiety
- Stress related problems
- Panic attacks
- Depression (including pre- and post-natal depression)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If you think you need psychological support, you can contact one of the following five local organisations directly and ask for a free appointment on the NHS. After your needs are assessed by the organisation, you will be offered the most appropriate treatment.
Get in touch
Clinic locations and times
Ieso Digital Health
Live, online therapist-led Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) over the internet.
Tel: 01954 230066
Therapy is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection at any time, including evenings and weekends.
ThinkAction Surrey (Addaction)
Evidence-based, time limited, psychological treatments and therapies for common mental health problems.
Tel: 01737 225 370
Centre for Psychology
Individual face to face sessions in a local setting using evidence based therapies and anxiety / stress based workshops. Also offers mindfulness workshops.
Tel: 01483 901429
Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
A range of talking therapy for people experiencing mild to moderate mental ill health; one to one and workshops either face to face, by telephone or video link.
Tel: 0300 330 5450
Evening appointments in Epsom and Walton only.
Dorking Healthcare (DHC)
One-to-one sessions (including over the phone), guided self-help, group/individual CBT, and mindfulness workshops.
Your initial needs assessment may take up to an hour, so please do make sure to find a comfortable and private space, and have some paper and a pen to hand. Some of the questions may not seem relevant to you, but they will all help your chosen organisation to understand your circumstances and the type of care likely to be most appropriate for you.
How do I choose which organisation to contact?
Therapy may mean talking about private thoughts and feelings when you are feeling confused or vulnerable, so it’s important to choose the right service for you. Before contacting an organisation, we suggest you consider:
- What are the different kinds of therapy available?
- What kind(s) of therapy would be most likely to help me?
- How far am I willing to travel?
- Will I need appointments at particular times of the day?
If you aren't ready for counselling or other therapies, or feel that these are not for you, there are other services available. These services may also be able to help while you wait for your first therapy appointment, between appointments, or when your course of therapy has ended.
To access free advice and support now, please visit the First Steps Surrey website here. Alternatively, you can contact First Steps Surrey freephone on 0808 801 0325 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our "Community Connections" programme offers emotional and wellbeing support, without the need to be referred, via:
- Mary Frances Trust for Mole Valley and Epsom & Ewell residents
- WWAG for those in Elmbridge, and
- Richmond Fellowship in Reigate & Banstead.
Please get in touch with your local organisation for access, by clicking the appropriate link above.
If you think you may need further psychological support or are unsure about what help might be best for you, please do contact your GP to seek advice.
If you need it, The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day. You can call them on 116 123.
What kinds of therapies are there?
Different therapies are called a confusing mix of names and some therapies have several names. Don’t let the jargon put you off! Behind every technical term is a way of working with people that is designed to help.
Therapies are usually divided into several broad types, but even therapists who offer the same kind of therapy will have a slightly different way of working from each other because all therapists have a personal style as well. Some therapists train in more than one kind of therapy and may decide to combine a few approaches.
Please read about each different type of therapy below.
We often find it helpful to talk problems through with a friend or family member, but sometimes friends and family may be too involved in, or close to, your current difficulties and it is more appropriate to talk to a professional therapist. Describing what’s going on in your head and how that makes you feel can help you notice any patterns which it may be helpful to change. It can help you work out with your therapist where your negative feelings and ideas come from and why they are there.
Talking therapies are not therapies that are 'done' to you by someone else. You play an active part in the therapy. That can be empowering at a time when you may feel you have lost control over part of your life. If you are determined to get the most from the therapy, it is more likely to work.
Talking therapies can help people with depression, anxiety, eating disorders or addictions and are often used alongside drugs your doctor prescribes. They can also help people with problems such as schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, and can also help people deal with difficult life events such as bereavement.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is our primary IAPT treatment, as it has strong research evidence and is recommended by the Department of Health. It works by helping you to understand that your thoughts and actions can affect the way you feel. It teaches how you can react differently to negative thoughts and feelings and build new habits that help you to feel better.
CBT is a talking therapy based on scientific methods. Sessions are clearly structured and the therapist directs the conversation. They are focused on current problems and practical solutions, and usually short-term. It is one of the most effective treatments for reducing the symptoms of almost all mental health problems, but especially anxiety and depression, and is particularly suited to people who want a therapy that works towards solutions, with clear goals and using practical techniques.
