Talking therapies pilot aims to help service users move more to feel better

Oxford Health’s Healthy Minds service is currently involved in an exciting new project to see whether physical activity improves outcomes for people using the service.

Talking therapies pilot aims to help service users move more to feel better

Healthy Minds, Buckinghamshire’s IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) service, has introduced three new interventions to allow service users to move more to feel better.

A cognitive behavioural therapy group for people experiencing depression has been introduced where members will be encouraged to spend 30 minutes of their session time doing some physical activity.

There is a ‘Moving Forward with a Long-Term Condition’ workshop for people who are living with a long-term physical health condition and are experiencing feelings of low mood, anxiety or stress. This workshop introduces behaviour change resources and practical support tools to help reduce the barriers to being active.

The third intervention is the introduction of a new physical activity module, available for people on the Foundations app. The free app will use practical and evidence-based approaches to help Healthy Minds’ service users better manage their wellbeing and increase their levels of physical activity.

Dr John Pimm, Clinical Lead for Buckinghamshire’s Psychological Therapies Pathway, said:

“We know from the findings of numerous mental health studies that the more you move the better you tend to feel.

“We also know that people experiencing low mood, anxiety or stress often have low levels of physical activity. So, we want to explore whether including physical activity as part of our interventions will improve clinical outcomes for people using the service.

“We look forward to being part of this pilot and hope that service users will really feel the benefits.”

Healthy Minds will work with iCope, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust’s IAPT service, over the next year on this pilot, which is funded by Sport England.

They will also work with local authority colleagues in Camden and Islington, Leap (the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Active Partnership), colleagues in Buckinghamshire CCG, service users and University College London, to introduce the above interventions.

During this time Healthy Minds will gather feedback from service users and staff and will share learning to help other talking therapies services develop their own approaches to integrating physical activity into their work.

Healthy Minds is Buckinghamshire’s IAPT service and is available to adults registered with a GP in Buckinghamshire.

The service offers free and confidential NHS support to adults experiencing common mental health difficulties, including low mood. It provides a wide range of different one-to-one therapies, group courses and employment advice. People can self-refer or be referred by GPs or other professionals.

If you live in Buckinghamshire and are experiencing low mood, anxiety, depression or stress get in touch with Healthy Minds. They’re here to help and offer a fast, free and confidential NHS service.

You can refer yourself to the service by visiting the website here, calling (01865 901600) or by texting (TALK and your name to: 07798 667169).

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Published: 26 October 2021