West Sussex Mind selected to run new guided self-help programme after successful trial by national charity Mind
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New staff have been recruited to launch the free service in West Sussex, including Shoreham, Lancing, Worthing, Steyning and Chanctonbury, Littlehampton, Chichester, Bognor, Midhurst and surrounding areas.
The Worthing-based independent charity is the only local Mind on the south coast to be selected to offer the self-help service, developed by Mind to bring flexible mental health support to more people.
Leanne Challen, head of mental health services at West Sussex Mind, said: “Supported self-help was rolled out across Wales in 2020, during the pandemic, in response to the mental health emergency. Three years on and the need for mental health support is greater than ever, nationally, and in West Sussex.
“We are excited to offer this new service and we have recruited additional mental health practitioners to support this. Supported self-help will allow us to reach more people with mild mental health problems and it’s a great early intervention to prevent difficulties escalating.
"It will also empower people to understand and feel more in control of their thoughts and feelings and is flexible in terms of when people can get support to fit in with their work and other priorities.
"People don’t need to have a formal diagnosis to benefit from supported self-help. But if someone does have a diagnosis, our practitioners will talk through whether the service is appropriate for them.
"Supported self-help is for anyone who feels like their emotions are getting on top of them and doesn’t want to deal with long waiting lists. The service is yet another example of our commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of people living in West Sussex – and we hope it will help to make our support available to more people.”
A new digital referral system for the service makes it easy to sign up. There is no need for a GP referral or an existing mental health diagnosis. Visit www.westsussexmind.org/help_and_support/getting-help/supported-self-help to make the referral, then a West Sussex Mind practitioner will get in touch to talk about the issues and agree a programme of support.
The six-week programme of guided self-help will support adults with common mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, stress, isolation, anger, grief and loss, or menopause.
After an initial 40-minute appointment, people will get practical materials and tools to help them recognise and understand their feeling, plus weekly phone calls from a mental health support worker at West Sussex Mind and other support to help them manage their emotions and better understand their mental health.
The support can be flexible to fit around people's schedules, with lunchtime and some evening calls available.
The aim is to reach more people and help them to better understand and manage their mental health, improving their emotional wellbeing.