Referrals

You must be registered with a GP surgery in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly to use the Talking Therapies Service.

Self-refer

If you would like to refer yourself into the service, you can self-refer online or call 01208 871 905. Appointments are by phone, video or face-to-face.

Please note that if your self-referral raises concerns about your safety, we will signpost you to a more appropriate service.

Health professionals

If you are a health professional and want to refer someone into the service, use our health professional online referral form. Please note, this form should not be completed by patients.

Waiting times

Within 5 working days of receiving your referral, you will be contacted by a member of our admin team. They will arrange your initial telephone assessment appointment with one of our therapists.

Once confirmed, your appointment details will be emailed or posted to you and will include further information about what to expect.

There may be times when we would need to discuss transferring your care with other services if we are not the appropriate service to meet your needs. If you do not hear from us after 5 days, call us on 01208 871 905 or email the Talking Therapies Service. The team will respond Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

We expect 12,500 people to access Talking Therapies a year across a range of services. We assess 93% of people within 6 weeks. Some services receive more referrals than others and these median waiting times give you a guide as to what you can expect.

Assessment current wait time in days

  • 12 days

Low intensity current wait time in days

Service Days
Therapeutic groups including young at heart, finding yourself again, menopause and stressbuster. 21
One-to-one therapy 188
Silvercloud therapy (accompanied) 13

High intensity current wait time in days

Service Days
Therapeutic groups including health relating, worry less and live more, mood booster and neuro. 80
Cognitive behavioural therapy 78
Counselling for depression 69
Couples’ therapy for depression 7
Interpersonal psychotherapy 59
Mindfulness 5
Post traumatic stress disorder therapy 87

This information was last updated on 29 May 2024.

NHS Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Talking Therapies

The NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Talking Therapies Service is a free, confidential service for people aged 16 years and over who are registered with a GP in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We provide treatment for common mental health difficulties such as low mood, stress, and anxiety. You can refer yourself to this service without support from your GP.

Who do we help?

We work with people aged 16 and over experiencing low mood, anxiety, stress, worry and depression. We also provide treatment for people with the following common mental health problems:

  • agoraphobia
  • body dysmorphic disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • panic disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • specific phobias (such as heights, flying, spiders)

In addition to this we offer treatment for people experiencing long-term physical health conditions, which impact their mental health. This includes:

  • diabetes (type 1 and 2 and pre-diabetes)
  • cardiovascular related problems
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

What are the benefits of Talking Therapies?

  • We will help you learn the skills you need to overcome your difficulties.
  • You will feel heard and understood.
  • You will be able to better manage your physical health.
  • We will help you link in with other support in the community.

What can you expect?

We will have an initial discussion with you to better understand what you need.

We will discuss treatments within our service that may be suitable or can help signpost you to another service which could be more appropriate.

Our treatments are delivered by trained therapists. It may be that there is a wait for the service that’s best for you. But we will have discussions with you about what support is available while you wait.

Therapies we offer

We offer a range of educational courses, as well as individual and online therapies. We will always discuss the options with you and work with you to identify the best therapy for you based on your needs and lifestyle.

It may be that you start with one type of therapy, for example an educational course, before going on to work with an individual therapist.

Thoughts of harm or suicide?

We are not a crisis or emergency service. If you need help now, visit our mental health crisis Cornwall webpage or call the 24/7 mental health response line on 0800 038 5300 for support and advice.

Video appointments

We provide video appointments using Attend Anywhere. Join your video appointment.

Case study: Bethany Davis, Older Adults Champion

Beth is a psychological wellbeing practitioner and 1 of 4 older adults champions within our Talking Therapies service. We caught up with her to find out more about what she does in her champion role.

What is your specific champion role about?

We want to increase the accessibility of our services for people over the age of 65. This group actually respond quicker to cognitive behavioural therapy than younger age groups do, but unfortunately, we only have a few over 65s currently accessing Talking Therapies.

We want to try and improve our communications with other teams, like those in secondary care services. We are trying to forge stronger relationships with them because they might be working with people who could benefit from Talking Therapies, or equally we might have people we can refer onto them as well. We want to look more broadly at communication channels which might help us reach older adults too.

We research the latest best practice guides around working with older adults, so that we can share the most up-to-date resources and materials with our fellow clinicians within the service. For example, we know that progressive muscle relaxation works well with older adults. It’s about us being aware of the tools and techniques that will help us deliver the best results for these specific patient groups.

Are there particular mental health issues facing older adults?

Often for older adults their worries can be quite different to those in younger age groups. For example, they can be more likely to worry about their health and ageing, rather than say, money stresses or relationship worries. We try to ensure that our clinical workforce is aware of these nuances and that they recognise the different focuses that our older patients may have.

In what ways might you then work differently with older adults?

There are some slightly different techniques and approaches we use with older adults. We can adapt how we do behavioural activation for example. Behavioural activation is type of therapy that aims to help people with depression to take simple, practical steps towards enjoying life again. Within this approach for older adults, we might consider their physical health a little more. So, when we look at identifying people’s values, asking them about what they used to do that they value from, looking at how they could get that value from something similar that might be adapted in some way to enable them to do it in-line with their physical health or pain management.

We run Young at Heart courses for people aged 65 and over. These are 4 session courses where we look at a range of ways to boost mood, manage anxieties, and focus on how to continue to grow in later life. We’ve had some positive feedback on these sessions so far. The participants have shown good recovery scores too. They are going well and we’re looking forward to offering more of these courses in the coming months.

If people still need more therapy following a Young at Heart course, we can think about one-to-one treatment or other courses. We had a lady recently who had difficulties centred around her sleep, so after she completed our Young at Heart course, she’s taken up a Sleep Well course to improve her recovery further.

What made you want to take on this additional champion role?

Before I joined the service, I was a senior in a care home, so I have the right kind of knowledge and background experience of working with older adults. I thought I could use that experience to help us address some of the challenges we face with increasing access to people in those age categories.

Case study: Tamsin Nicholls, Learning Difficulties Champion

Tamsin Nicholls is a Learning Difficulties Champion within our Talking Therapies service. She has been a psychological wellbeing practitioner for over 2 years and is using her experience of dyspraxia and information processing dyslexia to help the service become more inclusive for people using our services.

"My day mostly consists of supporting people with assessments and treating clients. I work with people either over the telephone, by video or face to face, and use cognitive behavioural therapy to support them.

"I have only recently become a learning difficulties champion, so my role is still in its infancy. However, I already have a better understanding of how we could improve our services and provide materials specifically for people with learning difficulties. We are looking at the demographics of our learning difficulties clients, along with information about access rates and identifying other limitations we have as a service.

"I am currently awaiting a diagnosis for ADHD and autism and as a champion, would like us to achieve a more joined up approach across the mental health service. I am interested in how we can better work with charities, support groups and colleges. I hope we can achieve increased awareness and dedicated support including access to training for staff who support people with learning needs.

"As a service, Talking Therapies can really help those with learning difficulties. We can do this through increasing awareness of mental health, by normalising symptoms by using our channels to talk about them. We can help patients to work through things themselves by using specific home practice materials. We can also develop some of our training so that it really speaks to and supports people with learning difficulties."