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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Therapy For You Introduces Limbic to Enhance Access to Talking Therapies

Therapy For You, the NHS Talking Therapies service catering to patients in North East and South East Essex, has taken a significant step forward by introducing Limbic to their website – an innovative mental health referral chatbot driven by artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance access to their diverse range of talking therapies.

This powerful tool, completely free to use, facilitates individuals seeking support to easily find the treatments they require, thereby commencing their journey to therapy through an entirely online experience.

Widening the Reach of Essential Mental Health Support Improving access to psychological therapies has been a top priority for mental health services across the country, with the UK government affirming its commitment to this cause in June 2023’s mandate for NHS England.

Despite one in four people in the UK being affected by mental health concerns each year, only 1.81 million individuals were referred to NHS Talking Therapies in 2022. Several factors contribute to this, with fear of judgment being a significant barrier to seeking help – a challenge that Therapy For You sought to address.

Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), highlighted the impact of the previous system, saying, “To get started with this type of treatment in the past, patients had to ring into the service themselves. For those already finding it difficult to cope, this phone call could become a huge source of anxiety and an enormous barrier to treatment.”

Recognising the need for an online referral pathway that is quick, easy, and supportive, Therapy For You partnered with Limbic to incorporate a clinically proven e-triage assistant on their website. Leveraging AI, this assistant guides users through accessing a full range of mental health support online, at any time, even outside of office hours.

Empowering Users with Limbic’s AI Assistant When visitors land on the Therapy For You website, Limbic promptly offers assistance to help them find what they are seeking. The AI assistant skillfully directs users to immediate services like ieso typed therapy and Omni Online CBT. Additionally, it enables individuals to refer to talking therapies such as 1-1 therapy, group therapy, phone therapy, and video calls.

To accomplish this, Limbic engages users in a series of essential questions regarding their demographic information, emotional well-being, and current situation. Furthermore, it delves into mood, anxiety, and day-to-day task management, culminating in a comprehensive referral to the service.

Once the referral is confirmed, typically within a few hours and certainly by the next working day, users receive a link to the service’s ‘choose and book’ system. Here, they can conveniently schedule an assessment appointment at a time that suits them best.

A Successful Journey with Limbic Monitoring the performance of Limbic over the first nine months, Therapy For You witnessed over 4,500 people using the chatbot to make a referral, with an impressive 89% finding the new system helpful.

Moreover, the number of phone referrals into the service decreased by a third, as many visitors opted for the new AI assistant to seek the support they needed.

Black expressed the significance of digital innovation in the therapeutic landscape, remarking, “All of this goes to show how important and valuable digital innovation is within the therapeutic landscape.”

While Limbic proves highly effective, the team acknowledges that it may not be the ideal pathway for everyone. For those who prefer a more personal approach, phone referrals remain available.

Looking to the Future with Limbic After a successful nine-month trial, Therapy For You continues to explore the full potential of Limbic as a supportive tool throughout patients’ therapeutic journeys.

About Therapy For You Therapy For You serves as the local NHS Talking Therapy service for Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point, and Rochford. It is dedicated to improving people’s well-being by offering a range of treatment pathways for individuals experiencing issues with anxiety, depression, stress, and more. Their treatments include:

  • Online CBT courses
  • 1-1 therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Phone therapy
  • Video calls
  • Ieso online therapy

Working in collaboration with Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), Therapy For You is committed to breaking down barriers to mental health access. They have successfully helped 98.6% of users seek meaningful help and enabled 99.4% to gain better insights into their difficulties through proven treatments and innovative online therapy.

The service offers treatment to individuals aged 18 and above in South East Essex and individuals aged 16 and above in North East Essex who are not currently receiving secondary mental health care or crisis services.

For more information about their services, visit their website at www.therapyforyou.co.uk, or reach out to 01268 739 128 if you live in South East Essex or 01206 334 001 if you are a resident of North East Essex.

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