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Become a trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner

Become a trainee Psychological Wellbeing PractitionerAre you looking for an exciting opportunity to widen your knowledge and gain some experience working in mental health?

A fantastic opportunity has arisen to join a training course fully funded by the NHS within the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT).

Psychological therapies services across London are recruiting trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP) as part of the IAPT programme to deliver evidence based psychological therapies for people with anxiety and depression. PWPs provide brief structured supported treatments such as guided self-help.

PWP training is provided by University College London (UCL) and is full time. Trainees attend university one day a week and work in service the remaining 4 days a week, both on-site and remotely. Trainees will be employed in an IAPT psychological treatment service. Training course fees on this programme are fully funded by the NHS. In addition, trainees will receive a salary or training grant for living costs from the London IAPT service where they undertake their 4-day a week placement over the year of the programme.

PWPs work with people across the adult age range and so we are keen to attract and recruit applicants from as wide an age range as possible.

Applicants should have experience of working with people with psychological, interpersonal or social problems; either through employed positions or formal volunteer roles.

The course is a postgraduate certificate and applicants are required to demonstrate aptitude to study at postgraduate level, either through degree level education or demonstration of academic equivalence.

As part of the application process trainees will be required to nominate two London IAPT services as their preference for training you could choose Kensington and Chelsea IAPT as one of your choices. All details about the application process are set out in the recruitment pack. This information is essential reading for successful applications.

Applicants can find all details and apply only via the UCL website.

Recruitment closes at 9am Monday 23 May.

Training for this intake will start in October 2022

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well, Talking Therapies
Posted on: 13th May 2022

SilverCloud: Online CBT

SilverCloud Self-help poster

SilverCloud enables people to access the same quality therapy online, as they would meeting with a therapist face to face.

National studies, and our own data looking at the effectiveness of SilverCloud, have shown high improvement rates for depression and anxiety; helping people overcome and manage their mood better whilst increasing their sense of wellbeing.

SilverCloud is interactive, flexible and available 24/7, online via a computer, tablet or mobile phone. You can use the SilverCloud programme entirely at your own pace and to fit in with your busy schedule.

Telephone assessments are completed and SilverCloud is introduced in the second follow up call, once it has been discussed with a Supervisor.

 SilverCloud is being offered in both Supported (with a therapist leaving reviews and checking in via phone calls) and Unsupported modes (pure self-help).

Unsupported is often offered when:

  • Waiting for Groups or 1-2-1 sessions.
  • Relapse Prevention (as a discharge tool).

Supported is used as a standalone intervention and is offered after having an assessment.

For more information…

To use SilverCloud you must be registered with the Community Living Well Talking Therapies (IAPT) service. To refer yourself please complete this quick online form or call 020 3317 4200.

Find out more about the Talking Therapies (IAPT) service

Talking Therapies (IAPT) is available for people aged 16 and over who are registered with a GP in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or the Queen’s Park and Paddington areas of Westminster.

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well, Talking Therapies
Posted on: 11th May 2022

Mental Health Aware Training

A new date has been announced for Mental Health Aware, the free training programme provided by Kensington & Chelsea Mind and Kensington & Chelsea Social Council (KCSC). The next session will be on Friday 20 May. 


The training programme is an accredited training developed by Mental Health First Aid (England) (MHFA) called Mental Health Aware.

*Please note: the course is open to individuals who live, work, study or volunteer in North Kensington, or to groups and community organisations based in and serving the area.


  • Facilitation by a qualified and experienced instructor
  • A 3.5hr online session of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities
  • A maximum group size of 25
  • A manual and workbook for every participant to keep for future reference
  • A certificate of completion from MHFA (England) stating that the participant is ‘mental health aware’


  • What mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue
  • Where to go for advice and support locally and how to get help in a crisis

This training normally costs £150 but is being supported by funding from West London Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS) so that it can be offered as a free programme to help build confidence and resilience around mental health in our community.

