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Written by Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.

Want to dip your toe into the world of therapy but not sure where to start? These remote therapy and mental health services offer support at the click of a button.

Over the past couple of years, an increase in conversations about therapy has helped to destigmatise the idea of seeking professional support. From the rise of ‘therapy speak’ to celebrities sharing their experiences, therapy – and the approach to mental health it represents – has never been so visible.

But despite this surge in interest, there are still a number of barriers in place that often prevent those who want therapy from accessing it. Many people still struggle to find therapy sessions that suit their needs, whether due to long waiting lists, naproxen good for knee pain sky-high costs or inflexible appointment times.

However, a new wave of remote therapy services providing sessions over the phone, via text, or in-app are making things easier. Offering reduced prices, flexible timings and help in your own home, these new services are making it easier than ever to seek mental health support. 

Of course, it’s important to remember that therapy is available for free on the NHS (you can self-refer on the NHS website). And while the services we’re talking about in this article may offer an alternative way to look after your wellbeing, you should still take a trip to your GP if you’re struggling with your mental health and are finding it hard to cope. 

You can also access free resources online, from the NHS Every Mind Matters hub to the mental health charity Mind’s website.

All of that aside, these services could still be a great place to start if you’re feeling anxious about putting yourself out there or aren’t sure exactly what sort of help you’re looking for. Read on to check out our pick of the best new therapy services to help you look after your mental health.  

  • Self Space

    Based on the concept of ‘everyday mental maintenance’, Self Space is an online and in-person therapy service offering flexible sessions with qualified therapists minus all the fuss. 

    Alongside offering an ever-growing list of therapists, Self Space also has a matching service to help you find a therapist who suits your needs.  

    Sessions start from £60 for 30 minutes; theselfspace.com

  • Livi

    In March this year, Boots launched a range of on-demand mental health services on its website – one of which was online therapy with the remote health website Livi. 

    Through Livi, you can book an appointment with a dedicated CBT therapist at a time and date that works for you. You can also choose to rebook sessions with a certain therapist, or try different people to find a style that works for you.

    Sessions cost £65 for 50 minutes; livi.co.uk     

  • Ieso Health

    If you find it hard to verbalise how you’re feeling, the kind of chat-based CBT therapy offered by Ieso Health could be a great option. Put simply, text- or chat-based therapy is exactly the same as face-to-face or video therapy – the only difference is that you’re typing the words, rather than speaking them.

    You can also book appointments to fit your schedule – so you can have a conversation with a fully qualified therapist at a time which suits you.

    A course of Ieso Health therapy is free for NHS patients in many parts of the UK; iesohealth.com

  • Bloom

    The idea of committing to a therapist can be daunting, so if you want to learn the basics of CBT before you dive in, then Bloom might be exactly what you’re looking for.

    The app is simple to use – just create an account and tell the app what you’re looking for, and it will provide you with a personalised ‘journey’ comprised of digital programmes, guided journaling and emotional analysis. Powered by AI, the app will then work with your input to improve your mental wellbeing over time. You can also work through any of the 300+ video sessions and CBT exercises available on the app in your own time.

    Subscriptions cost £13.99 a month or £58.99 a year; @bloomapp  

  • Woebot

    The sheer convenience of the AI-powered chatbot at the heart of Woebot’s offering is what makes this app so effective. Designed to help you overcome low-level mental health issues using CBT techniques, Woebot’s chat service will talk to you about how you’re feeling and provide you with insights and skills to help you tackle whatever you’re facing. 

    The best bit? Because Woebot’s chat service is powered by AI, you can access support 24/7. Just log on to start chatting.

    Woebot is completely free to download and use; woebothealth.com

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind’s website and NHS Every Mind Matters or access the NHS’ list of mental health helplines and services. You can also ask your GP for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can self-refer.

For confidential support in the moment, you can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email them at [email protected] Shout also provide a free text-based support service – simply text 85258 and you’ll be matched with a Shout volunteer who will chat to you about how you’re feeling. In a crisis, call 999.

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