New Polish outreach project in Worthing and Littlehampton

March 2022

West Sussex Mind is reaching out to the Polish communities of Worthing and Littlehampton, offering language assistance to get support and translated mental health resources

Polish people make up the second largest ethnic group in West Sussex, but we are aware that few Poles are currently getting help with us.

As part of our communities and inclusion work, we are looking to change that with a project that aims to raise awareness about our services among Polish communities, give practical help accessing support and understand more about what Polish people need.

The project began in September 2021 with the appointment of Kasia Racey as our Polish mental health community outreach and development worker. Kasia came to the UK from Poland 10 years ago and now lives locally with her family.

Kasia has been busy building links with schools, workplaces where Poles work, community groups and Polish shops and services, such as hairdressers, across Littlehampton and Worthing. She is spreading the word about what West Sussex Mind can offer Polish people and partnering with other community organisations.

Kasia says that it can sometimes be difficult for Poles to seek help if they are struggling with how they are feeling.

“Firstly, there is a cultural barrier – people find it hard to talk about mental health in Poland. There is little awareness or support available and there is a lot of stigma around mental health. Secondly, there is a language barrier, which makes getting help doubly hard. Getting support with your mental health inevitably involves lots of talking and this can be difficult if your first language isn’t English.”

Our project offers help for people who might want to get support with us through translated resources and language assistance to introduce people to our services. We can also arrange translation.

We also want to get more Polish people involved with West Sussex Mind to help us support people in the community, raise awareness about our work and challenge stigma around mental health.

In particular, we are looking for Polish and English-speaking volunteers and can offer training for the following roles:

  • Help Point volunteer
  • Mental health champion

If you would like help to access our support or more information about this project, contact Kasia on 07494 055440 or email kasia.racey@westsussexmind.org