Half the courses will be open to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria of living or working in North Kensington. The remaining courses are on offer to groups and community organisations based in and serving the area who would like to develop their capacity to be mental health aware. Your group would receive:

  • A bespoke Mental Health Aware training course for up to 25 of your members, staff and volunteers to run at a time that works for you
  • A named Mind contact who will facilitate 2 follow up mentoring sessions to help embed your new mental health skills in your group
  • Ongoing advice and information through Mind’s dedicated support line


For more information, and to register, contact Jill on 07944 527 107 or email: [email protected]

Community Living Well is a mental health service available to anyone aged 16 and over and who is registered with a GP in Kensington & Chelsea, Queen’s Park or Paddington. Find out how we can help

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Uncategorised
Posted on: 3rd May 2022

MHAW Keeping People Connected Campaign

women recording video selfie for the keeping people connected campaignThe theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 was loneliness. To support the week, Community Living Well ran its own campaign, ‘Keeping People Connected’. We wanted to highlight all of the incredible organisations in our local community who work to keep people connected and combat loneliness.

We asked people in the community to record a short video message about their organisation, about any particular activities or events they run that connect people, help them to make friends and to stay connected.

We had a fantastic response and received lots of wonderful videos from local people and organisations.

We shared them all on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages or you can view them all below.

We will continue to share videos throughout May 2022. If you’d like to submit a video, we have a guide on how to record and send it to us.

  1. Decide which local organisation you’d like to talk about
  2. Record your video using your smartphone
  3. Send it to us
  4. We’ll share it on social media!

More information and guide to making your video

Here are our ‘Keeping People Connected’ videos…

Notting Dale Community Champions – Buggy Walks

NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT) in Urdu

Women’s Yoga at North Kensington Resource Centre

Activities and volunteering opportunities at Meanwhile Gardens, North Kensington

Community Champions programme at Dalgarno Trust

NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT)

Re-engage UK

Women’s Zumba class at Venture Centre

Volunteering in Partnership at Dalgarno Trust

Peer Support provided by Kensington & Chelsea Mind

Dalgarno Trust Community & Maternity Champions

NHS Talking Therapies (IAPT) in Albanian/Kosovan

Dalgarno Trust Community Champions

Queens Park Community Champions

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 19th April 2022

Talking Therapies: Amal’s Story

Amal is part of the local Muslim community. She shares her experience of Talking Therapy.Amal, who is a part of the local Muslim community, had been struggling with difficult feelings for a while, but she didn’t know why or how to cope with them.

She had tried to seek help before but could not find someone who understood her situation, and it ended up making her feel worse. Determined to feel better, she spoke to her GP who introduced her to the NHS Talking Therapy service.

Amal wanted to share her story with us in the hope it would encourage others to try Talking Therapy.

How did you hear about Talking Therapies?

It was from my GP. I went to see her because I was experiencing flashbacks, night terrors and intrusive thoughts. I didn’t know what it was. An incident had occurred in my life, and it all started soon after that, I just didn’t realise that they were related.

I’d been feeling this way for a long time, but it wasn’t until my GP mentioned that my symptoms matched those of post-traumatic stress, she suggested I see a specialist.

What happened after you’d been referred?

I was referred to the Talking Therapies service, but while I was waiting for an appointment, I was introduced to the Talking Therapy workshop about PTSD. This is where it all came to light for me.

The workshop taught me how to deal with the symptoms and helped me to understand why I was feeling this way. I learned some techniques in the workshop before I started my sessions, which worked really well for me. It was a great eye-opener and good introduction to the therapy.

The workshops were held online, which really helped as people could have their camera turned off – it made them feel more comfortable if they wanted to speak. You could talk to each other as a group, and we got the chance to share our own stories and experiences about what we’re going through.

Knowing that there are people out there who are going through something similar really helps, then you know that it’s not just you. You’re not the only one feeling like this.

When you started your sessions, how were theses arranged?

My sessions were over the phone due to Covid. My therapist understood that there are cultural differences, and this really stood out. When speaking to me, she mentioned to me about my culture and my background and that made me think, ‘wow, this is good!’