CBT can help you to stop negative cycles of thoughts, behaviour and emotions by helping you to notice what is making you feel anxious, unhappy or frightened and helping you to manage these factors. By helping you to work out what to change to improve your mood, CBT can allow you to take control of your mental health.
Psychodynamic therapies work by exploring how your personality and early life experiences influence your current thoughts, feelings, relationships and behaviour. These therapies are based on the ideas of the psychotherapist Sigmund Freud, but with many changes over the last 100 years. Only short-term psychodynamic therapies are available through the IAPT programme.
The therapist works with you to understand your thoughts, feelings, relationships, behaviour, dreams and fantasies. NICE recommends psychodynamic therapy for people experiencing depression alongside other complex illnesses, and are most useful for people interested in self-exploration who are willing to devote lots of time and energy to it.
Humanistic therapies work by taking a whole-person approach to your problem, using a range of theories and practices to help you develop. They are focused on developing your full potential.
These therapies explore your relationship with different parts of yourself (such as your body, mind, emotions, behaviour and spirituality) and other people (for example family, friends, society or culture) and support you to grow and live life to the full.
Humanistic therapies tend to treat specific problems – such as depression, anxiety or addiction - as chances for you to develop and grow. They will suit people interested in exploring their lives and looking at their problems from a wide range of angles. With person-centred counselling the therapist steers you through finding out more about yourself and developing confidence.
In groups led by a facilitator (someone who helps to introduce members of the group to each other and who helps the conversation to flow), people find solutions together and learn from each other. NICE recommends group therapy for people with obsessive compulsive disorder and for children and young people with mild depression.
People tell us: "In group therapy you don’t just talk about yourself, you’re listening to other people - that takes the burden off your problems. You realise you’re not the only one.
Couples, relationship or family therapies
Couples or families work with a therapist to sort out difficulties in their relationships. NICE recommends family therapy for anorexia nervosa, depression in children and families of people with schizophrenia. NICE recommends 'couples therapy' if partners have tried individual therapy and this has not helped
Mindfulness therapy combines talking with meditation. It helps people reduce stress, switch off from difficult thoughts and feelings and make changes. NICE recommends this treatment to prevent people who have had depression from experiencing the same problems again. Other versions of this treatment include mindfulness based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Visit the Be Mindful website for more information.
There are a number of other therapies available, including Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational counselling, Life coaching, Arts therapies, Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, Interpersonal therapy, and guided self-help. Some of these therapies may be available via your chosen organisation.
Surrey CAMHS Whole System Transformation Plan
From April 2016, children and young people in the area will benefit from improved mental health services. This follows a review of existing services and work with clinicians and service users and their families to identify opportunities to increase the support available to these individuals.
This is known as Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (or CAMHS).
The new service, called Mindsight Surrey CAMHS, will ensure children and young people receive the right service at the right time and it will help reduce waiting times for assessment and treatment.
Local groups and events
If you're looking for opportunities to meet other people and attend courses from mindfulness and assertiveness, through to baking, there are some local organisations that can help.
The Mary Frances Trust holds four facilitated self help groups each month, as well as activities including a cafe, advice and support, learning skills, light exercise and yoga.
Richmond Fellowship provides a range of supported housing, community based and employment services for people with mental health problems across Surrey.
Wellness with a Goal provides and promotes a range of mental and physical wellbeing-related services in Elmbridge, Surrey. You can find its event calendar here.
The Surrey Recovery College offers free courses for those living in Surrey who are aged 18 and above and want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Courses are tailored towards:
• People with physical and mental health conditions
• Family members and carers
• Staff working in voluntary and statutory organisations.
Some of the topics covered in the courses include health and wellbeing, understanding, skills, creativity, and courses tailored towards young people aged 16-25.
Surrey Mental Health and Housing Protocol
Finding accommodation and maintaining tenancies can be particularly
difficult for people with mental health needs. Mental health services, adult social
care and local authority social housing agencies in Surrey have agreed to
work to this protocol to establish common procedures for better outcomes,
including accommodation for people with mental health needs.
A protocol document has been put together which you can read here.