West Sussex Mind launches new supported self-help

December 2023

We are offering a new guided support programme to help people better understand and manage their mental health. This is part of a national service, developed by Mind, and we are the only local Mind on the South Coast currently offering the service

We are encouraging people who are struggling with their mental health to enrol on our new free six-week programme aimed at improving their emotional well-being.

Supported self-help is a new 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 locally by mental health support workers at 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 one of our mental health support workers.

We are 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.

“The new service is for anyone who feels like their emotions are getting on top of them and doesn’t want to deal with long waiting lists for mental health support. 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

People sign up to supported self-help through the national Mind referral engine and can choose to be seen by someone at West Sussex Mind or another local Mind.

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, if supported self-help is right, a programme of support will be agreed.