World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2023

“Don’t bottle things up” – that’s the message from the NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ahead of World Mental Health Day tomorrow (10 October).

Health leaders are encouraging people with common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, to get help from NHS Talking Therapies as part of its latest mental health campaign.

Talking Therapies, formerly known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies), can offer free and confidential support including guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling and group wellbeing workshops.

Last year more than 30,000 people in the region benefited from this type of help – and they didn’t need to see a GP for a referral.

Fleur Carney, director for mental health at Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “People with common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, can self-refer into NHS Talking Therapies. Following a referral, teams will provide screening assessments and psychological interventions by fully-trained and accredited NHS practitioners.”

Dr Jim Hacking, a GP at the Park View Surgery in Milnthorpe and the ICB’s clinical and care professional lead for mental health, said: “Talking Therapies can be hugely beneficial for people not only with anxiety and depression, but those who may be feeling stressed and struggling to control their worry, or people experiencing feelings of panic or who obsess about certain thoughts.

“In Lancashire and South Cumbria, Talking Therapies can include group sessions, stress-control courses, and one-to-one therapy to help people understand what they are going through and build their confidence. We would urge anyone who may be struggling with their mental health to reach out – help is available.”

NHS Talking Therapies became the new name for IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) earlier this year, following an extensive engagement process by NHS England.

Because of this, the names of the services people may have recognised in Lancashire and South Cumbria have changed:

  • Mindsmatter and First Step is now known as NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Talking Therapies
  • The service offered by Lancashire Women is now known as NHS East Lancashire Talking Therapies
  • Blackpool Healthier Minds is now known as NHS Blackpool Talking Therapies

For more information or to self-refer to NHS Talking Therapies you can visit the ICB website at:

If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis and need help straight away, you should call the mental health crisis line on 0800 953 0110, or dial 999 if you have harmed yourself.


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