People who want to improve their mental health can now refer themselves directly to services run by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Previously, people could only access CPFT services after being referred by their GP.
Now in a drive to offer support to more people – and to ease the pressures on local doctors – people living in Peterborough and all parts of Cambridgeshire can self-refer to the service.
Treatments available include personal therapy, guided self-help and group sessions, including training in mindfulness.
Dr Adrian Jackson, project lead for the service, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer the chance for people to refer themselves. We have been supported in this move by our commissioners and this will enable us to see more people, more quickly.
“We know that it can be a big step for people to go and see their doctor and say they want help with their mental health.
“If people have considered that to be a barrier previously we hope this change will mean it will now be even easier for them to come forward.
“Mental ill-health happens to one in four of us, but we know that people still feel there is stigma attached to it. I would like to assure people that CPFT and the Psychological Wellbeing Service is there to help.”
Anyone registered with a GP in the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire area can access the Psychological Wellbeing Service by completing an online form that can be found on the Trust’s website www.cpft.nhs.uk.
They will be then be contacted by someone from the Trust and talked through the options available to them.
Alternatively, the service can be contacted by calling 0300 300 0055. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.
People can also print the self-referral form off the website, fill it in, and send it to The Psychological Wellbeing Service (IAPT), Grebe House, Gloucester Centre, Morpeth Close, Orton Longueville, Peterborough,
Dr Jackson added: “The service was previously called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies or IAPT. It is a name that is used nationally across the NHS.
“However, we surveyed patients, staff, GPs and user groups about the name and it was decided that the Psychological Wellbeing Service is a far better representation of what the service does and will be something people can identify with more easily.
“Many people access the service each month but we know many more people would like to and we’ve brought in new clinicians and support staff to enable to make that happen.”