Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. They do not discriminate against age, race or sex and with 1 in 4 people being affected at some point in their lives. For some people it can be clear to make sense of the triggers which may have led to the onset of their problems such as loss of employment or another life changing event. However, for some of us it can be an accumulation of day to day stressors weighing us down and overtime erode away at our resilience.

Talking changes is here to help by offering free and confidential talking therapies and counselling through a progressive model of care to those who are:

  • Aged 16 or over
  • Live in County Durham or Darlington
  • Experiencing a common mental health problem such as; depression, generalized anxiety, specific phobias, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder for example.
  • Not already accessing adult mental health services

Talking Changes has been set up to improve access to psychological therapies (also known as talking therapies). Counselling services are also available from April 2019. Support is provided by trained professionals and is available in a wide range of locations in the County Durham and Darlington area.

The service is part of the national improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) programme. It is run by a joint venture between Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Mental Health Matters and Sunderland Counselling Services.

Talking Changes offers psychological interventions that include talking therapies and supported self-help programmes as well as counselling services.

What do we offer?

As we work from a progressive model of care we will usually offer the least invasive intervention first which provides an opportunity to be guided through treatment by a specially trained clinician at a pace which suits you. Our low intensity interventions (Steps 2a and 2b) are offered to most people in the first instance and these are:

  • Step 2a Telephone Guided Self Help (TGSH)
  • Step 2a Computer based cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT)
  • Step 2a Depression and Anxiety groups
  • Step 2b Face to Face Guided Self Help
  • Step 1 Counselling
  • Step 3 Counselling (CfD Counselling for Depression)
Other effective treatments

We also offer a number of other interventions known to be effective for the treatment of common mental health problems which include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT- A structured talking therapy particularly helpful for mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders)
  • Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR- a method of treatment to alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT- A talking therapy which helps to establish links between low mood and relationships or loss)

In addition to this we also have specialist pathways of care for those who are experiencing a common mental health problem as a result of a long term health condition. We are also closely linked to weight and wellbeing resources and provide the psychological intervention for those clients wishing to pursue bariatric surgery for obesity.

We also have dedicated employment support practitioners who work closely with the local job centre to support those who are ready to return to work following a period of ill mental health. Please contact your local job centre for more information.

Is the service for me?

Do you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed? Struggling to cope? Or just not feeling like yourself? We can all feel this way at some point in our lives and this can often lead onto difficulty in other areas of our lives such as impact on work or family.

Check out some of the typical signs and symptoms of low mood or anxiety or take a quick test about how you are feeling and find out if Talking Changes can help you feel better.

What happens next

Once we have received a referral we aim to book you into a telephone assessment appointment within 72 hours. This appointment will take approximately 30 minutes but maybe slightly longer or shorter dependent on your need.

Find out more here

You don’t have to cope with this alone. Talking Changes can help support and empower you to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Find out how you can contact us


Find out more or self-refer to our service

Online • By telephone: 0191 333 3300

Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm – open till 8 pm Thursdays

The service can also be accessed by contacting your GP or other any other Health Care professional.


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