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FAQs

What kind of help can I access through the website?

The Talking Helps Newcastle website is here to provide information and self-referral into our service. We offer a range of interventions including: psycho-educational courses, online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy computer programmes, telephone support for low mood and anxiety, counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy and psychology.

Who can access Talking Helps Newcastle?

These services are available to anyone aged 18+ who is registered with a Newcastle GP. If your GP is not based in Newcastle we would suggest making an appointment with him/her as there will be services in your area (but feel free to have a look at the downloads sections for our handouts, or the useful links page for good sources of information available on the web).

Where do the courses take place?

Our courses take place in a range of venues in and around Newcastle city centre . We have chosen venues in the heart of Newcastle which are easily accessible by public transport.

Where can I do the online CBT?

The online CBT courses can be accessed on your own computer, tablet, phone or laptop, as long as you have an internet connection it will work. If you do not have a computer or laptop you can use one of the computers in the City, Kenton or East End libraries.

Who will know that I am using the service?

Your GP will always be informed if you refer yourself to our service. There may also be some professional contact between Talking Helps Newcastle and other people involved in your care.

What sorts of difficulties can the service help with?

Talking Helps Newcastle can help with problems associated with everyday life, when you may feel stressed, anxious or unable to cope. We work with people who are experiencing a variety of life’s difficulties, such as:

  • Low mood
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Bereavement/loss
  • Eating problems
  • Stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Long term health conditions
  • Obsessions
  • Anger difficulties

What happens in the courses?

All our courses are run by experienced mental health professionals. During the course you will be given handouts to take home with you. You will not be expected to talk or discuss any personal issues in the course. Most people who attend the courses listen and take on board the information. You do have an opportunity to ask questions during the course if you wish and if there is anything you do not understand or would like to discuss with the presenters you can do so during the break or after the course has ended. If you wish to, you can bring a friend or family member along to the course for support.

How can I access the service?

Simply give us a call on 0191 282 6600, or you can refer yourself online using our self-referral form.

What happens when I refer myself?

If you refer yourself via the website or telephone, we will aim to contact you within two days. We will contact you via the telephone number that you provide on your referral form. If we cannot get through to you via telephone we will try again several times over the following week. If we still cannot get through we will send you an email asking you to contact us, if we do not have your email address we will send you a letter. Our telephone number will probably appear on your phone as ‘Private Number’. During the call we will take some further details and will provide you with an appointment time for an assessment with one of our mental health professionals.

Your assessment will usually take place by phone. During this appointment, you will be able to discuss the issues you are experiencing. This will help you and the clinician come to an agreed understanding of what might be the most appropriate treatment. The call normally lasts about 30-45 minutes.

Will I have to pay?

No, Talking Helps Newcastle is an NHS service and is free.

What support is available for non-English speakers?

We can provide interpreters where necessary.

What support is available for the deaf community?

We have contact with Deaflink and we are able to provide sign language interpreters.

What if my appointment is with a trainee?

Our service is committed to contributing to the training of psychological therapists and we have strong links with the Newcastle University.

Unlike other professions, Trainee Therapists need to have a great deal of experience before being eligible to begin this sort of professional training.

For example, typically, a Trainee Clinical Psychologist will have a Psychology degree as well as several years’ experience working as an assistant psychologist before gaining a place on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology course. Similarly, a Trainee Cognitive Behaviour Therapist may have worked for many years as a Mental Health Nurse or a Psychologist before undertaking their specialist training in CBT.

In addition, all trainees in this department are closely supervised by a more senior therapist, as well as undertaking rigorous assessment from their individual university course.

If you have any further questions about seeing a Trainee, please get in touch with our service.

Can someone come out to visit at home?

Sessions are usually held in your GP practice or in local health venues. If you usually need a home visit from a GP we can arrange a home visit from our service.

Can I be seen by the same therapist I saw previously?

If you have been seen in our service previously and you wish to see the same therapist, you can request this when you refer yourself. If the support you need can be provided by this therapist, and if they are still working in the service, we will try to arrange this if possible.

Can I bring my child to the sessions?

It is best not to bring your child to sessions as they could be a distraction. There may be things that would not be appropriate to discuss in front of your child. Unfortunately, we do not have crèche facilities. We will try to arrange sessions for a time when you are able to get childcare.

Can a family member interpret for me?

We do not recommend this as there may be things that would not be appropriate to discuss with a family member present. We can provide interpreters for your sessions free of charge.

Why do you need to know so much information when I ring you?

When you ring our service to arrange an appointment, our administrators will ask you for some information. Some of this is so we can offer you a service (your contact details, your GP, the difficulties that you are experiencing).

Some of the information that we ask for is required by NHS England to monitor whether the service is accessible to all who need it. This information includes: gender, sexuality, religion, ethnic background, disability, long term health conditions. You can choose not to provide this information if you prefer. This information does not in any way affect the service that you will receive.

Can I self-refer/Does my GP need to refer me to your service?

You can choose to self-refer to the service or you can speak with your GP, who can also refer you to our service.

Do I need to live in Newcastle to be able to refer?

No, but you do need to be registered with a Newcastle GP.

Where will my appointments be held?

Some appointments may be carried out by telephone. Face to face appointments are usually held at a GP surgery or other local health venues.

How long will it be before I get to see someone? How long before I receive an appointment?

Demand sometimes varies between the different parts of our service and so there is some variation in the length of time people have to wait to be seen. We see people in the order that they are referred, to be as fair as possible. If you have specific requirements (e.g. seeing a female therapist, evening appointments, being seen at a particular venue) this can mean that you might have to wait a bit longer.

Can I bring someone along to sessions with me?

If you are attending one of our courses you are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you. It will help if you let us know if you are doing this, so we can have ideas of numbers attending.

If you are attending individual therapy you would ideally meet with them on your own. If you wish to bring a friend or family member in for the session it is best to discuss this with your therapist in advance.

Can I have an evening appointment, or an appointment over the weekend?

We have a small number of evening appointments available. There is often a high demand for these appointments and you may have to wait longer to be offered one. We have a small number of assessment appointments on a Saturday. We do not offer therapy appointments on Saturdays or Sundays.

Is there wheelchair access?

If you let us know your needs we will offer you an appointment at a place with good wheelchair access.

Can I have an interpreter?

Yes. Just let us know what you need and we will arrange this for you at no cost to you. It is better to make use of the interpreters that we provide as they are independent and impartial.

What if I am unhappy with the therapy I have received?

If you have concerns about your therapist or the therapy that you have received, you could discuss the matter with a senior member of our staff (see the ‘Contact us‘ page).

We are committed to providing excellent care and support. Your views are very important to us, as they help us to keep developing and improving our services. Any concerns will be investigated and we will contact you to let you know any actions we have taken.

What happens to the information I share with my therapist?

In your first session with a therapist, they will explain what happens to the information you share with us. Maintaining high standards of confidentiality is part of our professional code of conduct as well as our legal duty. However, we may need to pass on relevant information if there is a need to protect a vulnerable adult, child or yourself. If you have any questions about your privacy and confidentiality in our service, please talk about it at your session.

What to expect

Find out more information about our service and what you can expect from the process here.

Find out more

What we offer

There are a large range of therapies available to help you within our service. You can read more about the techniques we use here.

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Courses

We have a range of courses available as part of our service. Click the link below to find out more.

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Frequently asked questions

It is common to have many questions about our service, we have answered many of the common questions here.

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Disclaimer

Talking Helps Newcastle is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own GP or ourselves if you’re in any way concerned about your emotional wellbeing.