East Sussex mental health directory

For people in crisis and suicide prevention

Contact mental health services

The Sussex Mental Healthline is there to offer support and advise you where to get help for yourself or someone you are concerned about.

For callers whose first language is not English, a telephone interpreter can be arranged for other community languages, by phoning the helpline and letting them know the language needed.

  • Sussex Mental Healthline 0800 0309 500 (free phone)

Shout Sussex text service

By texting the word SUSSEX to 85258, you can access a free, confidential, 24/7 service and have a text conversation with a trained volunteer. The volunteers offer real-time support if you are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed. You may prefer this to speaking on the phone. 

For urgent mental health support

Call 999 or go to A&E if you do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe. A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one.

Two East Sussex hospitals have an A&E department.

  • Conquest Hospital – The Ridge, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 7RD
  • Eastbourne District General Hospital – Kings Drive, Eastbourne, BN21 2UD

For those living on the edge of the county:

  • Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Rd, Brighton BN2 5BE
  • Princess Royal Hospital, Lewes Rd, Haywards Heath RH16 4EX

Please consider whether your GP, the Sussex Mental Healthline or the NHS 111 service can help before travelling to A&E.

If you have a care plan and crisis card from Sussex Partnership mental health services, these will include details of who you should contact in a crisis. If you can’t find your care plan, contact your community team during the day – 9am to 5pm – from Monday to Friday. Ask for your care coordinator or the person on duty.

Contact the Samaritans

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the Samaritans can offer help and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Staying Well crisis café for out-of-hours support

Staying Well provides a support service for people experiencing distress due to their mental health, during evenings and weekends when other support may be unavailable. Open for face to face support in Hastings and St Leonards and Eastbourne, with phone  and video call support if you are unable to attend in person.

Open 7 days a week, 4pm to 10.30pm on weekdays and 3pm to 10.30pm at weekends.

  • Phone 0800 023 6475 and choose option 1 for Eastbourne, or 2 for St Leonards
  • Website and online self-referral: Staying Well

Other suicide prevention services

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust Urgent Help Advice

Preventing suicide in Sussex

Advice for people who may be at risk of suicide and their friends and family, on warning signs and how to seek help.

‘Warning Signs’ is a suicide prevention campaign targeting East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove, specifically aiming to support the reduction of annual suicide amongst men in Sussex.

Grassroots Suicide Prevention

Work with communities, organisations, services and individuals to help them to become ready, willing and able to effectively support someone at risk of suicide.

Available in Brighton & Hove with advice for all.

Counselling partnership

Free to access, timely support for those who are currently at risk of taking their own life, or who have attempted suicide. Support is also offered to people bereaved by suicide.

RunningSpace

Based in Sidley Bexhill, but with other free running groups in Eastbourne,  Hastings and (coming soon) Rye and Hailsham. RunningSpace promotes life and good mental health through small friendly groups. No running experience necessary.

National services

  • Papyrus Hopeline uk suicide prevention service for under 35s offering confidential support and practical advice
  • Zero Suicide Alliance is committed to suicide prevention and offers free training and resources.

If you have been affected by suicide

National Support

Public Health England and the Suicide Prevention Alliance have produced Help is at Hand for people bereaved by suicide or other sudden, traumatic death.

Suicide&Co supports people bereaved by suicide, with a helpline run by bereavement counsellors.

East Sussex Support for people bereaved by suicide

A service for people whose loved one has died as a result of suicide, offering practical and emotional support.

If you have been affected by witnessing a suicide

Firsthand is a new resource to support and advise people who are impacted by the suicide of someone they don't know.


Mental health services and support

If you are concerned about someone who may harm themselves, please see our crisis and suicide prevention page.

If you are showing signs of mental ill-health which are not improving with self-help interventions, the first thing you should do is speak with your GP, or if you have one, your Lead Practitioner in your Community Mental Health team.

If your poor mental health is linked with financial concerns, please see our mental health and money worries page.

Mental health issues are common and treatable. The sooner you seek help, the better. Please also check out the support available both locally and nationally.

