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Talking therapy support

Being infected with hepatitis C and/or HIV from blood or blood products may have affected you and your family members in many different ways. This may include having an impact on your psychological wellbeing or mental health. There is support for you through talking therapies, also known as psychological therapies.

This page provides information on how you can access psychological therapy and the types of psychological therapies that are recommended for various conditions.

There are two options available to access talking therapies:

  • NHS talking therapies. 
  • The England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) – Counselling and Talking therapy funding. 


NHS talking therapies

NHS talking therapies, or psychological therapies, are effective and confidential treatments delivered by fully trained and accredited practitioners. All forms of talking therapy involve working with a practitioner, who can help you speak about your situation and find ways to manage.

There are a number of NHS services who can provide you with support, and help you to better manage conditions such as stress, anxiety, depressionpost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and long term health conditions.

Find out more about NHS talking therapies

Most talking therapies are provided through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. A GP can refer you, or you can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) without a referral from a GP. You will find information on how to do this here: Find an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT)


What happens when you refer yourself?

  • When you contact your local NHS psychological therapies (IAPT) service someone from the service will get in touch, usually within a few weeks.
  • They'll ask for more details about the problems you're having. This is known as an assessment.
  • If the service thinks they can help you, they may recommend a therapy for you or suggest other forms of help from the service or elsewhere. This is based on your symptoms and how severe they are.
  • Waiting times for a first session of therapy vary. The service will tell you what to expect.

There are many different types of talking therapies and they all involve working with a trained therapist.

For some problems and conditions, one type of talking therapy may be better than another.

You may wish to know more about talking therapies before deciding how to find help.

What type of talking therapy would be best for me?

Different talking therapies are designed to help people with different experiences and situations.

Find out more about the types of talking therapies and counselling available on the NHS.

What if you are unable to access NHS talking therapies?

Once you have considered what is best for your situation you may feel that NHS talking therapies are either not suitable for you or they are unable to help.

You might prefer to access support for your mental health from elsewhere.

The England Infected Blood Support Scheme can offer funding to access counselling and talking therapies with a private therapist of your choice.

The England Infected Blood Support Scheme – talking therapy funding

The England Infected Blood Support Scheme is able to provide up to £900 per year, towards counselling and talking therapy costs for private treatments. This is for someone who has been infected by blood products and is also available for their families.

Funding is available for:

  • the cost of an assessment with a registered therapist
  • the cost of talking therapy sessions

Who can apply for talking therapy payment?

To apply for the talking therapy payment, the applicant must be either be:

  • an infected person who is registered with the England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) 
  • a bereaved person who is registered with EIBSS
  • family members of an infected person registered with EIBSS or previous schemes

How to apply for talking therapy

To apply for funding through England Infected Blood Support Scheme, the applicant must send a:

Alternatively, the applicant can send a medical letter from a registered / accredited therapist confirming the cost, number of therapy sessions required, and confirmation of which approved registration / accreditation for counsellors or therapists they have. 

How to find a registered or accredited psychological therapist

When trying to find a private therapist it is important to ensure they are appropriately registered or accredited with a professional body.

We are able to fund therapists registered/accredited from one of the following:

Registration or accreditation with a professional body means that the counsellor or therapist meets the standards of proficiency and ethical practice you would expect. 

If you’re under the care of a specialist, the treatment centre you attend may be able to refer you to services in your area.

Your GP can also offer advice on local NHS services for support with your mental and physical health.