Talk for Health

Talk for Health

At a glance


  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Mental health

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - England


What is Talk for Health? 

Talk for Health is a Social Enterprise making therapeutic talk accessible to all.  Our method is innovative and highly effective.  We teach lay people to give and receive effective support in structured community peer counselling groups. 


The Talk for Health group peer counselling method has been shown to be as effective as therapy, with longer lasting results, and we also improve community cohesion. We have been delivering our programme since 2008, and NHS-commissioned as a North London service since 2014.


Why is Talk for Health needed? 

One in four UK citizens will experience mental illness in every year, yet 75% of them won’t get any treatment (Mental Health Foundation, 2015). Only 16 % of them get NHS talking therapy (NHS Digital 2017). 

Most sufferers will get pills, a solution increasingly understood to be flawed (Uber, Rudolf et al 2016).   One in six UK adults is on anti-depressants (The Guardian, August 2018). 


The World Health Organisation and United Nations are calling for radical changes in approach:


Excessive use of medications causes more harm than good. Psychosocial interventions, not medications, should be the first-line treatment options  (United Nations,2017)

T4H offers a solution that could solve these problems across the UK and beyond. We currently operate mainly in Islington, funded by Islington NHS for the last 5 years, and we are gradually increasing our reach. You can help us grow, and enable a mentally healthier UK!


Talk for Health offers:

  1. A 2.5 hour Induction to Peer Counselling Skills.  This teaches sufficient skill for people to set up a basic peer support group, and serves as a ‘taster’ for the Core Training (see 2) below)
  2. The Core Talk for Health Training  - 24 hours. Therapeutic in itself, this manualised training teaches peer counseling skills with groups of up to 25.  Content includes: self-awareness and emotional literacy; talking truthfully about yourself;  listening and responding empathically  to others; how to chair and/or participate in a clearly structured, Talk for Health ongoing (Chair & Share) group. On completion of this Core Training, participants become ‘T4H Graduates’.
  3. Ongoing Peer Counseling (Chair & Share) Groups). Graduates can set up their own groups,  following the structure they are taught on the Core Training, or they can access a Talk for Health-managed network of volunteer-led groups.
  4. Leadership Development: Graduates can do our one-day ‘Train the Chair’ training, which equips them to lead ongoing groups as volunteers.  They can also train to lead the core training as paid sessional workers.

All of this is free at is fully funded by NHS Islington and other grantmaking bodies.

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