East Sussex mental health directory

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.

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

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. Also anyone recovering from Covid-19. You can self-refer through the website, and also find videos, top tips, and free online therapy programmes, as well as coping with Covid-19 and the pandemic. The service has had to make some temporary changes to the delivery of the normal range of therapies, these are currently being offered via the phone or online via a secure video platform. Currently we are not able to offer 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.

Find more information on 1Space: Health in Mind

Adult Social Care

Contact Adult Social Care if you or someone you know is finding coping with day-to-day life a challenge due to mental health issues.

Money worries and mental health

Welfare benefits service and financial advice

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

The Money Advice Service

The service offers a free tool which creates an action plan with advice on extra support, helpful if you have been affected by the coronavirus restrictions, or just want some money guidance.

East Sussex Community Network

Wellbeing centres

The seven East Sussex wellbeing centre buildings have been closed during the pandemic, with staff offering telephone, email and social media support for new and current clients age 16+ who are experiencing ongoing concerns about their mental health. The Centres are now beginning to reopen for some face to face sessions.

Support for mental health and wellbeing is offered through a support plan developed with each client. Phone 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 by phone with some in person support.

Those 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-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

HEart Matters Project

Recovery Partners works across East Sussex and are offering free online arts and peer support for older people in Eastbourne and Hastings, starting February 2021. Please see the information to find out how to request a place.

Low cost or free 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

Community Reach Counselling

During the pandemic, St Peter & St James Hospice has funding to offer up to 6 free counselling sessions for East Sussex residents who are feeling stressed, isolated or low. You can self-refer and don’t need to be a hospice client or caring for someone at the end of life.

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.

  • 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.

  • Phone: 01273 234 777 for the Sussex area helpline

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

LGBTQ+ support


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

LGBT+ Switchboard

Switchboard is a national one-stop listening service staffed by LGBT+ volunteers. You can call on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day).

LGBT 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 identifying as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid.

Find more information on 1Space: Mindline Trans+


An open access wellbeing centre in Hastings for people who are marginalised 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

Mental health 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, phone or email, and the 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 Young Carers counselling service for 12 to 18 year olds in Hastings and Rother. Teen Talk offers up to 12 sessions with a qualified and experienced counsellor to provide emotional support to any young person who is affected by their caring role. Assessments and sessions are currently taking place over the phone. For more information, contact Lyn or Siwan on 01323 738 390 or visit the Care For the Carers website (below).

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.


For support and information on services for children, young people, and parents and carers. Includes advice about mental health during the pandemic.

  • 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)

Holding Space (Eastbourne)

A small charity which support families going through mental ill health, currently offering free, friendly online support sessions for parents and carers, as well as phone support. See website for more details.

Find more information on 1Space: Holding Space

Support with employment

Southdown Individual Placement and 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 advocacy

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


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

The Sussex Health and Care Partnership (SHCP) have produced a guide for people who are recently bereaved. This includes information and advice on practical requirements as well as listing available support for you at this time. There is also a bereavement helpline (Mon – Fri, 8am to 5pm).

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.

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