Psychological Therapies Service at Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest

What does City, Hackney and Waltham Forest Psychological Therapies service do?

Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest offer a vibrant and multi-disciplinary Psychological Therapies service, combining 1:1 and group approaches.

The service is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). We are also an independent IAPT provider, delivering to the highest clinical standards.

We operate from an integrative perspective, giving great value to client choice as well as actively supporting a compassionate, mindful and engaged approach to psychological therapies.

Who’s in your team and what do you offer?

The team consists of Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Psychologists, Mindfulness practitioners, Art therapists and Psychological practitioners in training.

We offer medium term 1:1 therapy and a wide range of groups such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, Managing Anger and Difficult Emotions (Compassion Focused) and CBT.

Who benefits from your service?

Our service supports people with common mental health problems, as well as moderate-severe problems, to improve their quality of life.

People with mental health conditions are more likely to have smaller and poorer quality social networks. Our integrated Psychological Therapies model pioneers key aspects of improving mental health by offering:

• single point of access referrals,
• network co-ordination,
• meaningful activities, and
• social inclusion.

Each of these features enhances talking therapy as an intervention, by providing a safe space and trusting relationships.

How was the service set up and who commissions it?

We were chosen in 2015 as the lead provider of the London Borough of Hackney funded Wellbeing Network of mental health voluntary sector organisations. In 2017 we were commissioned by the City and Hackney CCG to offer an independent IAPT service, offering Low and High Intensity interventions. 

The team is comprised of Network and IAPT staff alike, delivering alongside each other and in collaboration.

What is it about how you work that makes it effective?

• Our service draws from the latest evidence-based best practice, as well as employing an explicit person-centred ethos and valuing client choice.
• The combination of group and 1:1 work offers clients different ways of exploring their internal world, as well as to learn skills and enhance social connection.
• Our focus on Compassion and Mindfulness-based approaches and a multi-disciplinary offer means we can offer a tailored approach to each client.
• The team dedication to cutting-edge best practice, research and clinical outcomes means we are continuously monitoring and developing the service according to live data.

What’s the impact?

Our recent client feedback for 2017-18 is very positive and indicates that:
• 74% of people feel happier now than at the start of the programme (measured by WEWBS);
• 76.47% indicated improvement from moderate to severe depression,
• 72.14% indicated improvement from moderate to severe anxiety (measured by PHQ-9 and GAD-7).

In line with our inclusive ethos, we have a BAME access rate to psychological therapies of 41%.

The IAPT service recovery rate stands at an average 61% since the start of the service, well above the national rate of 52.5%, demonstrating the value of psychological therapies in the Voluntary Sector.

Any learning, tips/advice for others?

• Whilst implementing an integrative and multidisciplinary model has its challenges, we have found that this offers unique value to our vision.
• Inclusive and transparent management, allowing clinicians to take ownership over their approach towards clinical outcomes, has greatly enhanced the model, as well as tight financial management and target setting.
• Working in Network and Alliance structures has supported the team to feel linked with the wider services in the borough and has enhanced our holistic approach.
• Finally, continuous investment in training and staff wellbeing has been key.

What do people say about the service?

“I went to the doctor because my depression (triggered by divorce and work issues) was aggravated and I recognised I needed help. My doctor proposed medication and meditation.

I declined the medication and contacted Mind CHWF …I went to the initial meeting and was borderline suicidal – more depressed than I recall having ever been in my life.

The consequences of participating in the 8-week Mindfulness course have been palpable. As a result I can now welcome thoughts which were painful or profoundly uncomfortable (depressing) and show myself kindness, eliminate repetition, and take responsibility for my actions more effectively as I accept emotions - including very unpleasant ones.

Thank you all very much. I am profoundly grateful”

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