People in the Muslim community find it difficult to go for therapy because of the cultural differences. There are certain things we can’t do or aren’t accepted in Islam, so we need the therapist to understand these things. The impact of a trauma on yourself is one thing, but the impact it has on your religion is another trauma altogether. So, to find someone who understood this was very good.

Can you talk me through how the sessions were run? What did they involve?

My first session didn’t start well. I was angry, I was frustrated and annoyed. I hadn’t had the correct help in the past, so it had all built up inside me. The way the therapist dealt with the situation really caught my attention. She was so professional and the way she turned it around and how she handled the entire conversation, it developed into something really positive.

The whole service in itself was good. It felt confidential and personal. My therapist helped me to develop goals and to use tools to manage my symptoms. I was taught to be kind to myself, to have control over my thoughts and feelings, and also to know that it’s ok not to feel ok.

Would you recommend Talking Therapies to someone who is going through something similar?

Yes, absolutely. Coming from a Muslim community and background where mental health is taboo, I would recommend this service most definitely. They are very sensitive to our norms and values. I feel like there’s a lack of Muslims getting professional help, because they think they’ve tried something in the past that didn’t work, that wasn’t compatible. I wanted to share my story to show other Muslims, and people from other religions and cultures, that this can work.

In my area, there are people that have not only witnessed Grenfell, but they’ve also had their own traumas to deal with. So, trauma on top of trauma. I would encourage people not to give up, and to keep trying. I came out of this service a different woman, and I wanted to share that.

If you need support with trauma, stress, anxiety or depression…

If you have experienced something similar to Amal and would like try Talking Therapy, you can refer yourself by completing the form available here or call 020 3317 4200.

Learn more about Talking Therapies and how it can help you here.

This story was originally published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 edition of the Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. You can sign-up to our mailing list to receive the magazine directly into your inbox.  

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well, Talking Therapies
Posted on: 8th April 2022

Stress Awareness Month 2022

be aware of how you feel this stress awareness dayWe all face many challenges in life, which can cause us stress, worry and anxiety. During this Stress Awareness Month, be aware of how you are feeling and use the advice below to try and help reduce your level of stress.

How to cope with stress

You may find yourself worrying about a range of issues and feel increasingly overwhelmed or anxious. You might be worried or anxious about things like money, family, your health or work.

Pause and take a moment

It is important to stop and take a moment for yourself when you start to feel stressed. If you are in the middle of doing something or in the presence of other people, excuse yourself and find a space where you can pause, breathe and take a moment.

You are not alone

It is important to remember that you are not alone and that others are feeling it too. Anxiety and worry will affect us all at some point in our lives.

When we are going through a tough time, we often think negative thoughts about ourselves, and we may feel very alone.

Even if you don’t have family or friends close by, you are never alone. You could join one of our Peer Support groups, refer yourself for Talking Therapy, or join Mind’s online community, Side by Side.

You can also call Samaritans on 116 123 (24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year)

These feelings won’t last forever

When we are experiencing a stressful situation, it is difficult to look beyond it; it feels as though the stress will never end.

Talking to someone about how you’re feeling can help put things into perspective and help you to feel more positive about the future.

Know everything will be okay

Be safe in the knowledge that if the feeling of ‘What if…’ occurs, you can solve it as you have with other difficulties.

Ask for help

Ask for help if you can. If you are feeling stressed at work, speak to your line manager, a colleague or the HR team. If your finances are causing you worry, speak to your bank or get advice from Citizens’ Advice.

Talk to a friend or family member about how you are feeling, or contact one of the organisations mentioned on this page.

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing can really help you to look after yourself and improve your overall wellbeing. Find out how you to introduce the five steps into your life.

If you need additional support..

If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or low mood, find out how Community Living Well can help you

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 1st April 2022

How physical activity helps mental health

man using wheelchair takes physical activity in the park  Taking regular exercise can have a huge positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing. We’ve highlighted some of the ways how physical activity helps mental health.

Recommended physical activity

The recommended amount of moderate physical activity we should be doing is two and half hours per week. This regular physical activity helps with many health benefits, hopefully leading us to live longer, healthier lives, which includes an improved mental health.

