Time to Talk Health are bucking national trends in supporting male mental Illness and alleviating pressures on frontline services.
26 October 2018

Bucking national trends in supporting male mental illness and alleviating pressures on frontline services

Over eighteen months since the launch of Time to Talk Health, an innovative service providing talking therapies to people living with long-term health conditions.

Time to Talk Health supports patients in developing the skills to sustain healthy lifestyles and self-manage their conditions better in order to become more independent. 

The ‘whole person’ approach to care is helping to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and introduce new ways of talking about mental health in relation to long-term health conditions.

The service is making important progress in addressing the national gender imbalance of those accessing mental health services.

National statistics show that men are more at risk of suicide and less likely to access mental health services. However Time to Talk Health’s latest data shows  promising results for male mental health.

By approaching mental health in this way, Time to Talk Health is bucking national trends and seeing more men than ever accessing the service.

Jackie Allt, Chief Psychologist said,

“The shift is being investigated further in the hope that the findings can be applied to other psychological therapies to help us move closer to equitable access in terms of gender. This potentially has far reaching consequences in terms of suicide prevention.”

Impact

The impact that the service has on all individuals who access it is undoubtedly positive and information gathered from surveying patients also revealed evidence of alleviating pressures on emergency and primary care services. These findings equate to be a financial saving of £3,000 per patient to the local NHS.

A key driver behind the national Long Term Conditions Project was the idea that improving psychological wellbeing would improve self-management of physical health conditions, leading to reduced demands on the health service.

Service users of Time to Talk Health were asked to complete a questionnaire at assessment and six months after discharge which gathers information about their use of healthcare services over the last three months.

So far, results have shown:

  • a 50% reduction in A&E visits and ambulance call outs
  • a 69% reduction in nurse appointments and hospital in-patient days

One patient who was struggling with telling the difference between anxious feelings and cardiac symptoms found they were avoiding activity and experiencing low mood and frustration. After accessing seven sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) via Time to Talk Health, they are able to manage their health condition better and understand their symptoms, meaning they are now less likely to access emergency services unnecessarily.

 

Time to Talk Health is a professional and self-referral service where patients can access support on the phone, in one-to-one sessions or in small groups.

If you are living with a long term health condition and would like to access support from Time to Talk Health - find out more on our website or follow them on Twitter: @sct_ttthealth