Physical health problems & persistent physical symptoms

Are you…

  • Managing a long-term physical health condition like diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or cardiovascular disease?
  • Living with persistent physical symptoms like fatigue, chronic pain or stomach problems?
  • Feeling low and/or stressed about your physical symptoms?

Did you know that in addition to medicines and medical treatments, there are strategies that you can learn to help manage physical symptoms like pain, fatigue, breathlessness or palpitations?

These strategies are not going to make your physical symptoms disappear, but they can help you to cope better. They can also improve your quality of life by helping you to engage in things that matter to you most.

Do you ever notice yourself feeling stressed, low in mood or anxious?

If so, you are not alone.

Living with physical health conditions can be hard. We know that physical symptoms can cause distress and they can also create additional demands, for example, you might need to attend additional appointments and make significant adjustments to your day-to-day life.

We know physical health conditions and persistent physical symptoms (such as irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia) can have a huge impact on a person’s sense of wellbeing. We know from research that our emotional wellbeing can also impact our physical health in the long run.

What type of help is available for me?

In response to the evidence that emotional and physical health needs are related,  iCope have a specific long-term conditions pathway known as integrated IAPT or IAPT-LTC which stands for ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for long-term conditions’. This arm of our iCope service is for individuals with a GP registered in Camden or Islington who have specific long-term conditions as listed below:

  •  Diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Long-COVID
  • Chronic pain (Islington only)

Guided self-help and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be offered to individuals living with the above long-term health conditions who also experience stress, anxiety, low mood and/or sleep problems.

I would like to find out more about integrated IAPT-LTC

The therapists who work in the integrated IAPT-LTC team receive specialist training and supervision for working with people who have both long-term physical health conditions and emotional challenges such as stress, sleep problems, low mood or anxiety. The integrated IAPT-LTC team is a small group of therapists and psychological wellbeing workers who are extremely  passionate about helping individuals with health problems and emotional challenges. A core value held by team members is to promote good mental health and improvement in quality of life for people who are seen in the service.

Watch the video below to find out more about integrated IAPT-LTC from the lead for this arm of the service in iCope Camden – Dr Chinea Eziefula, clinical psychologist and LTC lead:

To find out more about integrated IAPT-LTC service developments in North Central London across Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Camden and Islington, visit this NHS website about supporting good mental health for people with long-term conditions and persistent physical symptoms.

I would like help. What can I do next?

If you would like to know more about how psychological therapy within our service may be helpful for you, please book an appointment with us – be sure to state that you would like to be seen in “integrated LTC-IAPT” in your referral.  Alternatively, you may wish to speak to your GP or physical health team about a referral to our service.

You may also find it helpful to explore our website and information about our service.

Further information & resources

You may find it helpful to read the examples below to find out more about how integrated IAPT-LTC can help.

There are also several online resources and materials available as well as general health and wellbeing  advice.