Sussex Mental Healthline

You can call this helpline for care and advice (24 hours, 7 days a week, for all ages) to discuss concerns you have for the mental health of yourself or someone else.

For callers whose first language is not English, a telephone interpreter can be arranged for other community languages, by phoning the helpline and letting them know the language needed.

Shout Sussex text service

By texting the word SUSSEX to 85258, people can access a free, confidential, 24/7 service and have a text conversation with a trained volunteer. The volunteers offer real-time support to people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed. Some people may prefer this to speaking on the phone. If appropriate, users will be signposted to other local services.

Health in Mind

A free NHS service for East Sussex residents who are experiencing stress, anxiety or low mood. You can self-refer through the website, and also find videos, top tips and free online therapy programmes. The service is offered via the phone or online via a secure video platform, with limited face-to-face treatment.

Once a referral has been received, the team will talk to you about what can be offered based on your needs.

Adult Social Care

Contact Adult Social Care if you or someone you know needs social care support.

East Sussex Community Network

Wellbeing centres

Seven Wellbeing Centres, located across East Sussex, provide a range of community-based mental health and wellbeing support to help you to get well, stay well and prevent crisis. 

Support for mental health and wellbeing is offered through a support plan developed with each client (age 16 plus). 

Peer Support Service

People who have their own lived experience of mental health challenges will support you to take control of your mental health and stay well. Peer Specialists work with clients to develop Wellness Plans, identifying strategies and tools to help manage recovery and prevent crisis.

Staying Well Space

Out-of-hours ‘crisis cafe’ support available 7 evenings a week for adults (aged 16+) experiencing acute distress due to their mental health. The service has reopened venues in St Leonards and Eastbourne, with continuing phone support for those who can’t visit in person.

People supported by Staying Well are generally experiencing distress related to a mental health condition. They are not considered at imminent risk of suicidal or self-injury, or to pose an imminent risk of harm to others.

Thinking Well

Specialist day support for adults living in East Sussex who are living with a diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).

There is a film about EUPD for people with the diagnosis and family, friends, and practitioners, with further info on the SPFT website

Access local services to improve your mental wellbeing

Community Connectors

When everyday life is affecting your mental health and wellbeing, we work in partnership with GPs to help you access local services and activities that can help. Community Navigators support people to improve their own health and wellbeing by developing personalised and practical solutions to everyday issues, following the Social Prescribing pathway, and encouraging self-help during the current period.

Local wellbeing project in Eastbourne and Hastings

Wellbeing in Hastings and Eastbourne is a project that promotes the emotional and mental wellbeing of communities within Hastings and Eastbourne.

Low cost or free counselling services

Sussex Community Counselling

Low-cost counselling by a BACP-accredited service offered in Newhaven, Lewes, Hailsham and Eastbourne, or by phone or video call.

Counselling Plus Community

A charity which offers confidential affordable counselling to people aged 16+. Available face to face in Hastings, Bexhill and Rye and also remotely through phone, Zoom or Skype.

Support for Survivors of Suicide (SSOS)

For those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or who have attempted suicide. Assessments and counselling services can be offered via phone or video call. Support is also provided if you have lost someone to suicide.

Breakeven counselling

Breakeven offer free counselling for people with gambling-related issues, either face to face or via video call or phone, with offices in Eastbourne and St Leonards.

The Pelham Counselling service

A charity in Bexhill offering affordable counselling to people aged 16+ in person or over the phone or Zoom. 

Counselling directory (may not be low cost)

Mental health support for people in minority groups

The Links Project

A multi-agency support and advice project for asylum seekers, refugees and new migrant communities living in East Sussex.

Bad Nerves, Mental Health

Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) provides confidential and private mental health support for Gypsies and Travellers.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic mental health

A national organisation giving information for people in ethnic minority groups who experience mental health issues, including options for support and treatment.

Seaview

Seaview is an open access wellbeing centre in St Leonards. It helps to improve the lives of people who are marginalised for a variety of reasons, and who often have mental health difficulties. Open 7 days a week over the winter.

