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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I make an appointment?

    Appointments can be made by telephoning the office on 01204 527200

  • Can we volunteer for MhIST?

    We are always in need of Volunteers for a range of positions. All of our volunteer vacancies can be found on our Do-IT site. Please visit the “Volunteer With Us” page for further details.

  • Can I phone or email you?

    You can reach us on our contact page or by calling us at 01204 527200

  • What are your opening times?

    MhIST is normally open from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Some talk therapy sessions can be provided until 6pm.

  • Do I have to live in Bolton to access MhIST’s services?

    Yes and no. Advocacy and Talk Therapy can only be accessed if your Council Tax is paid to the Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. Self-help groups can be accessed by anyone.

  • How do I get referred to MhIST?

    People who want to access MhIST’s services can refer themselves by contacting MhIST.

  • What is Zoom?

    Zoom is an internet video conferencing solution, a bit like Facetime or Skype.

    Where do I find the Zoom Client?

    You need the Zoom client on your device to have MhIST internet therapy. From the Zoom homepage, click RESOURCES and then Download Zoom Client, or visit https://zoom.us/download.

    Which Zoom Client Do I need?

    We recommend Zoom Client for Meetings for your PC/ laptop, or the appropriate Zoom App for your tablet or mobile phone available from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

    What devices can I use?

    You can use a personal computer (PC), laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

    Is Zoom secure?

    Zoom is recommended by talking therapy organisations as it uses end-to-end encryption to ensure nobody can intercept your session. It is reportedly more secure than Skype.

    How much does Zoom cost?

    We recommend the free version of Zoom.

    Can I contact my therapist outside session times?

    MhIST is not an emergency service. If you require up-to-date information, urgent assistance or practical support for those impacted by Covid- 19 we recommend that you contact the following sources:

    Bolton NHS & Bolton Council Coronavirus Information

    Greater Manchester Mental Health Coronavirus Guidance

    Healthwatch Bolton – Community Information

    We ask that you do not try to contact your counsellor directly with Zoom or email outside of session times.

    Anything else?

    • Have a play with Zoom before your first session to get comfortable with the controls.
    • Therapy sessions are confidential so you should be in a private space.
    • Sessions typically last 50 minutes so we recommend a setup which you can sit comfortably in front of such as a desktop PC or a laptop or tablet on a flat surface.
    • Try to sit so that you are lit from the front that way your counsellor can see you properly.
    • Ensure there is no background noise and that anyone else in your space knows not to disturb you.
    • You need to be free to focus on yourself for the duration of your session.
    • Have your phone to hand as a backup in case there are unforeseen technical problems.
    • Visit the Zoom FAQ for more help with zoom.

  • How do I refer someone to your service?

    It depends on which service is required. Advocacy and Self Help Groups can be accessed by contacting the office on 01204 527200. Talk Therapy can be accessed by first ringing 1point on 01204 917744 and stating that MhIST should be the required provider of Talk Therapy.

  • Can I just turn up at MhIST’s doorstep to use the services if I have never been before?

    No, an initial appointment is needed first before using any of our services. This is to ensure that we provide the best possible help we can. If you turn up with out an appointment then our administration team will take your contact details and the nature of your enquiry. These details will then be passed onto the relevant team. However, if you require talk therapy you will be signposted to 1point as detailed here.

  • I keep telephoning and getting an answer machine.

    MhIST’s switchboard normally operates from 9:30am to 12:30 pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm. There are some occasions that the switchboard may be switched off during the afternoon when the answer machine will take over. The answer machine also automatically takes a message if the line is engaged.

  • Do I have to have a specific diagnosis from my GP/Psychiatrist to access MhIST’s services?

    No, a specific diagnosis is not required. You just need to believe that your mental health and wellbeing would be improved by using MhIST’s services.

  • How much does it cost to access MhIST’s services?

    All of MhIST’s services are offered free at the point of contact. This means members do not have to pay a thing. Funding for the activities is obtained elsewhere.

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