IAPT

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

What is IAPT?

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service is a national initiative but it is sometimes delivered in slightly different ways in different areas. In Sunderland the IAPT services are integrated with the Primary Care Mental Health teams and offer a wider range of services than IAPT. ‘Improving Access’ means the service aims  to make it easier for those people over 16 who need them to access therapies.

You can learn more by watching our video below and then please scroll down this page for further information.

You can download the Sunderland Primary Care and Psychological Wellbeing Service (IAPT) Self-Referral Information Form here.

Confidentiality – your information will be stored on a confidential computer database. You will be provided with further information when you attend the service but can contact the local service prior to this if you have specific questions.

Who can use this service?

People aged 16 or over who need support to get through times when they feel low, depressed, anxious or stressed. Please contact the service for detailed criteria:

Sunderland – 0191 566 5450

The IAPT Team consists of a range of experienced and highly trained mental health workers which include:

  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs)
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Therapists (CBTs)
  • Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs)


Workers often work a little differently or have a particular mix of skills which can complement the range of evidence based psychological therapies they provide. We also offer additional support from Interpersonal Therapists, Employment Advisors and Dual diagnosis workers  – please check with us for details.

What type of help is available?

The IAPT Services provide an initial assessment or telephone triage to determine which of our services would best suit your needs or assist you in accessing a more appropriate service. The range of supported self-help and individual and group psychological therapies include:

  • Self-help reading materials about a range of common emotional difficulties.
  • Supported self-help over the telephone or in person.
  • Computerised programs via the internet.
  • Educational classes about anxiety, depression, stress and a range of other topics.
  • Talking therapies.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapies

How to access the service?

You can contact the IAPT Team directly to make a self-referral by calling or visiting our website.

Sunderland – 0191 566 5450

Others such as your GP can make a referral on your behalf if you prefer.

Someone from the team will then either make contact via the telephone or post to arrange an appointment with you for your initial assessment.

Before an assessment appointment takes place you will be asked to complete a PHQ9 and GAD7 form.  This will give the practitioner an idea of how you have been feeling (with regard to your mood and anxiety levels) over the last 7 days.

This appointment usually takes place over the telephone (but can be face to face) and will last approximately 30 – 45 minutes.  As part of the assessment, a member of the IAPT Team will discuss the best options for support with you.