LGBTQ+ support

MindOut

MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbian, gay bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people, with lots of advice and guidance.

Switchboard

Switchboard B&H is a Brighton-based charity with an LGBTQ helpline for people living in Sussex.

  • Helpline: 01273 204050 (7.00pm to 9.30pm on Wed and Thu)
  • Website: Switchboard B&H
  • National Switchboard helpline: 0300 330 0630 (10am to 10pm daily)

LGBTQ directory

This directory of free support (Sussex and UK wide) lists the local support and social groups run by and for people who identify as LGBTQ, or who are unsure or questioning their gender and/or sexuality.

Mindline Trans+

National evening helpline offering emotional and mental health support for anyone who identifies as transgender, non-binary or genderfluid.

Mental health support for young people

I-Rock

Young people in East Sussex (aged 14 to 25 years) can access advice and support on emotional and mental wellbeing. The service is open daily from 11am to 6pm through video link, phone or email.

There are some face to face appointments available at i-Rock sites in Hastings, Eastbourne and Newhaven.

E-wellbeing

A digital wellbeing service to support 13–25 year olds in Sussex with their mental health, designed by young people, for young people. The website provides self-help information, handy toolkits and a directory of local services.

E-motion

Free online counselling service for 12–18 year olds in East Sussex. It is not a crisis or emergency service, but can allow you to talk about your problems and feelings in a safe supportive and private space. Visit the website to register.

Sussex CAMHS

Support with emotional and mental wellbeing, for children, young people and their parents or carers. Their website has lots of information, resources and short films about common problems.

The Mix

National support for young people under 25, with an online community and a helpline, free counselling services and other support.

  • Website: The Mix
  • Helpline: 0808 8084994 (every day 4pm-11pm, freephone)

YoungMinds

For support and information on services for children and young people up to 25, and their parents and carers. 

  • For children and young people: Find help
  • For parents: Supporting your child
  • Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm. Free for mobiles and landlines)

Support for eating disorders

People of any age or gender can develop eating disorders, and it's best to get help as soon as possible. The first place to go is your GP, who should refer you for further assessment or treatment by a specialist eating disorder service.

You can also talk to an advisor with Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity, and find information and resources.

Website: Beat 

Website: Sussex-wide service for under 18s

Holding Space (Eastbourne)

A small charitable organisation which support families going through mental ill health. It offers free, friendly online support sessions for parents and carers, as well as phone support.

Support with employment

Free skills and employability support

An online brochure full of the latest information on free to access skills, employment and other support, arranged by area.

Southdown Individual Placement and Support

Offer one-to-one support to gain and retain employment, self-employment, voluntary work and education. For adults (aged 18 years +) living in East Sussex who are using a mental health service.

Available across East Sussex

Work in Mind

One-to-one support to find and retain employment, self-employment, voluntary work and education for adults (aged 18 years +). Referrals are accepted direct from Health in Mind teams only.

Available across East Sussex

Education for learning and recovery

Sussex Recovery College

Free educational courses about mental health and recovery which are designed to increase your knowledge, skills and promote self-management. 

Face to face courses are available in Hastings, Eastbourne and Lewes, with many other courses delivered online. Open to people with a moderate to severe mental health challenge, their family and close friends, or people who work to support them.

Additional free online courses can also be accessed at Recovery College Online.

Adult Community Learning

East Sussex College offers activities and learning experiences which can be tailored to support people age 19+ with mild to moderate mental health issues. Normally available in Eastbourne, Lewes and Newhaven, limited courses are currently being delivered by video tutorials. Please contact the college to find out more and see what’s on offer.

Sussex Discovery College

The Discovery College is a community of children and young people up to 21 years and their families and supporters. They offer a range of free courses online and in different venues, which are fun and informative and support people to deal with mental health challenges.

Southdown ‘padlet’ listing online learning opportunities

A range of places to find free courses to keep you occupied and learning.

Service user involvement and advocacy

Mental Health Lived Experience Advisory Group

If you or someone you care for has used mental health services, you may want to use your experiences to help shape future developments. 

