Some of the mental health services people in Bracknell can access have been signposted as the council conducts an investigation into mental health in the area.

The providers of the services vary, with some being provided by the NHS, and some being offered by voluntary and charitable organisations.

Professionals and volunteers from these services have been interviewed by councillors as part of a review of mental health in Bracknell Forest.

For those seeking help from the NHS, the majority of people will be referred to talking therapies.

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Talking therapies can be accessed for people in Bracknell Forest by going to the NHS Talking Therapies Berkshire website.

Often, people have to refer themselves to the service by calling 0300 365 2000 or emailing .

As a result of increasing awareness of mental health issues, the NHS has a service called IAPT, or improving access to psychological therapies.

One of the most common talking therapies is CBT -Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- which a majority of mental health professionals practice.

Alison Salvadori the acting head of service of Berkshire IAPT, said: “We deal with mild to moderate mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

“Many years ago if you had a mental health problem, you would have been referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, and you’d have been waiting months if not years for a treatment.”

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However, there was a move away from this when IAPT was set up 11 years ago, with 10,000 CBT therapists were trained and employed.

Ms Salvadori explained: “[CBT is] a standard treatment that has a fantastic evidence base to treat anxiety and depression, and give people a lighter touch treatment that would get them back into enjoying their lives and back into the workforce.”

She added Berkshire IAPT is one of the biggest in the country, and serves 20-25,000 people.

Ms Salvadori spoke at a meeting of  Bracknell Forest Council’s health and care overview and scrutiny panel on Tuesday, November 16.

You can view that meeting here:

Previously, the panel heard from Ansa Khan, the coordinator of the Friends in Need charity, a social support community which runs free activities such as art and crafts, gardening, singing, quiz nights, picnics and walks.

When asked which activity people appreciate the most Ms Khan said: “We have a fantastic art group.

“Normally we have 15-20 people on a Monday. The online meditation that one of our volunteers does on a Tuesday is another really popular activity.”

To get involved, you can contact Ansa Khan on 07496 874882 or email

She spoke at a meeting of the panel on Wednesday, November 10, which you can view below:

Councillors also heard from Bernadette Fisher of the Stepping Stones Recovery College, which helps over 18s improve their lives by doing courses which help improve attendees health and wellbeing, sleeping patterns, nutrition and more.

You can access the Recovery College on its website or by calling  01344 300333.

The review into mental health in Bracknell Forest was triggered earlier this month to see if access and service improvements can be made.

At the end of the review, the findings of the panel will be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission for approval. Any agreed recommendations will be presented to Bracknell Forest Council’s executive committee for implementation.