Happy Birthday Help Point!

August 2022

This summer, we celebrate the one-year anniversary of Help Point, our helpline for mental health advice, information and support

In July 2021, Help Point phone lines opened for the first time at Corner House, our Southwick support hub. The idea behind Help Point was to provide a single point of contact for anyone in West Sussex, who might be experiencing difficulties with their mental health or seeking advice about how to get support.

The Help Point team offers mental health information and advice, and signposts people to self-help tools and support as appropriate. It also helps guide people about our services, to work out what support suits them best, and also assists those currently getting support with West Sussex Mind to get in touch.

The Help Point team has taken 10,718 calls since the service was launched at the end of June 2021. And since the beginning of August 2021, Help Point has dealt with 2,759 enquiries, signposted 1,988 people to information, self-help advice and other organisations that can help, and referred 771 people for support with our recovery team.

The service gets an average of 102 people a month asking for support through the support enquiry form on our website and deals with an average of 270 emails each month.

Help Point has two permanent members of staff, supported by a team of volunteers. Since the service launched in July 2022, the number of enquiries has risen steadily as the service became more embedded, with a sharper increase in enquiries after Christmas 2021.

Top image (left to right): Alison, mental health worker; and Jill, coordinator at Help Point. This image: Alison - ready to take your calls

“I feel proud to be doing such an important frontline job at West Sussex Mind,” says Jill, Help Point coordinator, who helped to design and set up the service. “I’m passionate about helping people with mental health information and advice, and signposting them to mental health self-help, support and other services. It’s incredibly rewarding when you get positive feedback from people, who are often very grateful for how the service has helped them.”

Alison, mental health worker at Help Point, says that the service can be a real lifeline for some, particularly if they are feeling isolated or unsure about how to get help. “Sometimes people don’t know who to talk to about how they are feeling or how to get support,” says Alison. “They may feel their family and friends don’t understand. So having someone at Help Point who can listen, understand and empathise with them and help them find the support that is right for them can be very powerful.”

This is certainly borne out by some of the positive feedback Help Point staff have received. For example, one man described how he had felt very overwhelmed since his wife was hospitalised with psychosis, but was very grateful to receive helpful advice from the Help Point team and suggestions about where and how he could get more information about psychosis and his wife’s care – all within a very prompt response time.

It is clear that Help Point is providing a vital service locally, particularly at a time of rising mental health needs across all sectors of the community, as well as long waiting times for NHS mental health services.

The Help Point team guarantees to respond to all queries (phone, web or emails) within five working days and if people are passed on to our mental health recovery team to get support with us, we will contact them within two to three weeks for their first appointment.

Call Help Point on 0300 303 5652
(lines open Mon to Fri, 10am to 4pm)
or email