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Bracken House

Kenwyn House, Crewkerne Rd, Chard TA20 1EZ, UK, United Kingdom

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Pearl House

First Floor East, Pearl House, Church St, Bridgwater TA6 5AT, UK, United Kingdom

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Priory House

Priory Hospital, Glastonbury Rd, Wells BA5 1TJ, UK, United Kingdom

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Parkgate House

Park Gate House, 35B E Reach, Taunton TA1 3ES, UK, United Kingdom

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Wednesday 22nd May 6-7.15pm

Sleep Webinar

We are now offering a new one hour group workshop that could help you.

The next workshop which is on

Wednesday 22nd May 6-7.15pm.

Through this course, we aim to…

Improve your understanding on sleep, introduce the vicious cycle of sleep problems, give you sleep hygiene tips, and discuss treatment steps for improving sleep

Types of sleep problems we aim to help with are…

Difficulties getting off to sleep, difficulties staying asleep, waking up too early and sleeping too much,

If you relate to one or more of the above, this workshop may be helpful

Patients will be able to refer themselves directly onto this group via our booking link .

Please note we also offer one-to-one Insomnia work through SilverCloud online via the Space to Sleep Programme.

Book onto the sleep workshop


Stress – a blog by Grace Pullen and Rebekah Jee

Hot on the heels of last month’s Stress Awareness Month, two of our psychological wellbeing practitioners in South Somerset, Grace Pullen and Rebekah Jee, have written a blog that covers all things ‘stress’.

The S word…‘Stress’. It’s likely that many of us will experience stress in our lives at one point or another. However, for some, stress can begin to impact on our lives in a significantly negative way.

But what actually is it? Stress can happen when the demands of life seem to outweigh our ability to cope – this could be related to having, unrealistic targets, money difficulties, family dynamics and illness.

The more stress increases, our capability to cope becomes less and less, our ‘stress bucket’ or capability to cope becomes full and overflows – leading us to feeling stressed.

Cycle of stress

When we are feeling stressed our thoughts, feelings and behaviours can all be impacted.

We may have thoughts such as “I can’t cope” or “I can’t do this.” These thoughts may then affect how we feel, maybe physically, and could make us more anxious, leading to an increased heart rate or sweating…or maybe even emotionally, such as feeling guilty.

Those feelings, whether physical or emotional, can then affect what we do and may result in us not doing it, avoiding it. The way all these areas link into each other is what we call a vicious cycle.

Although we can’t stop the triggers, or ‘water drops’, what we can do is create some form of release from these pressures that influence our stress levels, and therefore break the viscous cycle of stress.

How can Somerset Talking Therapies help?

Our Somerset Talking Therapies service is free to access for anyone aged 16 or over registered to a GP within Somerset. We offer treatment for stress management using evidence-based interventions based in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Our online ‘Managing Stress’ webinar is an anonymous six-week evening course, allowing you to learn tools and techniques to manage your symptoms of stress.

Each week two practitioners will focus on techniques that correspond to a particular area of the vicious cycle of stress, and they set home practice for you to try between sessions (based on the session content). You can also interact with your practitioners.

Manage your stress with online CBT

SilverCloud is an informative online therapy programme, proven to support wellbeing and help you learn ways to manage stress, low mood and anxiety, improve your sleep and build resilience using CBT techniques.

If you’d like to access treatment anywhere, at your own pace, with support from a practitioner online, without set appointments or having to talk directly to someone, SilverCloud could be for you.

You work through the programme independently, but a qualified practitioner will follow your progress online and will offer you tips and advice – all online and accessible in your own time.

You will be able to use accessible and interactive tools, videos, quizzes, recovery stories, journals, audio clips and more!

Watch this video to find out more:

To find out more and refer yourself directly to the program, visit our Somerset Talking Therapies website.

If you prefer a full assessment to discuss your difficulties and options available to you, please head to our website to make a self-referral, or call the admin team on 0300 323 0033 to discuss a referral


Student Mental Health Day

30% of students say their mental health had worsened since being at university – with 1 in 4 students now diagnosed with a mental health condition (Student Minds, 2023). In fact, 50% of students even consider leaving their Higher Education or University course due to difficulties with their mental health (Student mental health report 2022 | Randstad UK).

