We have just finished an engagement process with an online survey and thank everyone who responded. Your comments, feedback and ideas have helped us in the writing of the service specification for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, which will go to public tender in the coming months. Our draft service specification will also be posted on this website in due course for your further comments.

IAPT is a national programme to support people from the age of 16 who are experiencing low mood, anxiety and depression, stress, excessive worry or difficulties controlling emotions. These therapies, that include ‘talking therapies’, typically involve treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapies, mindfulness, groups and courses to help people better understand and improve their mental health.

The new service will also connect people with other support in the area, for example help with keeping or finding employment, accessing benefits or debt advice, social isolation and long term physical health conditions.  This is because depression and anxiety is strongly connected with other things that are going on in people’s lives.

Unemployment, social isolation, poverty and debt, housing difficulties and homelessness all have a big impact on mental health and the new IAPT service will address this through connecting with existing services that work in all these areas.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is taking this opportunity to redesign and recommission a new IAPT service for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.