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Healthy Minds Bucks. The Buckinghamshire IAPT service.

How we can help

Most of us feel sad, anxious, low or stressed now and again in response to things that happen in our life.

Whilst for most people this is short lived, for others it can cause ongoing distress, a sense of hopelessness about the future and can impact on quality of life. Feeling like this can really bring you down and affect your work, relationships and health.

Feelings can also impact on your body as well as your mind. You may go through a range of different physical symptoms including tension, headaches, stomach aches, difficulty sleeping or lack of concentration.

Healthy Minds could help anyone over the age of 18 experiencing some of these difficulties.

Support we offer

Healthy Minds helps people aged 18 or over with common mental health problems like:

Low mood that lasts for a number of weeks or months and impacts your everyday life is called Depression. It can cause a variety of symptoms including:

  • Lasting feelings of unhappiness or hopelessness
  • Feeling tearful
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Tiredness
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Poor appetite

A phobia is an extreme fear or anxiety triggered by a particular situation, e.g. social situations, or a particular object, e.g. spiders.

If a phobia becomes severe, you may change your life in order to avoid what is causing the extreme anxiety. As well as limiting day-to-day life, it also causes a lot of distress.

Some people spend so much time worrying about their health or getting ill, that it starts to take over their life. They might:

  • Frequently check their body for signs of illness
  • Ask people for reassurance that they are not ill
  • Worry that their doctor or medical tests may have missed something
  • Obsessively look at health information
  • Avoid information or anything to do with serious illness
  • Act as if they were ill, for example, avoid physical activities

Anxiety itself can cause symptoms like headaches or an increased heartbeat, and this can be mistaken for signs of illness.

If someone has been involved in or witnessed a traumatic event they might develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is an anxiety disorder. It was first recognised in war veterans, but a wide range of traumatic experiences can trigger this condition.

There are a number of symptoms associated with this condition such as:

  • Flashbacks
  • Feeling numb
  • Trouble sleeping

If a number of the symptoms continue for longer than a month after the incident then this may indicate PTSD.

Insomnia is when you have problems sleeping or disrupted sleep, at least three nights of the week and lasting over three months. For some this might have been going on for several years.

People with insomnia usually experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems with mood
  • An impact on day-to-day functioning

Some people experience frequent or uncontrollable worries about many different things in their everyday life. You may feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time you felt relaxed.

We refer to this as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which can cause a range of symptoms including:

  • Feeling restless or worried
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heart rate

Panic is an anxiety disorder where panic attacks occur unexpectedly and frequently without a clear cause or trigger. These are sudden periods of intense fear which may include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Tight chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness
  • A feeling that something terrible is going to happen, for example, having a heart attack

Some people will constantly feel afraid of having another panic attack, to the point that this fear itself can trigger one. Often people will change their behaviour, avoiding things to try to prevent another panic attack happening.

Social Anxiety, also known as Social Phobia, is an extreme and overwhelming anxiety or fear triggered by social situations (e.g. parties, work places, family events, meals out).

Often people with social anxiety fear being judged by other people. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and can affect mood.

Experiencing this day-to-day can be very distressing and can have a big impact on your life; causing you to avoid situations or worry constantly about what others may think about you.

People can often feel very anxious to reach out for support or that they are not worthy of support. We really would encourage you to reach out for our support.

Self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves, based on our own beliefs. Low self-esteem is often characterised by a lack of confidence and low opinion of ourselves, including thoughts of being unlovable, useless, or worthless.  

People with low self esteem may:

  • Find it difficult to make decisions
  • Struggle to put across their opinions in an assertive way
  • Disregard any compliments or personal strengths
  • Be very self-critical
  • Find it difficult to be kind to themselves

Distressing thoughts, images or worries that something bad will happen if you don’t do a certain actions. For example, needing to repeatedly clean the kitchen to prevent your child from getting ill or the needing to arrange items in a certain way otherwise something bad will happen to friends of family.

OCD Related Disorders

Hoarding: Hoarding disorder diagnosis assigned to individuals who excessively save items and the idea of discarding items causes extreme stress . Hoarders cannot bear to depart from any of their belongings, which results in excessive clutter to an extent that impairs functioning and may create health and safety risks.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): BDD involves distress due to a perceived physical anomaly, such as a scar, the shape or size of a body part, or some other personal feature. While most individuals feel a degree of doubt or dissatisfaction with their appearance at times, individuals with BDD will experience persistent and intrusive thoughts about the imagined flaw.

Working with you

Anyone 18 years or older with a common mental health problem can access the service. However, please let us know if any of the following applies to you as we have tailored some of our interventions to these areas:

We recognise that pregnancy, birth, the period after birth, and the time of adjustment to a new baby can be extremely challenging. This is referred to as the perinatal period.

Being pregnant and a new parent is difficult. It often does not meet our expectation of being a wonderful and exciting time. Instead it is very common to experience low mood or anxiety. We may then experience associated feelings of shame, guilt, or loss of confidence in ourselves as a parent.