POhWER

Information and advocacy services for people who need support because of problems with their mental health.

Available across East Sussex.

Information, advice and campaigning

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink improve the lives of people with diagnosed mental illness with expert information and successful campaigning. The advice and information service is open from 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Bereavement support

East Sussex 1Space directory lists local and national support:

If you have been bereaved by suicide

Public Health England and the Zero Suicide Alliance have produced Help is at Hand for people bereaved by suicide or other sudden, traumatic death.

East Sussex Support for people bereaved by suicide

A new service for people whose loved one has died as a result of suicide, offering practical and emotional support.


Self-help for good mental health

It is normal to sometimes feel anxious or low, whatever your personal situation.  There are steps you can take to try and improve your mental health

This page signposts ways that you can help yourself. If you continue to have concerns about your mental health, please visit Mental health services and support.

The following resources have some tips on how to support and manage our own mental health and wellbeing.

Self-help mental health resources

Every Mind Matters

Every Mind Matters offers simple steps to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing:

Clic online peer support

Clic is an online community of people who have been affected by a mental health problem, where you can share experiences and find resources, advice and information.

Health In Mind resources

Mindfulness

  • NHS mindfulness gives you an introduction to mindfulness and links to resources

Mind relaxation tips

Dealing with loneliness

National Mind and Every Mind Matters have  advice and tips, and other places you can go for support.

East Sussex College open courses

ESG offers adults (19 plus) community learning opportunities which are usually free and online.  You might want to boost your wellbeing by trying something new and creative or improving your employability.

Mind Wellbeing projects in Hastings and Eastbourne

Workshops and information to support positive mental wellbeing, and awareness and understanding of mental health. The service works with young people who live in Hastings and Eastbourne, and people of any age with long-term conditions (such as a mental health condition or physical disability). 

There is further information and contact details on the Mind website.

Libraries services

East Sussex Libraries have pages on wellbeing with lots of resources and signposting. If you live or work in East Sussex you can also access free e-books and audiobooks.

Our libraries offer self-help books for people who are finding it difficult to cope or need advice on a specific emotional or mental health problem.

Phone services for wellbeing support

Hullo

The goal of this national organisation is to help reduce loneliness and increase human contact. Trained volunteers oversee the phone line which is open 9am to 9pm, seven days per week. Callers (18+) can chat for up to 20 minutes each time.

  • Phone: 0800 001445
  • For more information Hullo

The Befriending Service

This project supports people in Newhaven and Hailsham who might benefit from a weekly call from a trained volunteer.

Independent Age

A befriending phone service for older people.

Mobilise Cuppa (for all carers)

Join other carers for a virtual cuppa and supportive chats twice a week. There is also lots of helpful information on their resources page.

Farming Community Network helpline:

A national helpline for farmers which offers a chance to talk to someone who understands the challenges. You can call between 7am and 11pm every day if you need help with stress, depression, alcohol or drug dependency, isolation or have other worries.

Men’s mental health

Men's Health library resources

East Sussex Libraries share a collection of online tools and resources to support men's mental health and wellbeing.

Room to Rant (16-25s) rap and lyric workshops

A relaxed weekly space for young men to rap and get stuff off their chest, run by experienced and accomplished rappers. Now running in Eastbourne, with an online group for those who can't meet in person.

Men's mental health project

The Men's Mental Health Project in Hastings focusses on improving community support for men aged 30-59 years.

Mankind Support Group

Mankind was set up in 2020 by Eastbourne friends to help support men who have mental health worries, or just need someone to talk to without judgement.

Men's Sheds

Local spaces for men to connect, make friends and enjoy activities. There are groups all over East Sussex.

Men's padlet

Southdown’s People in Partnership have put together a ‘padlet’ of information on services and information to help with men’s mental health.

  • Let’s talk men’s mental health padlet

Podcasts about men's mental health

  • UK Men's mental health podcasts aiming to get men talking about mental health more: Manup!

