East Sussex mental health directory

1. 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 0300 5000 101

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.

Go to your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department

Go to your nearest hospital with an A&E department. In some hospitals, this is called the Emergency Department. There are staff on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, who will be able to assess you and give you the appropriate help.

  • Conquest Hospital – The Ridge, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 7RD
  • Eastbourne DGH – 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 family doctor can help you before making your journey to an emergency department.

Contact the Samaritans

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

Call the emergency services

If you are concerned about an immediate risk of harm – either to yourself or someone else – then:

  • Phone 999

If you are not sure what to do…

  • Phone 111

You can phone 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a service that can make it easier to access local NHS healthcare services. It can be a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.

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.

Find more information on 1Space: Grassroots Suicide Prevention

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.

  • Tel: 07796 869484
  • Email: Rhian.gower@sussexcommunity.org.uk

Find more information on 1Space: Counselling partnership

National services

  • Shout text service for people in crisis, free on all major mobile networks
  • Papyrus Hopelineuk suicide prevention service for under 35s offering confidential support and practical advice

Printable ‘Letter of Hope’

‘Letter of Hope’ has been produced by people in Sussex who have contemplated suicide to help support those with suicidal thoughts.

2. Mental health services and support

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.

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

This helpline for mental health care and advice (which is now 24 hours, 7 days a week, for all ages and carers) is the best number to call for many mental health concerns during the pandemic. People who have general concerns about their mental health can also phone to receive psychological support at this time.

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.

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. Due to COVID-19 the service has had to make some temporary changes and are not able to provide their normal full range of therapies at the moment. Once a referral has been received the team will have a conversation with the person about what can be offered based on their individual needs.

Find more information on 1Space: Health in Mind

Adult Social Care

Contact Adult Social Care if you or someone you know are finding coping with day-to-day life a challenge and need support with your mental health.

East Sussex Community Network

Wellbeing centres

The seven East Sussex wellbeing centre buildings are temporarily closed, with staff offering telephone, email and social media support for new and current clients age 16+.

Support for people’s mental health and wellbeing is still offered using new or existing support plans, Contact 01323 405 334 or email ESCN@southdown.org for general enquiries, or email your nearest wellbeing centre.

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Wellbeing Centres

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.

The service is still accepting new referrals including self-referrals from East Sussex residents.

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Peer Support Service

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. Normally in venues in Hastings and St Leonards and Eastbourne, currently via phone support.

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

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Staying Well Space

Thinking Well

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

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Thinking Well

There is a new 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.

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Community Connectors

Low cost counselling services

Sussex Community Counselling

Low-cost counselling by a BACP-accredited service offered in Newhaven, Lewes, Hailsham and Eastbourne (includes funded youth counselling in the Havens area, this is temporarily suspended).

Find more information on 1Space: Sussex Community Counselling

Counselling Plus Community

A charity which offers confidential affordable counselling to people aged 16+ at times of stress, change, pain or loss. Normally available in Hastings, Bexhill, Rye and Northiam, the service is prioritising existing clients with remote counselling sessions. At this time, referrals are only accepted from SARC (the Sexual Assault Referral Centre) and from the Supporting Survivors of Suicide project for clients at high risk of suicide.

Find more information on 1Space: Counselling Plus Community

Support for Survivors of Suicide (SSOS)

For those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or who have attempted suicide. Assessments and counselling services are being offered via phone or video calls wherever possible at this time. Support is also provided if you have lost someone to suicide.

Find more information on 1Space: Counselling Partnership

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. They are able to offer telephone, email and other social media based support at this time.

Contact Marc Turczanski (Project Coordinator) on 01424 444010, 07752 495 508 or marc@hastingsvoluntaryaction.org.uk.

For support for people with asylum or refugee status, who are experiencing mental health distress, contact Val (Outreach and Engagement Officer) Val.Biggs@eastsussex.gov.uk or call 07825 754 164.

Find more information on 1Space: The Links Project

Bad Nerves, Mental Health

Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) provides confidential and private mental health support for Gypsies and Travellers, with further advice and information on the FFT webpages.

  • Tel: 01273 234777 for the Sussex area helpline

Find more information on 1Space: Bad Nerves, Mental Health

Mindline Trans+

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

Find more information on 1Space: Mindline Trans+

Easy access service for people with complex lives


An open access wellbeing centre in Hastings for people who are on the edge of society for a variety of reasons. The centre is now closed to clients, who have assured temporary accommodation for this period. Staff are offering telephone contact and advice, a postal service and signposting and onward referrals to other services continue. They are also taking individual orders for food, cooked meals, clothing and other resources for wellbeing.

Find more information on 1Space: Seaview

Support for young people


Young people (ages 14 to 25 years) can access advice and support on emotional and mental wellbeing. The service continues to offer a daily 11am to 6pm service through virtual clinic software, telephone or email, and i-rock website. Facebook and Instagram pages have more information.

Available in Hastings, Eastbourne and Newhaven

Find more information on 1Space: i-Rock


A new 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 and Coronavirus advice.

Find more information on 1Space: e-wellbeing


Free online counselling service for 12–18 year olds in East Sussex. E-motion 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.