Don’t let the thought of exercise cause you additional worry and stress; it doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or complete a marathon! Exercise can be anything that gets us moving; from doing our weekly shop or cleaning the house, to dancing or going for a walk.

If you are living with a disability or you are not comfortable leaving the house, there are lots of suitable options available online. Disability charity, Scope, has information about exercising at home, or you can search for at-home workouts on YouTube.

Mood Boost

Studies show that physical activity has a positive effect on our mood. Any form of physical activity can help us to feel calmer and content. The benefits are more noticeable when our mood is lower than usual, so if you are living with depression, anxiety or stress, you are likely to feel an improvement in your mood if you take some form of exercise.

Reduce Stress

Stress affects us all at some point. Research shows that physical activity can be effective at relieving stress, and those who are more active tend to be less stressed than those who are less active.

Boost Self-Esteem

Taking regular exercise can help to make us feel good about ourselves. Once you’ve completed some form of physical activity, you will feel a sense of achievement, which makes us feel good. It can also help our physical health and appearance by keeping fit.

Increase Energy Levels

Regular exercise can increase our energy levels throughout the day and even enhance our ability to learn and memorise new things.

If you need additional support…

The Community Living Well Peer Support service arranges group walks in local parks, which is a great opportunity for you to take some exercise, get some fresh air and meet with people who may have similar experiences. You can refer yourself to the Peer Support service by completing this online form, or by calling 020 3317 4200.

One You Kensington & Chelsea and One You Westminster also provide useful information, advice and opportunities to introduce physical activity into your daily routine.


Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well, Peer Support
Posted on: 4th March 2022

Managing anxiety and stress during this time

man with anxiety and stress looking out of the windowThere’s a lot going on in our world right now. If news and current events are causing you anxiety and stress, there are some things you can do to help manage these feelings.


You might like to keep up-to-date with news from around the world, however, tuning in to every single development can easily become overwhelming. To stay informed but not alarmed, try the following:

  • Get your information from reliable news sources – don’t rely on opinions on social media where people are venting and voicing their concerns. This can increase your own distress.
  • Focus on developments locally rather than globally. This helps you to be appropriately concerned rather than get caught up in anxiety.
  • Limit the amount you read or watch – set yourself a time to catch up on the latest headlines. Lunchtime might be best – first thing in the morning may spoil your mood for the rest of the day, and at night may affect your sleep. Don’t read every article or listen to every bulletin, just find out the latest and then switch off.


With Covid restrictions coming to end, you may feel a pressure to engage with everything straightaway. However, there’s no need to rush, and doing everything at once may leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Instead, ease yourself back in and plan out your activities so you only have a couple per week, leaving time to relax and recuperate between each ‘new’ experience. Whether that be scheduling the first time that you commute back into work or meeting up with friends. That way, it will feel less overwhelming as you adjust to new experiences.


If you’re nervous about catching public transport or meeting up with friends, planning can help you feel more in control. Try and travel during off-peak hours or plan a quieter route and plan out how long it would take. You could also write a list of things that you would need to take with you on your trip, such as, a mask, hand sanitiser and your wallet.

While things may seem uncontrollable during this time, it’s important to remember that there are things that you can control.


Take things one moment at a time and remember to breathe. It may sound simple but when we experience anxiety and stress, our breathing gets faster and shallower. When you feel yourself getting worked up, breathe slowly and deeply into your belly to override your stress response so that you feel calmer.

Meditating before leaving the house can help you relax and find a sense of calm. There are lots of apps available to download that can help with mindfulness, meditation and relaxation.


It’s important to be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that we’re currently living in extraordinary times and it’s completely understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed by certain things.

By practising self-kindness and compassion, it may help you to become more accepting as things return to normal. It is also a great way to improve your emotional wellbeing.

Talk to other people

Many people are probably feeling the same way as you, so talk to a friend, family member or colleague about how you’re feeling. Sharing your experience can help reduce the worry.


We’re here to help. Our services can support you if you’re struggling with your mental health.

