WIRRAL residents who are experiencing stress, anxiety or are feeling low are being urged to refer themselves to psychological talking therapies.

NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to spread the message to people across the borough that GP referral is not needed to access this kind of therapy.

Medical director at NHS Wirral CCG, Dr Paula Cowan said: "1 in 4 people will experience a problem with their mental wellbeing at some point in their life.

"Talking therapies is not a crisis service, but a chance to access mental health support at an early stage, when you are feeling low, stressed or anxious.

“Seeking support through talking therapies early on can make a real difference to recovery, and can equip you with the tools and support you need to help prevent a mental health situation becoming worse.”

Anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP practice in Wirral can access this kind of therapy which includes cognitive behavioural therapies, bereavement support, counselling and groups/courses to help better understand and improve mental health.

Dr Cowan added: “Last year there were some delays in people accessing talking therapies in Wirral, but we are pleased to say that waiting times are now in line with national targets, to ensure that people get the right help when they need it.”

These therapies come under the national NHS IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme.

To directly access Wirral's talking therapies service call 0151 649 1859 or visit https://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/news/feeling-low-anxious-or-stressed-refer-yourself-to-wirral-s-mental-health-talking-therapies-service/

However talking therapies do not offer support for mental health emergencies and if you need to talk to someone urgently visit http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/crisis/or call 111.