Around 1 in 5 women experience low mood and anxiety during the perinatal period. It is also recognised that over 1 in 10 fathers experience depression and anxiety during this time.

We are extremely keen to support both women and men during the perinatal period. One of the options available for new mums who are struggling with low mood or anxiety is a tailored 10-week post-natal wellbeing group. Find out more about this on our Courses and groups page.

Do you have a long term physical health condition (LTC) for example, diabetes, a cardiac condition or a respiratory condition, that you are finding difficult to manage?

Many people with physical health difficulties can have times when they feel down or worried about this. Feeling down or worried can, in turn, make it harder to manage your LTC the way you want to.

We can help support you with managing the emotional impact of living with a long term condition. Please visit our LTC page to find out more.

Leaving home, going to university or getting your first job can be an exciting time but can also be stressful. Studying, the pressures of deadlines and exams, managing your money or sorting out your accommodation for the first time can be overwhelming.

For some people the stress associated with these changes is short lived and soon passes. However, for others it can be longer lasting, and they may need some additional support to feel better.

We can provide support, advice and treatment for people over 18, see Getting help.

We at Healthy Minds are passionate about promoting equality and understand the links between inclusion and wellbeing. We want anyone who may need our support to be able to receive the help they need. We can often tailor our packages of care in a way that is sensitive to individual requirements relating to age, gender, religion, language, culture, disability or sexuality. We strongly believe that nothing should be a barrier to receiving our support.

We have a diverse workforce of therapists, from a variety of backgrounds, age groups, and cultures, who speak a multitude of languages. Where there are specific language needs that cannot be met from within our service, we can arrange interpreters (at no cost to you). We also have materials that are available in different languages. If you feel you have any specific needs, please do inform us, so that we are able to best support you. 

We are committed to providing services that are accessible to everyone. We recognise that different people have different needs and we will always do whatever we can to make sure that these needs are met, please click here to find out more.

We welcome referrals from people who have served in the armed forces. It is common to feel very low, angry, anxious or distressed due to different situations and psychological therapies can be effective in overcoming these difficulties. We recognise it can be difficult to take the first step to contact us. We do not see seeking support from us as a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.

We are trained to work with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences, to listen rather than to judge, and to cope with and understand a range of strong emotions. We hope you feel able to get in contact with us.

To find out more about what we offer please visit our Getting help page.

Every year more than two million people in the UK become carers. 

Around 1 in 8 adults in the UK are carers and many of these care for a person with dementia. Often people who look after someone, friends or relatives, would not recognise themselves as a carer. You may be taking on a caring role for the first time and may not know what to expect. It can be easy to neglect your own needs and interests when you are busy caring for someone.

We provide support, advice and treatment for anyone who might be struggling. We also offer a tailored group for carers of people with dementia. Please visit our Courses and groups page to find out more.

We know that many people can face additional challenges in their lives, both visible or invisible. These include mobility difficulties, neurodevelopmental challenges such as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory impairments such as visual impairments or hearing difficulties.

We can adapt our treatment sessions and materials to support a wide range of needs as required and will discuss what would most benefit you. 

For more information see our Getting help page.

Specialist support

We offer emotional and practical support for people living with health conditions including:

Diabetes can be a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become unstable.

There are 2 main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes – where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties and impact oxygen levels.

Cardiac disease is a general term for different conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.

Long term pain or fatigue puts a lot of stress on the brain and cognitive issues such as low mood, difficulty with memory or concentration are familiar, no matter what the underlying condition is.

Chronic pain/fatigue and its psychological effects have the potential to reduce quality of life, not only for the patient but for the family as well. Under-managed chronic pain/fatigue may lead to less sleep, exhaustion, more stress, relationship and work problems and psychological distress so it is important to be able to intervene in this cycle to improve pain management and psychological welfare.

For some people, chronic pain has an underlying cause such as an injury, for other people chronic pain may result from an underlying health condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. In some cases however there might not be an identified reason.

For more information see our Long Term Health Conditions page.

Other services

Way Forward Bucks (WFB)

WFB is a year-long programme for people who have previously been unable to lose weight or maintain previous weight loss using community services, such as Weight  Watchers or Slimming World. The programme includes dietetic support, physical activity guidance, and has a strong emphasis on psychology to support behavioural change which in turn encourages individual health gains.

All referrals to this programme need to be made by a registered GP or another medical professional, such as a practice nurse. To make a referral (professionals only) – please click here for our referral form

Please note that due to the medical information required, only professionals can refer to WFB.

Please click here for the WFB patient information leaflet

or click here for the professionals information leaflet

Richmond Fellowship’s Employment Advisors work as part of the Healthy Minds team. They can provide support for you if you are experiencing common mental health difficulties and have employment related issues.

This applies whether you are currently employed, off sick from work, or unemployed and looking to find work.

Please visit our Employment support page to find out more.