  • Talking Therapies (IAPT) – Short-term support for when you experience difficult emotions, such as, low mood, worry and stress.
  • Peer Support – Wellbeing workshops, one-to-one peer support, peer support groups, social activities and peer support training with other people who have had similar experiences to you.
  • Employment – Advice and support to gain and retain paid employment, improve your employability skills and know your rights in the workplace.
  • Navigators – Practical support with a range of issues including benefits, debt, housing options, access to health and social care services and support to access specialist advice and information.
  • Self-Care – Support and activities that help you to take care of your own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

You can refer yourself to Community Living Well here, call us on 020 3317 4200 or speak to your GP.

If you need urgent help with a mental health crisis, talk to the Samaritans on 116 123.


Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 24th February 2022

Considering a career change

man sits in front of computer with head in hands as he considers a career change

The prospect of a career change, particularly in an uncertain economy, can be daunting, and switching jobs is never a decision that should be taken lightly. The Community Living Well Employment Support team can help you identify transferable skills and give tips on how to apply for a new job.

Over the past two years, the amount of people who have changed their career has risen sharply. The Covid-19 pandemic gave many people time they might not ordinarily have had to take stock and think about where they are in their lives, and whether their careers are making them happy or unexpected job loss may cause people to change track.

The average person will change jobs 5-7 times during their working life. This might be due to changes in career goals, personal circumstances or because they are ready to try something new.

Identifying transferrable skills

As the name suggests, transferable skills are skills that can applied in a variety of job roles. These skills could be gained from previous work experience, volunteering or even tasks you do on a daily basis, like managing personal budgets, for example. Think about and write down what you’ve learnt and how these skills could be transferred to your desired job. If you have a particular role in mind, you can see how your current skills set matches up to the job description. Going through this exercise can also help you identify any skills gaps you might have and encourage you to enrol in training courses or qualifications.

Knowing your transferable skills can enable you to think ‘outside the box’ of your past experience and identify new opportunities. Some of these common skill areas include:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Digital skills
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility

Access support

We offer up to 15 one-to-one sessions where you can discuss with your allocated employment advisor what your goals are and what you would like to achieve. Some people know what they want, whereas others may want a change in direction or get into work for the first time. The sessions are based around your individual needs and we can help you look at your options, skills and interests to help you decide what kind of work you would like or how you could change your career path.

Together we could…

  • Explore how to get started and identify entry routes into your new career.
  • Identify any skills gaps and training opportunities.
  • Update CV and application forms to showcase transferable skills and relevant work experience.
  • Explore the financial implications of changing careers and whether there are bursaries or grants.
  • Discuss how work-related benefits might be impacted by changes in circumstance.
  • Practice interview skills.

If you would like help identifying transferable skills and job opportunities, you can make a self-referral to the employment service at Community Living Well. The employment team are working remotely and will be introducing face-to-face appointments in line with government Covid regulations soon. We may be able to support you remotely
via telephone and online services.

This story was originally published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 edition of the Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. You can sign-up to our mailing list to receive the magazine directly into your inbox. 


Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well, Employment
Posted on: 10th February 2022

Great Mental Health Day 2022

great mental health day 2022Great Mental Health Day in London 2022

Across London, organisations and individuals are joining together to celebrate London’s first ever Great Mental Health Day.

The aim of the day is to get us talking about mental health, highlight the great support available, and, crucially, take the stigma out of asking for help when we need it. It is also the chance to share ideas on what we do to support each other and our communities through the most trying times.

Thrive LDN will be updating the campaign page with more information about the day as well as activities and events you can join in the run up to it.

You can also get involved using the hashtag #GreatMentalHealth to share your own tips, advice and experience across all social media platforms. As part of this, we’d love to see a short clip of you answering one of the following:

  • What do you do to improve your own mental health?
  • What makes you feel connected to others?
  • What do you do to support others in your community?

For more information about Great Mental Health Day, visit Thrive LDN’s website.

You can refer yourself to Community Living Well here.

Author: Stewart Gillespie
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 28th January 2022

SMART St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training