A London surgery has pioneered a new scheme where patients with mild psychological distress attend a stress management programme hosted at the clinic.
In collaboration with the Relaxing for Living Institute, the programme of four relaxation classes per week aims to help patients deal with the symptoms of anxiety and manage their symptoms in their daily lives.
Techniques include simple exercises, breathing techniques and guided self-awareness.
Ismat Nasiruddin, a GP with a special interest in psychiatry said: "Stress affects a vast number of people and can result in significant symptoms. Within the confines of the NHS it is hard to provide good quality care for mild psychological distress despite it being for many people quite debilitating or threatening longer-term morbidity.
"Support systems like Relaxation for Living are invaluable, allowing us to offer good all-round support at an earlier stage, preventing further distress and empowering patients."
Richard Hilliard, the Relaxing for Living Institute director believes the programme can offer a simple range of solutions to a disabling set of problems.
He adds that very often, medication is not the answer.
"Would like help trying to deal with anxiety." - Paula Williams, Merseside
"An excellent idea. Small things often cause a degree of anxiety, which can then spiral out of control bringing a considerable change in a person's ability to cope. Not only with the original problem but other areas of their life. Any skills that can be taught and can be used on a daily, or on an "as needed" basis can only be a good thing. Not only for those whose anxiety is out of control but those who try to support them" - Name and address supplied