Mental Health
NHS Services

Our Services

We are a free and confidential NHS service. We are part of the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme.

We have a team of mental health experts who are highly-trained, accredited practitioners committed to excellence in clinical standards, who will ensure you always have the best chance of achieving positive outcomes individual to you.

VitaMinds Basildon and Brentwood

We offer a range of short-term psychological therapies to adults 18 years and over, who are registered with a Basildon and Brentwood GP.

Please note that individuals who live in Basildon and Brentwood but are registered with a GP outside of the borough will be unable to access the service and will need to access services in their registered GP area. You can locate your local service here.

Do you need urgent help?

We are not an emergency service and are not able to help with immediate crisis situations. If you need immediate help please contact either your GP or go to the Accident and Emergency Department of your local hospital (24hrs).

Alternatively, if you’re experiencing a crisis and need a person talk things through with, you can call the Crisis Teams in your area.

Find a Crisis Team in your area

Our Services

We offer a range of short-term psychological therapies to adults 18 years and over, who are registered with a Basildon and Brentwood GP.

Please note that individuals who live in Basildon and Brentwood but are registered with a GP outside of the borough will be unable to access the service and will need to access services in their registered GP area. You can locate your local service here.

We are proud to have a diverse team that make up the Mental Health service.
Your treatment can be offered in a variety of ways to suit your needs; we will provide a range of group classes at varied times and in locations convenient to you, individual sessions face-to-face and over the phone or via secure video link.

Psychological Therapists

Psychological therapists are trained professionals who can help people to deal with problems that significantly interfere with their lives.

Some psychological therapists in our service are trained as clinical or counselling psychologists, some as counsellors or psychotherapists and some as cognitive behavioural therapists.

Many people face problems from time-to-time such as coping with stress, depression, anxiety, trauma
or adjustment to new life circumstances.

Seeing a psychological therapist involves building a relationship between therapist and client in which
problems can be thought about and worked through together. You will develop strategies to cope
better and manage your wellbeing.

Workshops and groups


“I’ve learnt so much from this group, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect but the staff were excellent, so knowledgeable and I have learnt so much. It really helped to be with others who felt the same way as I did.”

About our Workshops and Groups

All our workshops and groups are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is an ‘evidence-based treatment’ for anxiety- and depression-based problems.

CBT groups can be as effective for some people as individual therapy.

We provide a choice of groups and workshops and hope that something may be helpful for you. We try to ensure that all our groups are supportive and informative. They offer an opportunity to meet with other people who have similar experiences, and receive information and treatment from experienced therapists and practitioners.

It is normal to feel a bit reluctant or nervous about attending a group or workshop, especially if you have not been to a group or workshop before.

It can be helpful to know that no one is required to speak in front of the group unless they choose to.

However, we do know that people who actively engage in groups, or workshops – those who read materials, work through exercises, talk, and try things out – tend to benefit more from treatment.

We have great feedback from lots of people that have attended groups, even the people that were not sure groups would be helpful for them.

We encourage people to try a group or workshop and we are here to support you if you do. Our groups and workshops aim to be gentle, practical and effective. We hope that you will go home at the end of the group or workshop with a new set of skills to use in life and greater confidence to handle problems.

This is an outline of our groups and workshops, and some comments from individuals that have tried them.

Psychological wellbeing practitioners

Some of the trained staff within the service are called psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWP). They are trained to be able to guide you through a range of self help materials that are specific to your difficulties.

The self help materials may be in the form of leaflets or booklets, or available online. You will have a choice about whether or not you wish to access a self help programme on a computer. All online material is bespoke to you, has a large library of content accessible via app, phone, desktop or tablet and you will have access to all of your material for 12 months.

Our practitioners will guide you through the programme, whether paper-based or computer-based, and help you with any difficulties that may arise.

Our psychological team are all qualified and accredited to work in an IAPT service in accordance to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Group for depression: ‘behavioural activation’

Feeling low? Struggling with motivation? Stopped doing things you used to and want some support to get back on track?

This 6-week group course helps you to understand what keeps depression going. It particularly focuses on the link between what you do and how you feel.

The course teaches basic skills in how to manage common difficulties in depression such as improving mood, problem solving and provides support to get back on track.

Behavioural activation is an effective treatment for depression, and is shown to work very well in groups.

Put simply, the things we experience in depression (tiredness, loss of interest and pleasure in doing things, loss of motivation, etc.) can lead to inactivity, and this often keeps depression going or even make it worse.

With depression, we often stop doing everyday tasks, so things at home, at work, and things might start to build up. This can then feel overwhelming, or impossible. Behavioural activation works to overcome depression by starting to address these activities, and changing what we do, to change the way we feel.

If you feel this group would be beneficial for you, please click here

Long term conditions team

It is very common for people who have been diagnosed with a long term condition to feel low, frustrated or worried at times. Living with a long term condition can affect a person’s mood and how they feel can impact their health condition.

Our Long Term Conditions team can support individuals improve their overall wellbeing. They can learn to cope better with the demands of managing their condition which has a positive impact on their mood and health.

We work with a range of problems including: diabetes, coronary heart disease/heart failure, COPD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

Stress and worry

Feeling overwhelmed? Do you get stressed easily? Worry a lot?

