May 23, 2024

Free online courses for help with the emotional impact of long-term health conditions (LTCs) including chronic pain and heart disease are available now for Powys residents from NHS Wales.

Around 40% of people with depression and anxiety disorders also have an LTC, according to NHS research.

Managing chronic or long-term illness can lead to stress, social isolation, low self-esteem and sleep problems.

In turn, mental health issues can make it even harder to cope with physical conditions.

Digital therapy platform SilverCloud has a suite of programmes addressing depression and anxiety linked to three LTCs. They are:

Lung conditions

Coronary heart disease

Chronic pain

The 12-week programmes are for people in Powys aged 16+. They’re available 24-7 and can be accessed anytime, anywhere on a mobile, computer or tablet, through referral by a Powys-based GP or healthcare professional.

Progress is monitored by trained supporters, who provide fortnightly feedback and can escalate more serious cases to access further support.

Courses draw on techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and aim to arm participants with a better understanding of the link between their condition and their mental health.

They include practical advice for boosting mood and motivation, managing pain and challenging some of the negative behaviours that may accompany an LTC.

They also focus on developing more flexible ways of thinking – not only in relation to an individual’s illness, but in other aspects of their life, too.

Fionnuala Clayton, online CBT service project manager, said: “Physical and mental health are intrinsically linked.

“Dealing with the added demands of living with lung conditions can impact mental health, while low mood and anxiety can make it harder to cope overall.

“These programmes are proven to be effective – they empower patients with a mental health toolkit to help them better manage the emotional challenges associated with their illness.”

Powys residents should discuss referral with their GP or healthcare professional.

Learn more about SilverCloud at

For additional help, email