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Time to Talk West Berkshire launches new SilverCloud app to help young people manage their mental health



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A charity that offers free counselling sessions to young people in West Berkshire is reassuring parents that there is help available.

Time to Talk West Berkshire has just launched a new online programme to help youngsters with their mental health at the earliest stage possible.

Tammy Willsher, service manager at the charity, said the young people needed to use SilverCloud, which is available on an app, for just 10-15 minutes a day, working through modules on issues such as anxiety, stress, resilience, body confidence, grief, sleeping and eating.

Time to Talk West Berkshire offers free counselling sessions to young people in the district
Time to Talk West Berkshire offers free counselling sessions to young people in the district

“In West Berkshire we are doing some good things,” she promised. “It is about educating the young people psychologically. The world is changing and the area needs something suitably different.”

Each youngster will be assigned a digital mentor who will be able to offer guidance and encouragement as they work through the modules set specifically to meet their particular needs.

Mrs Willsher said that it was important to recognise that young people can experience normal anxiety, such as exam stresses, and the new app hopes to help them deal with that more easily, ensuring that problems don’t escalate into something more complex.

Time to Talk West Berkshire has launched a new online programme to help young people
Time to Talk West Berkshire has launched a new online programme to help young people

“We are preventing it getting worse,” she added. “We are giving them the tools to cope and lowering the levels of anxiety. It is much better to catch problems early.”

Time to Talk also offers six to 12 free and confidential counselling sessions to every young person on its waiting list within 10 weeks and SilverCloud – which is already in use by the NHS and other charities across the country – is now another tool in its armoury.

Access to the app will be offered to a young person on the charity’s waiting list, after an initial assessment by its team of experts that they are suitable for the programme, to ensure some intervention while they wait for further help.

“Our waiting lists have doubled in the last two years,” Mrs Willsher said. “But we are still able to see everyone within eight to 10 weeks, with an initial assessment within a week.

“We have really developed our offering over the years and we can provide relief.

“In a mental health field where we just hear bad stuff all the time, we are saying there is some good news.

“This is part of our unique offering.”

Anyone wishing to find out more can visit the charity’s website – www.t2twb.org – and make an online referral for themselves or their child if they are aged between 11-25; live, work or go to school; or are registered with a GP in West Berkshire.

If you think you could volunteer some time to be a mentor for young people using SilverCloud you can also contact Time to Talk through its website. No formal qualifications are needed and full training will be given.



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