Health in Mind celebrates helping 3,000 people in East Sussex

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A COMMUNITY wellbeing service that has helped over 3,000 people in East Sussex with common mental health problems is celebrating its first birthday this month.

The Health in Mind service has provided GP Practices with access to a Primary Care Mental Health Worker to deliver short term interventions, assessments and advice to GPs and patients regarding a variety of mental health difficulties.

The service also offers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to adults experiencing anxiety and low mood across the county and is hoping to improve the patient experience by drawing on feedback from the community.

Their CBT based support includes one to one and group treatments, guided self-help, telephone support, workshops and on-line courses. Clients are offered either one or a combination of several interventions according to their needs.

David, a client of Health in Mind said: “This was a highly appropriate time for CBT following my retirement and I feel our work has significantly and permanently changed my approach to life – something I’ve never been able to say before.”

“CBT is a short-term, interactive therapy that helps you understand and master your thoughts and emotions putting you back in control of your life” says Norma Timmermans, Clinical Lead for the service, “The self-help techniques you learn gives you tools that can be used again and again to help keep yourself healthy.”

Since Health in Mind’s launch a year ago the service has helped over 3,000 people including supporting 145 individuals move off benefits and into work.

“We believe a small amount of treatment early on when someone experiences difficulties may prevent them from needing more intensive treatment at a later date, so the Health in Mind service was launched on April 01 2010 to help people with difficulties such as anxiety and depression” continues Norma, “Health in Mind has been finding it’s feet over its first year but we now want to draw on the feedback of all those who use the service including GPs, clients and other local wellbeing services to ensure we provide the best possible care for the community.”

Health in Mind is arranging a Wellbeing Forum for other local organisations in the area. Claire Jones, Service Manager, said: “We hope the Wellbeing Forum will help Health in Mind and other local wellbeing organisations network and improve transitions from services therefore providing a better experience for clients.”

If you are a local organisation and would be interested in attending please contact Claire on claire.jones20@nhs.net.  

“We have also developed a new online survey for people who have used our service to let us know what they think and suggest ways we can improve the experience of others, the questionnaire can be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/s/HiM_feedback and can be filled in anonymously however there is an opportunity to fill in your contact details if you would be interested in getting involved further.”

Health in Mind is usually accessed by visiting your GP who will refer you if you are suitable for the service. Although they recommend speaking to your GP in the first instance the service also accept self referrals. To download the form, please visit www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/public/him/access or phone 0300 00 30 130 and they can forward a form.

For immediate tips on how to improve your wellbeing visit the Health in Mind website at www.healthinmind.org.uk. To be referred to the service visit your GP or complete a self referral form.

Health in Mind is a partnership project provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust with health and social care organisation Turning Point.