National Peer Support Service

Side by Side (offered through national Mind)

A supportive online community, where you can feel at home talking about your mental health and connect with others who understand what you are going through. It's open to anybody who has an experience of mental health problems, or is closely connected to someone that has. It’s available 24/7 and moderated daily from 8.30am until midnight.

To join: Side by Side


Caring for someone with a mental health condition

If you look after someone with a mental health condition in an unpaid capacity, you are a carer. By offering them support, you’ll play a vital role in their wellbeing and recovery.

Please see our general advice and information about support services for your relative or friend on the other mental health directory pages.

There is also a range of specific support available to you in your caring role:

Carer’s directory

Search our directory for support services

East Sussex Care for the Carers

Including carers of people with mental health issues

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Advice and support for carers

Supporting someone with a mental health problem

National Mind advice

Supporting someone in crisis

Mental health directory information and advice

Carer’s information

Caring for someone

Young carers (aged under 18)

Support for young carers

Carers O’Clock

Activities for carers in East Sussex, with regular bulletins and a monthly Talk and Make session

Mobilise Cuppa

Join other carers for a virtual cuppa and supportive chats. There is also lots of helpful information on their resources page.

Holding Space

Support for parents, children and families in the Eastbourne area who are experiencing worries about mental health.


Drug and alcohol services

Local services

STAR (Change Grow Live)

Our goal is to help service users regain control, change the direction of their lives, grow as a person and live life to its full potential.

Available across the whole of East Sussex

East Sussex Recovery Alliance (ESRA)

ESRA provides drug and alcohol recovery services for anyone over the age of 18.

Oasis Women’s Recovery Service

Support for women affected by drug or alcohol problems and their families, with groups in Eastbourne, Hastings & St Leonards and Uckfield.

Adfam East Sussex

The service in East Sussex provides direct support to families and carers through information, one-to-one support and group and peer support. Adfam will also run a programme of training for professionals to develop their skills in working with the family and carers of substance misusers.

Online support

These services are offer helplines, online meetings and information to support recovery from substance misuse:

Adfam is a national charity working to improve the lives of families and friends of people with problems caused by drugs and alcohol. They have also recently developed a toolkit (PDF) for families affected by co-occurring mental ill-health and substance misuse.


Armed forces services

Organisations

Local mental health support for veterans

The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service offers free NHS mental health services to all ex-serving members of the UK Armed Forces and service personnel living in Sussex.

Combat Stress

A national charity to support veterans’ mental health, with a 24/7 helpline

  • Phone: 0800 138 1619 (for veterans and families)
  • Phone: 0800 323 4444 (for serving and families)
  • Website: Combat Stress

Sussex Armed Forces Network (SAFN)

If you, or a close member of your family, have served or are serving in the UK Armed Forces there may be additional help and support available.

Available across East Sussex

SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity

Practical, financial and emotional support for service personnel, veterans and their families. They offer a free and confidential support line 9am to 5pm Mon to Fri.

  • Phone: 0800 260 6767 (Forcesline)
  • Website: SSAFA

East Sussex Veterans Hub

A local charity which aims to support the wellbeing of veterans of the armed forces living in East Sussex.

  • Phone: 0330 1077808 (free) 
  • Website: ESVH

Mental health and money worries

Welfare benefits service and financial advice

Are worries about money or debts impacting your mental health? This service offers free, confidential advice and information. Open to people living in East Sussex Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm.

Mental Health and Money Advice

This national impartial organisation has lots of advice and information on managing money, debts and benefits, as well as a toolkit to help you understand, manage and improve your mental and financial health.

Money Helper 

A government-approved online advice service, providing impartial free advice on money and debt issues.

StepChange debt advice

A national debt help charity giving free, confidential and expert advice. Support with a personal action plan for as long as it's needed, online or over the phone.

Mental Health Breathing Space

This is a debt relief scheme if you are receiving specific types of mental health crisis treatment. The protections offered include pausing enforcement action, and freezing interest and charges on your debts.

Money Saving Expert

Specialist advice and a Mental Health & Debt guide.

For more local and national information

Was this page helpful?

Click or tap the rating which best represents your experience.