Mental Health
NHS Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we’re often asked by people looking to refer into the service.

If the answer you’re looking for isn’t here then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How do I refer to the Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire VitaMinds (IAPT) service?

You can refer to the service in a number of ways, these can be found here.

How much does it cost?

Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire VitaMinds (IAPT) is part of the NHS and free service to anyone who is eligible.

How do I know if I am suitable?

You’ll need to be 16 or over and living in the Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire area. If you’re unsure about your eligibility just contact us and we will confirm.

What if I am in urgent need of help?

We’re not an emergency service so we can’t 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

What if someone I know wants to refer but doesn’t speak English as a first language?

If you or someone you know wants to refer but doesn’t feel comfortable conversing in English, an interpreter can be provided for your sessions. We’ll organise this for you on your behalf and the cost will be covered by the service.

Will my information be shared with anyone else?

We have a legal duty to keep your information confidential. We share information about you with other healthcare providers to give you the best possible care. If you would not like your information shared with your GP or other healthcare providers, please tell the person you are seeing at the IAPT service. We cannot give other organisations information without your consent, this might include housing departments, education services or your employer. This also includes if a family member contacts us on your behalf.

There might be a legal reason for us to share information about you however, for example, if a child is at risk. In such situations, we must, by law, share information with other organisations.

I want to access the service, but am still worried about someone seeing my details?

If you’re still worried about your information being seen by someone else, we can also offer a pseudonym so  you can be known by a different name during your time with our service. To enquire about this, please mention it when referring.

What if I need to cancel?

We understand it can sometimes be unavoidable to cancel your appointment and these circumstances will always be considered if you inform us that you are unable to attend. The aim of our policy is to ensure our waiting times are kept to a minimum to benefit all our patients.


  • On the first occasion that we are unable to contact you, you will be able to book a second appointment if done so within 1 week.
  • If you do not contact us within 7 days, we will assume you no longer require assessment or treatment with us and will discharge you from our service.
  • If you fail to attend 2 telephone assessments you will be immediately discharged from our service.

Treatment Appointments

  • If you fail to attend your first treatment appointment you will be discharged from our service
  • If you cancel any appointments with less than 24 hours’ notice, more than once, you will be discharged to your GP.
  • Frequently cancelling your appointments with more than 24 hours’ notice may also lead to discharge back to your GP.

Our cancellation policy is intended to avoid unnecessary loss of appointments which can lead to increased waiting times