NHS Talking Therapies (VitaMinds) Service 

VitaMinds is the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service provider across Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). This service is rebranding to NHS Talking Therapies.

NHS Talking Therapies offers free support for low to moderate mental health illnesses like depression, low mood, excessive worry, anxiety, stress, sleep problems and others.

For referral to this service IAPT service, the following conditions must apply:

  • Age 16 years and over
  • Registered with a GP practice in Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire
  • Experiencing common mental health problems

The services offered includes:

  • Low mood and depression
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Health Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Specific Phobias
  • Agoraphobia
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Long Term Health Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptoms in the context of depression and anxiety (e.g., Diabetes, COPD, Chronic pain, CHD, CFS, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Stroke, Long Covid)

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service is NOT appropriate for:

  • Patients who pose a high risk to themselves or others, are at crisis due to psychosis, or have pre-existing diagnosis of acute mental illnesses and dementia crisis.

  • Patients who at the time of assessment, for whatever reason (e.g., acute illness, childbirth, compulsory admission), are unable to engage with IAPT therapies. They will be referred to a more appropriate care pathway, although this will not preclude their return to the IAPT service later.
  • Patients who are assessed to have mental health needs that would be more appropriately supported at the secondary mental health level. They will be referred to their local secondary mental health care pathway. This will not preclude their return to the service later.

What other support can VitaMinds offer?

For patients asking for treatment and or support for mental health conditions outside those that IAPT can treat, they are able to have access to an assessment with a trained mental health practitioner from VitaMinds. Those conditions are as below:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance missus
  • Organic disorders of the brain
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorder
  • Obvious signs of psychosis
  • Eating Disorders


Making contact 

Patients can contact VitaMinds in a variety of ways as below.

  • Online referral: Self-referral or professional and assisted referral through the VitaMinds website.
  • Email: refer.bnssg@nhs.net
  • Digital Assistant: This allows for a pre-assessment style referral, asking questions that triggers a call back within 24 hours (or sooner) if there is any presentation of risk. This can be accessed via the VitaMinds website.
  • Telephone -   0333 200 1893 (8am – 8pm Monday to Wednesday, 8am – 5pm Thursday to Friday, closed Saturdays)
  • Text “YOU” to 88802
  • There is also a range of useful online support guides available via the VitaMinds website.

Patients can immediately access Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programmes and a variety of Wellbeing Tips via this partner website.

Visit Website

Courses include:

  • Space for Sleep
  • Space for resilience
  • Space from Stress

The following Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LICBT) options are all available with this service:

  • Depression (and depression for students)
  • GAD – General Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic
  • Phobia
  • CHD – coronary heart disease
  • Chronic Pain
  • Diabetes Wellbeing
  • Lung Conditions


  • Worry management
  • Low mood
  • Panic
  • Living with Long-term conditions
  • Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT)
  • Depression
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Panic
  • Phobia

High Intensity therapy options are also available:

  • High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Couples Therapy for Depression
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT)
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

High Intensity Webinars:

  • Long Term Conditions: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Fibromyalgia
  • Living Well with Long Covid
  • Living Well with Chronic Pain and or Fatigue


Long Term Health Conditions

Within the Long-Term Health Conditions pathway, we offer one on one appointments, webinars, computerised CBT, and resources aimed at patients struggling with the impact of Long-Term Condition(s) on their mental health. There is an active engagement with the health care teams to offer support for conditions such as Stroke, Lung Conditions, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease and Long Covid.

VitaMinds are also able to provide support for individuals who need help with some of the wider determinants affecting their mental health as below: 

  • Waiting Well: Access to online support classes on sleep, stress, solution focused therapy and an introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Healthy Living Healthy Minds: To support physical activity and healthy lifestyles to improve mental health. This includes an initial assessment with a Health & Wellbeing Coach, one on one health coaching sessions and a series of online webinars and exercise classes suitable for beginners.
  • Wellbeing Navigation: To offer support, signposting and short-term intervention with practical issues impacting on the patient’s life. This currently offers one on one telephone and virtual Teams support identifying barriers to change and exploring options with a Wellbeing Navigator. Webinars and self-help guides also forms part of this service.
  • Partnership: VitaMinds offers a variety of partnerships with City Farms for a range for a range of wellbeing courses for those who need this. There is also partnership with Bluebell Care for perinatal mental health support

Service updates

VitaMinds provides a mix of face to face and virtual service provision, including therapy available over the phone.

  • This service reviews circa 600 referrals per week across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
  • The approximate waiting time for an initial assessment appointment is 7-14 days.
  • There are low waiting times for Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
  • There are higher waiting times for High Intensity CBT and therapies.
  • Priority is given to Veterans, Postnatal and Perinatal parents
  • Signposting and referral to external services is part of the support offered for clients.