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Head Start's Frequently Asked Questions:
If you are a healthcare professional considering a referral to Head Start, please email email@example.com
Are you a therapist looking to support the ex-service community?
We always welcome new therapists who would like to offer their services to ex-service personnel. Therapists who are accredited members of the BACP, BABCP or EMDR UK & Ireland and HCPC/BPS members are all eligible to become registered with Head Start’s national network of private therapists. Click here for our Therapist Application Form and further information.
For any further information, please call a member of the Head Start team* on 01263 863906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (*Our working hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
I’m still serving, am I eligible for Head Start funding?
WWTW supports ex-service personnel, however, if your discharge date has been agreed upon and you’re registered with a GP we can support you in your last 12 weeks of service as you transition from the military.
I have not deployed on operations and/or my mental health is not directly related to my time in the military, can I access Head Start?
Yes, you do not need to have deployed on operations or have a service-related mental health difficulty to be referred to Head Start.
Can I refer myself?
Head Start are unable to accept self-referrals, all referrals are to be submitted by a healthcare professional e.g. NHS Teams, , DCMH, another charity clinician.
Do I need to be registered with a GP?
It is a requirement that you’re registered with a local GP before a referral is submitted to Head Start.
Do I need to make any financial contributions?
No, if your referral is approved, up to 12 sessions will primarily be funded for you through charitable donations.
What happens if I cannot make an appointment with my therapist?
Therapists who support Head Start typically require a 48 hour notice period. Therefore appointments need to be cancelled in advance of 48 hours of your appointment. Due to therapy being funded by charitable donations, if you fail to attend your appointment or cancel outside of the notice period we are unable to fund extra appointments to replace the appointment(s) unattended and funding may be withdrawn altogether.
What if I don’t get on with my therapist?
If you have special requirements let Head Start know in advance where reasonable requirements will be met. On meeting your therapist, please remember therapy can be challenging and as with many things in life you’ll get out of it what you put into it. It’s not necessary to like your therapist but it helps if you trust and respect them. If you have concerns with your therapist it’s perfectly acceptable for you to talk these through with them. If they cannot be resolved please inform Head Start.
I am already receiving support from the NHS or another care provider can I access Head Start?
To avoid duplication of treatment and confusion it is preferred you complete current treatments with your existing care provider before accessing Head Start.
I would prefer Head Start support instead of NHS support; can I be referred straight into Head Start?
No, the NHS takes primacy in providing support and therefore needs to be explored in all cases before a Head Start referral is considered. However, if your local NHS have waiting times in excess of 12 weeks for treatment and/or your mild to moderate mental health needs cannot be met by the NHS then Head Start will consider your referral.
How far will I have to travel for my appointments?
A therapist within a 20-mile radius will be sought; this radius accounts for those in rural remote areas. Therefore your allocated therapist will usually be much closer.
I have previously received therapeutic interventions such as CBT and EMDR can I be referred?
If you have previously had successful therapeutic interventions such as CBT and EMDR with Head Start, and you believe you require a top-up of therapy, then Head Start would consider approving a further 6 sessions. If this applies to you please ensure your referrer includes ‘top up’ as a key point on your referral.
I think my mental health may be more severe and/or complex than mild to moderate can I access Head Start?
Head Start primarily supports individuals with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder and PTSD who can benefit from 12 weeks of face to face therapy. Typically this includes a recent onset of symptoms, which haven’t required previous treatment and/or a single traumatic event in adulthood. If your needs require longer-term care and additional resources then Head Start will not be the most appropriate service for you.
If I’m approved for Head Start funding how long will the process take?
Once your referral has been approved Head Start will post you an introductory pack. Within this pack, a consent form (with a Freepost envelope) will be provided. If at this point you would like to engage with Head Start and commence therapy you will be required to return the consent form within 3 weeks. On receiving your consent Head Start will aim to allocate you a therapist within 10 working days. Your appointment with the therapist can be scheduled for the very next day or a couple of weeks depending on your and the therapist’s availability.