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16 January 2012, 05:00
With a fifth more people getting help for depression in Oxfordshire last January, Heart's been told a service is expecting a bigger rise in referrals this month.
TalkingSpace in Oxfordshire says money worries and the cold weather means more people struggle with anxiety and depression at this time of year.
The free psychological therapy service says they had a 21 percent rise in referrals in January 2011 compared with December 2010.
June Dent, Consultant Clinical Psychological at TalkingSpace said;
"Last year we got a significant rise in referrals in January and, owing to the current economic climate, with people either out of work or worrying about their finances, we are sure this year we will be just as busy."
The service helps people cope with mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression, post-traumatic stress, panic, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) by using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
People can either be referred by their GP or health care professional or get in touch for advice, with treatments like telephone support, one-to-one therapy sessions and group classes available.
TalkingSpace is also looking at new methods to make it easier and more convenient for people to get in touch with their counsellors.
They are piloting a service where people can get counselling through instant messaging and are looking for 30 people with depression to take part.
There have added new classes in Oxford for people with depression as well as a group in Banbury for people with OCD and a another group in Didcot for those who worry a lot. Both of these start in February.