Anxiety Free online therapy to be offered across UK
An online therapy service is to offer free 20-minute sessions aimed at vulnerable older people and others who are self-isolating or struggling, after therapists across the UK volunteered their help.
The Help Hub was intended to serve a small area in west Oxfordshire but will expand nationally when it launches this week following an influx of support. “Thanks to the kindness of therapists right across the country willing to work for free, the idea snowballed in the space of less than a fortnight to the extent that we can now cover the whole of the UK,” said Ruth Chaloner, the founder of the service, who is asking therapists to email her at [email protected]phub.co.uk if they want to get involved. Chaloner is setting up a second scheme to help the hardest-to-reach members of her local community. She hopes this is another idea that could be extended nationally.
“We know there are some very vulnerable people out there who are already isolated, struggling and hard to reach,” she said. “We’ve set up a Facebook page – TheHelpHubWestOxford – where volunteers map out their area and coordinate teams to take responsibility for every street. Those teams will make sure that every single housereceives a leaflet from us, offering our help. Then we go back a couple of days later and knock on the door of anyone who hasn’t contacted us.”
There has been a surge of anxiety since the coronavirus crisis. The National Pharmacy Association and the Company Chemists Association have asked customers not to stockpile medications amid fears that the most vulnerable will be left without.
Pharmacies have said so many people are self-isolating that the unfunded home-delivery services provided by chemists will be overwhelmed.
Reena Barai, a pharmacist in London, said: “We have seen a tsunami effect, with anxiety levels of our customers through the roof. It’s only going to get worse: week two of self-isolation [is] ... when the peak of anxiety is really going to hit.”