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Sussex Charity Launches New Self-Help Service For Managing Mental Health

West Sussex Mind launches new supported self-help service to help people better understand and manage their mental health.

People in West Sussex who are struggling with their mental health are being encouraged to enrol on a free six-week programme aimed at improving their emotional well-being.

Supported self-help is a guided support service aimed at anyone over 18 who is suffering with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, stress, isolation, anger, grief and loss, or menopause. It is suitable for anyone who feels their emotions are getting on top of them.

Delivered by mental health charity, West Sussex Mind, participants receive six weeks of support, including practical materials and tools to help them recognise and understand their feelings. Alongside the remote support, they will be guided through the programme by weekly calls from a mental health support worker at West Sussex Mind.

West Sussex Mind is the only local Mind charity on the South Coast to have been selected to offer the supported self-help service, which has been trialled and developed by the national Mind charity.

Initially launched by Mind across Wales in 2020, supported self-help has now helped more than 20,000 people to better understand their mental health. Of the people who used the service, the latest evaluation shows that:

• 82% of people report lower levels of anxiety

• 87% of people report lower levels of depression

• 85% of people report improved levels of well-being

• 100% of people would recommend the service.

A new digital referral system for the service makes it easier than ever for people to sign up. Participants don’t need a GP referral or an existing mental health diagnosis to use supported self-help; anyone who is struggling with how they are feeling can refer themselves into the service.

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 well-being of people living in West Sussex – and we hope it will help to make our support available to more people.”

How to sign up:

1. Visit https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/supported-selfhelp/

2. Once a referral is received, a West Sussex Mind practitioner will get in touch to talk about the issues the applicant is dealing with and agree a programme of support.

3. People can choose from one of eight pathways for supported self-help: anxiety and panic attacks; coping with grief and loss; loneliness and feeling lonely; low self-esteem; low mood and depression; managing anger; managing stress; understanding menopause.

4. Each week a mental health practitioner will check in and provide any support needed. Participants will also be provided with materials and tools to help them recognise and understand their feelings.

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