As far as mental health issues go there is a new team on the block in South Shields, South Tyneside, Tyne and Wear. The South Tyneside Primary Care Trust (PCT) is taken part in a new Government-funded initiative with an aim to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. There are six psychology experts on hand to treat individuals based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and the programme has also been approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Work carried out in this area by Dr John Teasdale and Dr Melanie Fennell shows evidence to suggest that cognitive therapy is as effective as antidepressants in depressed individuals
You do not need to be referred by your GP as you can refer yourself. After your first meeting, you can choose to continue with the programme via. your home computer. Doing it this way you will receive eight one-hour sessions with telephone support. You can also opt. to attend up to six or eight one-hour, one to one sessions with a member of the team.
Their team leader is reported as saying:
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are the biggest cause of absence from work. There are also lots of ordinary people who are functioning below par because they have sunk into depression or are trying to deal with anxiety. [sic] If we can help them early enough then we can, hopefully, prevent their condition from becoming more serious and complex and affecting their lives even more. – Mr Stewart Ingram, PCT
If you live locally and you would like to contact the team you can do so by ringing 283 2134 or 283 2152 between 8.30 am and 5 pm on weekdays only.