Starting University can be an exciting new chapter, but it also presents a range of potentially challenging transitions both at the beginning, and throughout, university life. Challenges may include:

  • Living away from home and your reliable support network
  • Meeting new friends
  • Academic or exam stress
  • Peer pressure around social life
  • Navigating a new city
  • Finding your feet with independent living (i.e. cooking, cleaning, paying bills, healthcare)
  • Managing Finances
  • Long distant friendships or relationships
  • Career confusion

Equally, it may be that mental health difficulties predate the transition to university, but the significant shift in lifestyle, acts to exacerbate these symptoms making them harder to navigate alone.

University Mental Health Day offers an opportunity to ensure that students know they don’t need to face these struggles on their own. By highlighting the mental health difficulties encountered by students and initiating important conversations, the day aims to increase awareness of support available.

Whether you are living with these symptoms, know, or are supporting someone who is, it is important to notice those early warning signs… you might want to consider:

  • Has there been a change in my communication with friends and family lately?
  • Has there been a reduction or change in my enjoyment or interest in activities?
  • Has there been a change in my personal hygiene, appearance and self-care?
  • Have I found it harder to sleep, or am I sleeping more than usual?

If the answer is yes, it might be a sign that you could benefit from accessing some support.

Your university, college, or school will have dedicated wellbeing services available to you – the best way to find out more, is through your institution’s website, or student union – but don’t forget, the NHS is also here for you.

NHS Somerset Talking Therapies is an NHS Talking Therapies Service that is free to access for anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Somerset and experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. You can refer yourself directly via our website, or speak with your GP who can support you in making a referral.

We know it’s not just those students already at university or in higher education that need our support. We understand that the prospect of university or next steps, can start to impact your mental health before you’re there – be that worry about what career is for you, what university life will be like, low mood or anxiety around moving away from loved ones, concerns about social life, or worry about if university is even the right path for you – we know the transitions faced between the ages of 16-18 can be challenging. That’s why we are very glad to now be supporting anyone in Somerset age 16+.

I’m not registered with a Somerset GP, can I still have support?

We are a service available for individuals registered to a GP surgery within Somerset. Therefore, we would recommend anyone who does not meet these criteria to talk to their college, university or placement provider to discuss support available. There are Talking Therapies services nationwide, so if you are registered to a GP outside of Somerset, you can find your local service by talking to your GP, or use the ‘find my nearest service’ tool:

At Talking Therapies, we offer a range of evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety disorders which are informed by the NICE Guidelines. We aim to help individuals to understand more about their symptoms and share strategies to help them move towards self-management of their recovery. How we provide this support varies – be that via groups or webinars or one-to-one support – online, telephone or in-person.

We appreciate that seeking support can feel very daunting. It can be hard to know if now is the right time to ask for help, or where to turn. But even if you’re not sure, it’s always okay to ask for help if you feel like you need it – we will happily receive your referral and will do our best to find the right pathway for you, be that within or outside of Talking Therapies. If you are unsure, we would encourage you to speak with your GP, or a trusted teacher, friend, or family member. People who care about you will want to help. Often opening up that initial conversation is the first step in helping those around you to understand too. For more support on who to talk to, and how to start these conversations, we think Young Minds’ top tips on how to reach out for support is a great resource!

To prepare for a conversation with your GP, or an assessment with us, you might want to consider:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing?
  • What impact has this had on your life?
  • What would you like support with? What are your goals? What would you like to see change for the better?

Not ready to access Talking Therapies just yet, but want to find out more?

A good place to start is at our virtual bookcase of self-help guides. These can help you to understand more about the symptoms you may be experiencing, similarly visiting our website to watch our videos and even start some independent treatment via the online platform of Silvercloud. All of this provides some preliminary ways to help yourself, and gives you a little idea of the sort of support we can provide.

University or post-16 life can be a challenging and turbulent time. If any of the above sounds familiar, or you are noticing changes in your mood, know that you deserve to feel better. Student mental health is important every day of the year. Take the first step to feeling better today, by referring to NHS Somerset Talking Therapies and we will help you to access the right support for you.

If you have any questions, please call us on 0300 323 00 33 or email our wonderful admin team on and they will get back to you as soon as they can.

