Therapy For You Unveils Limbic: An Innovative Mental Health Chatbot for Enhanced Access to Talking Therapies

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 03:33 am

Therapy For You, the renowned NHS Talking Therapies service catering to patients in North East and South East Essex, has recently introduced Limbic to their website – a groundbreaking mental health referral chatbot harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to improve access to their array of talking therapies.

Providing a completely free and user-friendly experience, Limbic has become a vital tool, allowing those seeking support to easily access the treatments they need and embark on their therapy journey through online channels.

A Stride Towards Enhanced Mental Health Support As the government commits to improving access to psychological therapies in NHS England, mental health services nationwide are prioritising this crucial area. However, out of the 1 in 4 people grappling with mental health concerns in the UK each year, only 1.81 million were referred to NHS Talking Therapies in 2022. Various reasons deter individuals from seeking help, with the fear of judgement being a significant obstacle that Therapy For You aimed to address.

Richard Black, NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), noted, “While we have a fantastic website offering immediate access to our innovative online courses and convenient ieso typed therapy, there was no solely digital route to our talking therapies.” He added that for patients already struggling, making a phone call to initiate treatment could become a source of anxiety and a significant barrier.

In pursuit of improved accessibility to their treatment options, Therapy For You recognised the need for an online referral pathway that was swift, easy, and well-supported.

In partnership with Limbic, the service’s website now features a clinically proven e-triage assistant employing AI to enable users to access their full range of mental health support online, even outside regular office hours.

The Limbic AI assistant works by immediately inquiring how it can assist visitors on the Therapy For You website. Capable of directing users to immediate services like ieso typed therapy and Omni Online CBT, the AI assistant also facilitates referrals to talking therapies such as 1-1 therapy, group therapy, phone therapy, and video calls.

To achieve this, Limbic poses a series of essential questions about users’ demographic information, emotional well-being, and current situation. It then delves into mood, anxiety, and daily task management-related queries before completing the referral to the service.

Confirmation of a user’s referral typically occurs within a couple of hours, but no later than the next working day. The user then receives a link to the service’s ‘choose and book’ system, allowing them to schedule an assessment appointment at their convenience.

Success of Limbic and its Lasting Impact Monitoring Limbic’s performance over the initial nine months has been illuminating. Data reveals that over 4,500 people have utilised the chatbot to make a referral, with 89% finding the new system beneficial.

Furthermore, Therapy For You reports a 33% reduction in phone referrals to the service, as visitors increasingly opt to use the AI assistant to seek the support they need.

The successful partnership with Limbic exemplifies the significance of digital innovation in the therapeutic landscape, empowering users and streamlining the therapeutic process.

However, the team acknowledges that Limbic isn’t the ideal pathway for everyone, and phone referrals remain available for those preferring a more personal approach.

The journey with Limbic continues for Therapy For You, as they explore its full potential in supporting patients throughout their therapeutic odyssey.

About Therapy For You Therapy For You serves as the local NHS Talking Therapy service for Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point, and Rochford, with a commitment to enhancing well-being through a range of treatment pathways for individuals grappling with anxiety, depression, stress, and more. Their services encompass online CBT courses, 1-1 therapy, group therapy, phone therapy, video calls, and ieso online therapy.

Partnered with Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), Therapy For You is dedicated to breaking down barriers to mental health access, providing effective treatments and innovative online therapy. They have helped 98.6% of their users seek meaningful help and 99.4% better understand their difficulties.

Their treatment is available to individuals aged 18 and above in South East Essex and those aged 16 and above in North East Essex who are not currently receiving secondary mental health care or crisis services.

For more information, visit their website at or call 01268 739 128 if you reside in South East Essex or 01206 334 001 for residents of North East Essex.

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