Blue January, otherwise known as the ‘saddest month of the year’, has gradually made its way into the public conversation about mental health. Yet, despite its rise in prominence, no evidence exists to suggest that this is a time when more people struggle to cope.
“While there are a handful of seasonal factors that can make January a difficult time for some – such as unpleasant weather, post-Christmas stress and unrealistic goals – the way we all experience mental health challenges is totally unique and impossible to predict,” said Hannah Pione, Digital Service Lead and CBT Therapist at Therapy For You, the NHS Talking Therapies provider for North East and South East Essex.
“Some people might struggle at the beginning of January, some towards the end, while others may have no issues at all. We at Therapy For You understand this, which is why we offer a range of ways for people to get support, including highly-accessible phone therapy”.
“It’s also important to acknowledge that many people who live with mental health challenges often experience difficulties that last longer than a month. And that’s another reason why we’re proud to offer phone therapy – whenever someone needs help, January or not, our flexible, over-the-phone support is there to help,” added Pione.
What is phone therapy?
Phone therapy is a type of evidence-based treatment that allows patients to talk with a qualified practitioner over the phone and work through their mental health challenges step by step.
“Contrary to most people’s image of therapy, phone counselling can be completed without the need to travel or speak with a therapist face-to-face. This makes it the perfect option for patients with limited mobility, busy lifestyles, or who simply prefer the idea of getting mental health support at home,” said Pione.
“Taking a similar approach to conventional face-to-face treatment, participants discuss the same topics in the same confidential manner as they would in-person. The only difference is that the tailored guidance they receive is given over the phone, at a time and place that suits them.”
“This makes it a powerful form of treatment for all types of difficulties. However, we also understand that talking with a counsellor over the phone isn’t right for everyone – that’s why we’re also proud to offer various other pathways to treatment at Therapy For You.”
What are the benefits of phone therapy?
As well as being a convenient, easy-to-access form of mental health treatment, there are a number of other benefits that make phone therapy the right choice for many.
Treatment is highly effective
One of the strongest benefits of telephone counselling is how successful this form of therapy can be, with recent studies suggesting that these sessions are just as effective as conventional face-to-face guidance.
“In our experience, many of the patients who complete phone therapy get the advice and support they are looking for, enabling them to make positive, lasting progress on their journey to feeling better,” said Pione.
Sessions are very flexible
The over-the-phone nature of telephone counselling also means attendees do not need to commute to a destination to begin therapy. Instead, they can speak with a therapist wherever they are, on a schedule that accommodates them.
“Although we encourage patients to devote the necessary focus and attention to every session, being able to chat with a practitioner from practically anywhere makes phone therapy an accessible option for those who live remotely, have busy lives, or may struggle getting to physical sessions,” explained Pione.
Practical coping techniques for life
Another key advantage of telephone therapy is how participants will learn practical coping techniques that they can draw on for the rest of their life, over the phone.
“Our practitioners do more than explain how patients can handle their emotional challenges in the moment. We teach people how to manage their mental health difficulties long term, equipping them with the skills they need to become their own therapist over time,” said Pione.
Phone therapy: Year-round mental health support
As millions of people in the UK face challenges with their mental health every year, phone therapy stands out as an effective, convenient pathway to treatment that can support people with their emotional difficulties all throughout the year.
“Unlike what Blue January may have you believe, mental health is an important topic to talk about and improve on all the time, not just at the beginning of the calendar,” said Pione.
“To help people on their path to feeling better whenever they feel low, at Therapy For You we provide a variety of convenient, confidential and highly effective treatments for our local community that are available all year round.”
Hannah Pione is the Digital Service Lead and a CBT Therapist at Therapy For You, part of the Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust.
About Therapy For You
Therapy For You is the local NHS Talking Therapies provider for Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point and Rochford, committed to helping people feel better through a range of treatment pathways for anxiety, depression, stress and more, including:
● Omni online CBT courses
● 1-1 therapy
● ieso online therapy
● Group therapy
● Video therapy
● Phone therapy
Working in partnership with Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), Therapy For You remains devoted to breaking down the barriers to mental health access. They have helped 98.6% of its users seek meaningful support and 99.4% to better understand their difficulties through proven treatments and innovative online therapy.
The service provides 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.
If you would like to learn more about their services, visit their website at www.therapyforyou.co.uk, or reach out on 01268 739 128 if you live in South East Essex, or 01206 334 001 if you are a resident of North East Essex.