Other helpful resources/services:


red leaves on a tree
By Hannah Davis-Goel

Connection and Mental Health

Our relationships can have a big effect on our mental health. A sense of connection, community and belonging are an important part of our wellbeing and a good support system is one important factor in recovering from depression and maintaining good mental health. It’s common to feel lonely or like we don’t know where to start in connecting with others.

Try starting to build a feeling of community in your life by thinking about what activities you feel most excited about! Perhaps you’ve always been an in-the-shower-singer and could look at joining a local pop-choir. Maybe you want to get out into nature a bit more and there are some walking groups you could sign up for. Whatever it is, that something in common and the regular meet-ups will give you the opportunity for feeling a little more connected and might teach you something about yourself along the way! When you have an assessment with Talking Therapies we can talk to you about all the different support services in Somerset that you could connect with to support your interests and a part of your mental health journey.

Equally, our mood can significantly impact our relationships and sometimes we might find it hard to reach out and ask for, or accept, support from the people in our lives.

If you get that feeling of “I don’t want to be a burden” which is so common and usually so untrue, try to remind yourself of how you would feel if a loved one came to you to reach out for company or support. In all likelihood, this is also how they will feel. Try starting with “I’m finding x difficult at the moment/I’m feeling x. Would it be okay if I talked to you about it and you just listened to me/gave me your advice?” and then ask them if there’s anything they would like some support on. You never know how much it might mean to someone to have the chance to give and receive support with you.

If you would like some support on how your mood is affecting your relationships or how your relationships are affecting your mood, you can go to the Somerset Talking Therapies website to refer yourself for an assessment and we can talk to you about our offer for relationships and depression.

When you have an assessment with Talking Therapies we can also talk to you about all the different support services in Somerset that you could connect with to support your interests and a part of your mental health journey.

Contact us to arrange an assessment (Link at foot of this blog ) to discuss your difficulties and options available to you,  or call the admin team on 0300 323 0033 to discuss a referral.

Refer Yourself Today
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Our blog and news

NHS Somerset talking therapies latest news/blog

Talking therapies for anxiety and depression open to patients aged 16 and over

Over the last year, our NHS Somerset talking therapies service has been busy supporting patients, and we’re excited to announce that the service can now accept referrals from those aged 16 and above.

After working with partner agencies and speaking with educational facilities and young people, the team was able to identify gaps and challenges in accessing mental health support for those aged 16 and 17, reviewed the service provisions and guidelines, and have been able to reduce the minimum age of service suitability.

Emily Wilson, a senior psychological wellbeing practitioner in the service, explains “We’re really excited to be able to make this change and provide assessments and treatments for common mental health difficulties to young people aged 16 and 17 in Somerset. This will help to increase access to mental health support for young people, particularly the opportunities for early intervention, aiming to make a difference before symptoms progress and become more impactful on the young person and their life.

“We also hope that, by working with those aged 16 and 17, we’ll be able to provide more opportunities for young people to get a better understanding of their mental health and wellbeing, and to learn about approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy and techniques they can use to manage their mental health. Hopefully this will help young people to feel happier and more confident, and give them the tools to maintain this and feel more resilient going forward.”

The service’s referral criteria, apart from the change in age, remains the same. NHS Somerset talking therapies is suitable for anybody (age 16+) who is experiencing a common mental health difficulty (depression, stress, PTSD, body dysmorphia, anxiety disorders – generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, health anxiety or OCD) and would likely be able to benefit from a short-term, goal-focused treatment. Referrals for those experiencing severe mental health difficulties remain the same through child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

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Here is an extract from one post about social anxiety

Those experiencing social anxiety express a fear of being the centre of attention, fear of embarrassing themselves, fears of being scrutinised by others and the fear of others noticing the anxious behaviours. It can be normal to experience anxiety around these situations as we enter teenage years but sometimes the fear of behaving in an embarrassing way can lead to such anxiety that a person may completely withdraw from social contact, as well as avoid specific social situations. This may make going to college, seeing friends, starting relationships, eating out or starting work really difficult.
Anxiety may feel like it’s robbing you of experiences and reducing your quality of life at such an important age but social anxiety is very treatable.
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