Courses to help people with chronic health problems have been launched across the county.

The courses are free and are held in community venues in Devizes, Corsham, Trowbridge and Salisbury and usually run for one afternoon or evening a week for five weeks.

Run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust psychology service, the courses provide support to help people better understand and manage a range of common health problems, such as chronic pain, type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Clinical psychologist Dr Jon Freeman said: “The courses help people to better understand their health condition – for example, what chronic pain is, the things that can make it worse and better – and teach them techniques based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to better manage it.

“CBT is recommended by many NICE guidelines as there is a good evidence base for this approach. It’s all about better managing someone’s physical health.

“The courses can help people feel less anxious and low and feel more confident and better able to manage their physical health, including starting to engage in meaningful activities. Anxiety and depression are two to three times more prevalent in people with long-term health conditions.”

See or call 01380 731335 for details.