What We Do

Why Talk for Health?

Talk for Health is a social enterprise working to improve mental health. It was set up by Nicky Forsythe, a psychotherapist, to teach the skills and attitudes that allow for more deeply connective talk between people. This in turn leads to greater personal and social wellbeing.

The skills we teach are ‘talk-based’ – this means that they are drawn from talking therapies, and we distill them into basic principles that anyone can use.

Who is it for?

Talk for Health is for anyone who wants to understand themselves better, enjoy greater emotional wellbeing, support others and build community bonds.

The Talk for Health training can be adapted for individuals, organisations and corporate clients.  Find out more on the links below:


Understanding yourself better, improving your communication, and learning to listen deeply to others gives you greater emotional wellbeing. Read more >>


Caring for your staff and reducing stress in the workplace makes good business sense: it reduces sick leave and enhances staff performance. Read more >>


The Talk for Health programme is suitable for co-workers or service users in organisations such as charities, public services, and community groups. Read more >>

What does it involve?

The heart of our service is the Talk for Health Programme. This is run with groups of up to 12 and teaches:

  • how to understand and talk about your own experience and feelings
  • how to listen effectively and respond empathically to others
  • how to set up an ongoing Talk for Health group

The initial training is 4.5 days over  4 – 6 weeks, during the course of which participants gain a raft of communication skills and instantly improved wellbeing.

The Programme isn’t the end of things: Following the training, participants can set up and attend ongoing Talk for Health peer support groups, and we offer help to do this. Participants find that these groups build their wellbeing and become an invaluable resource for self-reflection, support and achieving life goals.

We also offer a Train the Trainer programme where people can become licensed to lead the Programme inside organisations or companies, and further advanced learning for individuals once they have graduated from the Programme.

What effect does it have?

The short answer is that it increases psychological wellbeing.

To read more about the science, click HERE.

Anonymous evaluations of pre and post programme mental wellbeing have been carried out across seven groups of Talk for Health participants: three amongst the general public and four amongst amongst people with mental health diagnoses (n = 50).  We used the ‘Outcomes Rating Scale’ (Miller 2010) developed for measuring therapy outcomes.

In all Talk for Health groups, mean wellbeing scores increased as shown below.

Wellbeing Outcomes (using ORS) from 7 Programmes. N = 50/July 2013

  • Before
  • After
Talk for Health offers a means to wellbeing which is:

In psychological terms, it is the equivalent of teaching people how to fish rather than giving them fish to eat.


People with the skills taught in Talk for Health can be as effective in supporting themselves and others as trained therapists.

Good for wellbeing

It promotes wellbeing by virtue of the fact that people give as well as receiving support.

Good for community

It promotes social bonds and a sense of shared humanity – the relief of knowing that ‘I’m not the only one’.