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Monday 14 June 2021

UCLan calls for GPs to sign up to Psychological Support Hub

EMDR therapy hub aims to reduce NHS mental health care waiting lists

A team of psychologists and therapists from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is calling for GPs to sign up to work with a free trauma clinic that uses the well-documented EMDR therapy.

The UCLan Psychological Support Hub, which gained traction last year when it opened its doors to frontline workers affected by the pandemic, is now keen to build on its success by encouraging GPs to connect and refer patients.

UCLan’s Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy service already works with a GP surgery in Kirkham, Lancashire, as well as taking direct referrals through its website for Covid-19 related trauma patients. It is staffed by a team of experienced professionals from the School of Psychology and Computer Science and the School of Community Health and Midwifery at UCLan.

"The NHS is under a lot of pressure to provide mental health support and our service can help to relieve some of this. Our trauma service has worked with more than 200 patients and the feedback we’ve had has been phenomenal. "

Professor Jane L. Ireland from UCLan’s School of Psychology and Computer Science and one of the Clinical Leads for the Psychological Support Hub

Professor Jane L. Ireland from UCLan’s School of Psychology and Computer Science and one of the Clinical Leads for the Psychological Support Hub said: “The NHS is under a lot of pressure to provide mental health support and our service can help to relieve some of this.

“Our trauma service has worked with more than 200 patients and the feedback we’ve had has been phenomenal. We’ve helped Armed Forces veterans, ex-offenders, people dealing with birth and grief trauma and, of course, people directly or indirectly suffering because of Covid.

“We’re now at a stage where we’re ready to work with more GPs and increase the number of patient referrals.”

EMDR therapy has received a lot of publicity recently due to Prince Harry revealing he has used it to deal with his own trauma.

It is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It works by preventing difficult memories from causing distress by helping the brain to reprocess them properly.

"I can say without the therapy, I do not know where I would be today. I was in a dark place before the therapy but the therapy brought me to where I am today. "

A client of the UCLan Psychological Support Hub

One client of the UCLan Psychological Support Hub said: “I can say without the therapy, I do not know where I would be today. I was in a dark place before the therapy but the therapy brought me to where I am today.

“I can now go out and I can mix with others, which was for a very long time impossible for me to do. My nights are now a lot calmer. I can only say the biggest thank you to you, from the heart of me.”

Dr Jonathan Tobin from Kirkham Health Centre said: “The team has been supporting our practice for a considerable period and the positive impacts on our patients is significant. The importance of addressing trauma has become a key aspect of our practice.”

Medical practitioners wanting to learn more about working with the UCLan Psychological Support Hub can do so by contacting psychologicalsupport@uclan.ac.uk

People who would like to refer themselves to the Hub for Covid-19 related trauma can do so via the UCLan Psychological Support Hub website.