Skip to main content Skip to footer

Talking therapy support

Being infected with hepatitis C or HIV from blood or blood products may have affected you and your family members in different ways. This may include having an impact on your psychological wellbeing or mental health. 

Support is available through talking therapies, also known as psychological therapies, and this page provides information on how you can access this. 

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. 

Find an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT).


What happens when you refer yourself?

  • Someone from your local IAPT 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've considered what's best for your situation, you might feel that NHS talking therapies are not suitable for you, or they are unable to help. You might prefer to access support for your mental health from elsewhere.

The EIBSS can offer funding to access counselling and talking therapies with a private therapist of your choice.


The EIBSS - counselling and talking therapy funding

The EIBSS 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 EIBSS
  • a bereaved person who is registered with the EIBSS
  • family members of an infected person registered with the 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:

If you're a family member of an infected person and have not received a payment from us previously, complete a contact preferences and personal details form (PDF: 125KB).

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

How to find a registered or accredited psychological therapist

When trying to find a private therapist, it's important to make sure they're appropriately registered or accredited with a professional body.

We're able to fund therapists accredited or registered with the: 

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 might 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.