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Head Start's Frequently Asked Questions:
I’m still serving, am I eligible for Head Start funding?
WWTW supports ex-service personnel, however if your discharge date has been agreed 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, other 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 24 hour notice period. Therefore appointments need to be cancelled in advance of 24 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the notice period we are unable to fund extra appointments to replace the appointment(s) unattended and funding may be withdrawn altogether.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 and 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 in to Head Start?
No, the NHS takes primacy in providing support and therefore need 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 intervention such as CBT and EMDR can I be referred?
If you have previously had successful therapeutic intervention such as CBT and EMDR then Head Start’s offer will be less than beneficial for you and your referral declined. However if you believe you require a top up of therapy, then Head Start would consider approving a fewer number of 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 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 allocate you a therapist within 10 working days. Your appointment with the therapist can be scheduled the very next day or a couple of weeks depending on yours and the therapist’s availability.