Find more information on 1Space: e-motion

Teen Talk

A new Young Carers counselling service for 12 to 18 year olds in Hastings and Rother, now taking referrals and currently offering support by phone. For more information, contact Care for the Carers on 01323 738 390 or visit the website.

Find more information on 1Space: Teen Talk

Sussex CAMHS

For 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.

Employment support

Employment Support

Offer one-to-one support to gain and retain employment, self-employment, voluntary work and education. For adults (aged 16 years +) living in East Sussex who are using a mental health service.

Available across East Sussex

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Employment Support

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

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown Work in Mind

Education for learning and recovery

Sussex Recovery College

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

Usually available at the Hastings and Rother Campus and the Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford, High Weald, Lewes and Havens Campus.

During the pandemic, free online courses can be accessed at Recovery College Online.

Find more information on 1Space: Sussex Recovery College

Discovery College

A learning journey to wellbeing for children, young people (ages 12 to 20 years) and supporters (relatives, friends and carers).

Usually available at the Hastings and Rother Campus and the Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford, High Weald, Lewes and Havens Campus.

Find more information on 1Space: Discovery College

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.

Find more information on 1Space: Adult Community Learning

Southdown ‘padlet’ listing online learning opportunities

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

Service user involvement and engagement

People in Partnership

If you want to help shape the experience and improve the quality of mental health services, we can work alongside you to do so.

Available in Hastings and Rother, Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford.

Find more information on 1Space: Southdown People in Partnership

Advocacy and representation


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

Find more information on 1Space: POhWER

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.

Find more information on 1Space: Rethink

Bereavement support

East Sussex 1Space directory lists local and national support:

3. Self-help for good mental health

During uncertain times

It is normal to sometimes feel anxious at this time, whatever your personal situation. Many of us will also face significant new challenges which may make us feel low.

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.

There are also a large number of national mental health helplines offering expert support and advice for yourself or a loved one at this time.

Self-help mental health resources

Every Mind Matters

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

Approved NHS Apps for mental health

These apps support good mental health for a range of issues and have been assessed against NHS standards:

Health In Mind resources

Free Mindfulness Project

A range of mindfulness sessions and resources offered free by qualified teachers during the Coronavirus pandemic:

Wellbeing podcasts (audio only)

These short podcasts were developed for staff working in health and social care settings, however they are suitable for everyone in difficult times (permission from Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust)

Books on prescription

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

Wellbeing boxes (temporarily suspended)

Boost your wellbeing by borrowing a wellbeing box from your library. Each box contains interactive resources, local service information and literature, following the 5 steps to mental wellbeing (connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, give).

Befriending phone services to combat loneliness


This is a not for profit organisation started in response to the pandemic to help reduce loneliness and increase human contact. Trained volunteers oversee the phoneline and social media, and the chit-chat line is open 9am until 9pm, seven days per week.

  • Call 0333 0020333

Find more information on 1Space: Chit-Chat

Connect In (Hastings)

Find more information on 1Space: Connect In

Join Together (Hailsham area)

  • Call Julie on 07920 526226 or Michelle on 07341 563649
  • Or email hailsham@sussexcommunity.org.uk

This is a temporary befriending service during the pandemic set up by SCDA.

Find more information on 1Space: Join Together

Independent Age

A befriending phone service for older people.

  • Freephone: 0800 3196789
  • For more information visit the website: Independent Age

Age UK East Sussex

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is currently offering a chat service with calls once a week from a friendly volunteer matched to you.

  • Call 01273 476704
  • For more information visit the website: Age UK

Mobilise Cuppa (for all carers)

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

4. 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

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Advice and support for carers

Supporting someone in crisis

Mental health directory information and advice

Carer’s information

Caring for someone

Directory of carers’ support in East Sussex

1Space: Carers – Looking after someone

Carer’s O Clock project

During the lockdown period there is a new Culture Shift Project aiming to help carers to structure some time into their day to support their own health and wellbeing.

Young carers (aged under 18)

Mobilise Cuppa

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

5. Drug and alcohol services

Online support during the Coronavirus outbreak

These services are offering online meetings to support recovery from substance misuse:

Local services


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

Find more information about this service on 1Space: STAR

East Sussex Recovery Alliance (ESRA)

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

Find more information about this service on 1Space: ESRA

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.

Find more information about this service on 1Space: Oasis

6. Armed forces services

Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liason (TIL)

An NHS service that offers mental health assessments and treatment to those who have served in the British Armed Forces and their families or carers.

Available across East Sussex

  • Tel: 020 3317 6818
  • Email: cim-tr.veteranstilservice-LSE@nhs.net

Find more information on 1Space: Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liason (TIL)

Combat Stress

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

  • Tel: 0800 138 1619 (for veterans and families)
  • Tel: 0800 323 4444 (for serving and families)

Find more information on 1Space: 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

Find more information on 1Space: Sussex Armed Forces Network

Project Outreach (RAFA)

The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) has set up telephone friendship support for veterans during the pandemic.

  • Call 0800 0182361
  • Or email opconnect@rafa.org.uk
  • Further information online: Project Outreach