Live your life to the full – that’s the aim of a brand-new online resource to help people overcome stress, low mood and anxiety through low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
A wide range of free online courses, all written by an expert in CBT, are now available for people aged 18+ including family carers of children or young people suffering with chronic illness, expectant mothers, those with new babies or toddlers, those working in the farming community, people living with a long-term health condition, those living with chronic pain and individuals who have just left prison or who have become homeless.
The courses offers instant access to an evidence-based effective treatment – there is no waiting needed for an appointment with a GP or other healthcare professional – and there is also an option for users to receive additional telephone support from the Wellbeing Suffolk service and more intensive treatment if required. This new, direct linkage, between Living Life to the Full and the Wellbeing Suffolk service is an innovation developed for the NHS in Suffolk.
The life skills on offer can help people deal with a variety of challenging life situations:
- Work out why you feel as you do
- How to tackle problems, build confidence, get going again
- Living with a long-term physical condition
- Feel happier, stay calm and tackle upsetting thinking
- Live a healthier lifestyle including quitting smoking and cutting down on drinking
- Controlling your temper
Anyone who is experiencing panic can press the online ‘panic button’ to instantly gain access to resources that will help them; and anyone with suicidal thoughts can immediately click on an award-winning resource to help them combat those thoughts.
The Living Life To The Full (LLTTF) website can be accessed at www.llttf4suffolk.com
This new online resource is being funded by NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups and is delivered in partnership with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. CBT is a recognised and effective treatment that is widely recommended for dealing with low mood and depression and helps change problematic thinking styles and behaviour patterns that can help us feel better.
New users will initially complete a short ‘mood quiz’ to accurately understand the issues affecting them and to identify the best resources for their needs, with courses being offered in a simple, easy-to-read format that can be completed at the convenience of the user. People can access the resources with no need to contact their GP practice. Health professionals will also be able to suggest patients who they feel will benefit from access to this life skills training to refer themselves online. Patients who wish for more support can request this online, and can be stepped up to more intensive treatment, provided by the Wellbeing Suffolk service, if needed.
Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and mental health lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The introduction of this Living Life to the Full resource is a really useful support tool to help people in Suffolk live a happier life.
“These courses are tailored to individual conditions, and offer immediate access to tools that can really help people. The mental wellbeing challenges facing an expectant mother or farmer will likely differ from an ex-offender or someone living with chronic pain, and the content of these courses reflect that.
“I would encourage anyone experiencing low-mood, anxiety or depression to visit the website. It could literally change your life for the better.”
Nesta Reeve, Clinical Lead for Wellbeing Suffolk, said: “We are so pleased to be collaborating on this innovation which allows people across east and west Suffolk to gain immediate access to support online to manage anxiety and depression at a time that suits them. People can then simply opt for additional support at a press of a button if they need it and access this from Wellbeing Suffolk.”
The LLTF content has been written by a highly qualified Consultant Psychiatrist and specialist in CBT – award-winning author Professor Chris Williams and past President of the British Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapies.
LLTF resources will also be available in libraries across Suffolk – ensuring access to this mental wellbeing support to people without access to the internet or who prefer not to use the internet.