This 6-week group course aims to help you better understand stress and worry. It provides management techniques and strategies to reduce daily stresses and concerns.

If you feel this group would be beneficial for you, please click here

How can we help?



We offer a range of options for people living in Basildon and Brentwood. This includes CBT, guided self-help and groups.

We also offer online support which is tailored to specific conditions.

We work from a variety of locations across Basildon and Brentwood, including GP surgeries and other community health clinics.

Telephone support can be arranged if individuals are too unwell to attend a clinic.

Stress and low mood within long term health conditions

Do you have a Long Term Condition such as a heart problem, chest problem, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis? Been suffering from stress, feeling low, anxious or depressed? Want help understanding and managing these feelings?

This 6-week group facilitates reflection and discussion about the impact of your physical condition. It provides information and support to:

  • learn how to pace yourself to prevent unhelpful ‘boom and bust’ patterns;
  • learn how to manage stress, anxiety and low mood;
  • gain support from peers with similar experiences and health problems.

If you feel this group would be beneficial for you, please click here

How can I access this help?

You can access this support through referring yourself or making an appointment with your health professional or GP who will be able to send us a referral form or refer here.

Sleep workshop


Having trouble with sleep?

This one-day workshop aims to help you identify causes of sleep problems and offers you a chance to learn different ways to improve your sleep.

If you feel this group would be beneficial for you, please click here

Treatments we offer

We try to ensure that the type of help offered to you best matches your current needs. Our service offers both low intensity and high intensity courses of treatment. Further details on these, and the stepped care approach are outlined below:

Whenever possible we offer low intensity courses of treatment in the first instance. This is because it is recommended by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), they are the easiest to access and most widely available.

Low intensity options include workshops, groups, and guided self-help using workbooks or online packages.

Guided self-help includes one-to-one support, often in the form of weekly or fortnightly telephone or secure video link contact.

High intensity therapies usually involve weekly one-to-one sessions (by telephone, secure video link or face-to-face) with a therapist who specialises in a particular form of therapy, e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT).

You and your therapist will review your progress together, and may decide to step up your treatment (low to high intensity), or step it down (high to low intensity), or across (to another option at the same step), before you are ready to complete your treatment and be discharged.

Online therapy

We offer online treatment options, which are accessible from your smart phone, tablet or computer at home, any time of the day or night.

This means no more travelling to sessions, and sessions fit into your busy schedule. Instead, you can have your sessions when your children are in bed, or when you have finished a long day at work, or over a weekend with a cup of coffee next to you.

Service reviews show us that these treatments are as effective as face-to-face treatments, and we are very pleased to be able to offer you this option. You can start right now.

You will complete a series of guided modules about the difficulties you are experiencing, with a highly interactive and informative online space to help you reflect and learn and recover. You can do this at a time of your choosing, or as often as you would like during the week. Your therapist will arrange a regular check in time with you in the week, at which time you can get feedback, ask questions and address your concerns. Not in or can’t plan? Don’t worry, your therapist can see what you have done or the difficulties you have had by looking at the information you submitted online, and can leave ideas with you online that you can check any time.

The online cognitive behavioural programme has separate programmes to treat anxiety, depression or stress. It has a set of interactive modules for each programme which you can customise to use your way.

What's involved?

Computer-based sessions which you can work though at your own pace. Each programme provides a series of tools, activities and education on anxiety, depression or stress delivered in a safe and confidential space. You are encouraged to complete a 30-40 minute session once per week over an 8-10 week period. Activities completed between sessions are an essential part of the programme. A dedicated Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) monitors your progress through your programme, providing guidance and encouragement via regular reviews. You will share content with your PWP which allows them to respond to you in a more personal way and provide guidance that is relevant to you. The platform also supports the secure exchange of messages between you and your supporter.

How do I access?

We will provide you with an activation link to enable you to access the programme from home. We may also give you some telephone support while you work through the programme. The following information gives more detail on what is involved in the anxiety, depression and stress programmes.


Better understanding of the connection between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour and increased awareness of your moods and anxious thoughts. Tools to define and face your anxiety step by step such as an anxiety monitor chart, coping thoughts tool and worry time app. Learn to manage your anxiety, challenge anxious thoughts and develop coping strategies to feel better.


Better understanding of the connection between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Learn to observe your mood, thought and behaviour patterns. Learn to spot thoughts and challenge negative thoughts, unhelpful patterns and balance core beliefs. Learn to boost behaviour to help you increase positive behaviours to improve your mood and motivation


Focuses on resilience helping you to identify and enhance existing strengths and skills and build new ones in order to manage stress and bring balance to your life. Develop skills to help you address your work life balance. Learn to manage stress, build resilience and self esteem. Learn to set effective goals, problem solve successfully, utilise time management and communicate more assertively

What we treat

Why choose online therapy?

  • Research suggests it can be as effective as one-to-one therapy for many people.
  • You keep your access and content for 12 months.
  • Easy to use.
  • It is available across platforms and so you can use it on a smartphone, tablet or PC..
  • It can be more convenient than one-to-one therapy because you do not need to attend a hospital or clinic, and you can go at your own pace.
  • Flexible to fit in with increasingly busy lifestyle and available 24/7.
  • Faster access to therapy.
  • You learn about CBT, which gives you a head start with one-to-one therapy, if you still need it.