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Mental health services

There is a wide range of specialist mental health support available to people in West Sussex – from support in people’s own homes or in the community to specialist inpatient support.
Mental health consultation with patient, family and staff

Mental health services in West Sussex fall into three broad categories:

  • psychological therapies in GP and community settings
  • specialist mental health support in inpatient settings or the community
  • services provided by the voluntary sector.

Mental health teams offer a range of support to help people recover from mental health issues and conditions, including psychological therapies  and interventions, 1:1 support and group work.

Services are available for people of all ages, and include specialist services for children.

Patients need to be referred by their GP or their community mental health team.

If you have any concerns about your mental health, please contact your GP in the first instance.

More information about the types of services is available below.

Do you care for someone with a mental health illness?

NHS West Sussex's mental health carers charter outlines the minimum standards you can expect

For carers of people with a mental health illness, an NHS West Sussex mental health carers’ charter is in place, which enshrines the minimum standards that carers can expect from mental health services that NHS West Sussex commissions.

The charter has been drawn up together with carers of people with mental health problems and it covers eight core principles that carers have said are most important to them in their caring role.

TIME TO TALK: talking change, making changes

The TIME TO TALK service provides talking therapies (psychological therapies – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT, counselling, and guided self-help) to help patients understand and change their thoughts and feelings to get well and stay well.

The service is provided by West Sussex Health (Community services) in GP surgeries.

Who is TIME TO TALK for?

TIME TO TALK is for patients who are experiencing stress, worry or low mood which is affecting the way they live their lives, their relationships or their ability to work.

Patients may have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or may be struggling to adjust to significant changes, such as bereavement, relationship difficulties, or chronic health conditions.

What do these services do?

Every patient will talk with a member of staff who is trained to provide psychological therapies.

Patients will be offered one of a range of services with regular reviews to ensure they are progressing as expected:

  • Guided self-help – these services are based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and offer targeted, practical help. This will include activities and tasks that are reviewed and progressed as the patient starts to feel better.
  • Workshops and courses such as 'Overcoming depression', 'Overcoming anxiety', 'Living well', and 'Know stress' help patients learn how to cope with low mood, stress or worry and keep themselves well in the future.
  • Counselling offers patients an opportunity to reflect and understand past events, recognising links with their current situation and making changes to help them become well and stay well.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy identifies and challenges negative patterns of thinking and behaving associated with depression or anxiety in order to build a different set of responses and change the way the patient feels and behaves.

Where are patients seen?

Patients are contacted initially by telephone to gather information and then offered the service that will best meet their needs.

Workshops and courses are held in community venues across West Sussex, such as libraries, leisure centres and church halls. Appointments are offered in GP surgeries, local hospitals and community rooms.

How can I access TIME TO TALK?

Please make an appointment with your GP to discuss how you are feeling and how this is affecting the way you live your life. Together with your GP you can discuss a referral to TIME TO TALK and you will be contacted by the service to arrange an appointment.

North East Locality (East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Steyning, Storrington, Horsham, Crawley)
Tel: 01293 843300

South Locality (Shoreham, Lancing, Worthing, Littlehampton)
Tel: 01903703540

Western Locality (Arundel, Bognor, Manhood Peninsula, Chichester, Southborne, Pulborough, Petworth, Midhurst)
Tel: 01243812537

Inpatient services: who are they for?

Patients will be treated in an inpatient unit at one of the mental health hospitals provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Specialist inpatient mental health services (hospital-based) are available for people with a mental health condition, who are acutely mentally unwell, and in need of specialist support to move towards recovery. Inpatient facilities are available for people of all ages. If you have any concerns about your mental health, please contact your GP.

Patients will be treated in an inpatient unit at one of the mental health hospitals provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

To find out more information about inpatient mental health services please visit the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website.

Community mental health services: who they can help?

Community mental health services are aimed at patients who are mentally unwell, with significant mental health needs, and need support in the community to continue on the road to recovery.
Service users will be treated in the community and/or in their homes, depending on individual needs.

The service is delivered by mental health specialists working within multi-disciplinary teams provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Referral into community mental health teams is via your GP.

To get more information about Community Mental Health Teams, please visit the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website.

Voluntary sector services: what is available?

There is a wide range of mental health support services in West Sussex run by the voluntary sector. Each service operates in a different way, providing a range of support that includes day centres, emotional support, peer support and mentoring and vocational support.

To find out more information about some of the mental health voluntary organisations and the service they provide in West Sussex, please contact an organisation below:

  • Mind helps people take control of their mental health by providing information and advice and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone.
  • Worthing and Arun Mind is a local charity with services in Worthing, Arun and Adur. They are affiliated to Mind, the national mental health charity.
  • Alzheimer’s Society is a membership organisation which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia. 
  • Age UK West Sussex is committed to making life fulfilling, enjoyable and productive for all people over 50 years of age.
  • Carer support services:
    North and Mid Sussex
    Worthing and District
    Regis, Chichester and Rural
  • Sussex Oakleaf offers integrated supported housing, registered care homes, floating support services, and day services for people with mental health problems and other vulnerable people needing housing support.
  • Richmond Fellowship encourages, supports and challenges people with mental health problems on their recovery journey.
  • Rethink helps everyone affected by severe mental illness to recover a better quality of life.
  • Cornerhouse