Working together to support young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health

Your Mind Matters - West Sussex


Help and support for young people

Your mind matters, the way you feel matters, and your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. If you or a friend are feeling low, please don’t struggle in silence.

You are not alone; there are people who care and will listen. 
West Sussex Teen

Ten tips on self-care

  1. Be kind to yourself. It’s OK not to feel quite like yourself.
  2. Keep in touch with friends.
  3. Plan fun things to do.
  4. Reduce stress by taking regular exercise.
  5. Eat regular healthy meals to maximise your energy levels. Drinking water also keeps the brain active.
  6. Aim for 7 to 8 hours' rest each night.
  7. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing to help you feel calm.
  8. Remind yourself to take each day at a time, structuring your day with things you can realistically achieve.
  9. Switch on programmes, podcasts and content that make you laugh. It may help you feel happier.
  10. If you need help, talk to your family and friends, or someone you trust.


Careers advice
If you've finished education and are looking for advice on what to do next. Our careers advice teams support 16–24-year-olds with free 1-2-1 career advice.

Support for LGBT+
Watch the film below to hear what it meant to Finley when he received support from Allsorts Youth Project at a pivotal moment in his life. Allsorts is an organisation that supports young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or exploring their gender identity and / or sexual orientation together with their families in West Sussex.

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If you need help with your emotional wellbeing and mental health there's a range of support, information and contacts available.

Organisation

Details

e-Wellbeing

An online service for young people across Sussex that can help you access the right support and information about your emotional health and wellbeing. Includes referrals to specialist treatment. 

Youth Emotional Support (YES) service

Provides free support to 11-18 year-olds.

West Sussex Your Space

Details on local services that can help.
Search: YourSpaceWestSussex on Instagram
Search: WSYourSpace on Twitter

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

A range of advice and information including guidance on eating difficulties, drugs and alcohol, family breakdown, and sex and relationships.

Allsorts

Supports young people under the age of 26 who are LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or other) or exploring their gender identify and/or sexual orientation. The Sussex-based charity runs activities, including youth groups and one-to-one support.

Young Minds

Has guides on coping with life and supporting friends, plus a textline providing 24/7 support.

YMCA Downslink Group - Crawley 

Offers support for young people aged 11-25 from Crawley and surrounding areas who identify as LGBTQU+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, unsure, plus any other LGBT+ identity). These young people can access the safe space at the LGBTQU+ Haven at the YAC (Youth Advice Centre) for:

- free, confidential 1:1 information, advice, guidance and support from a LGBTQ+ youth support worker

- fortnightly youth groups for 11-15 year-olds and 16-25 year-olds, giving the young people a safe space to meet other LGBTQU+ young people from the area and to build confidence through LGBTQU+ affirming activities

- access 1:1 counselling or emotional health support in a confidential space.

For more information contact Eleanor Snodgrass on 07552 825088 or Eli Adie on 07884 549349 or complete the contact form.

 

“I’m a bit socially awkward around people. I don’t really talk to people about stuff. When I do open up to someone, it feels like I get a lot off my chest because I don’t really talk about my problems or feelings at all. You can write it down, email or text someone.” West Sussex Teen
Young woman looking directly at camera
If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, stop, take a breath and take these steps:
  • Talk to someone.
  • See Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's information on help in a crisis.
  • Let someone know you do not feel safe or are struggling, such as a parent, carer, teacher or professional.
  • Call 999 in an emergency or one of the following helplines - you can phone as many times as you like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It might take a few tries before you can speak. They will listen and understand.
    • Childline: Freephone 0800 1111
    • Samaritans: Freephone 116 123
    • Sussex Mental Healthline: Phone 0800 0309 500
    • YoungMinds crisis messenger: Text YM to 85258 (free from most mobile providers).
  • Contact PAPYRUS which helps prevent young suicide.
  • Contact Harmless, the national service for self-harm.
  • Text SHOUT to 85258.
  • Download some of these apps:

Parents, carers and families

The resources below can help you help the children in your life with their emotional wellbeing and mental health. 

For local information about getting support with your own mental health, visit:

Smiling young woman taking a deep breath

Five top tips for parents, carers and families

  1. Changes in your child’s behaviour since the pandemic could be a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. It doesn’t necessarily mean they need specialist mental health support. Try asking them about it.
  2. Monitor your child’s exposure to stories and information about the pandemic and potentially conflicting messages they might be seeing.
  3. Listen to your child and accept their feelings and concerns. Encourage them to acknowledge their feelings.
  4. Help your child find things they can enjoy which can distract them from their worrying thoughts for a while.
  5. Help your child focus on positive aspects of life; there's more to life than COVID-19.
Parents' support and resources

Sussex Health and Care Partnership offers a downloadable toolkit (link below) for parents, carers and families. This has guidance on signs to look for if your child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health, plus details of useful numbers and resources for help.

Toolkit: Looking after your child's mental health (PDF, 1.5MB)

Recipes 4 Wellbeing cards are easy-to-read guides with advice on issues including anxiety, bullying, exam stress, gaming and body image, among others.

NHS's Every Mind Matters website offers tools to help manage and improve mental health.

Rites for Girls offers Girls’ Net, a six-week online journey for girls aged between 8 and 18, designed to equip them for times of challenge and change. It’s made up of six 75-minute sessions in a small group of girls guided by a full trained Girls’ Net mentor.

A chance to be with real girls who won’t judge or be mean, and to talk and discuss daily problems and learn new ways to think about stuff. Girls' Net participant

Careers advice for those who have finished their education and may be looking for advice on what to do next.
The careers advice team supports 16–24-year-olds with free 1-2-1 career advice.

'Thought-Full’ Mental Health Support Teams for schools in West Sussex, support young people with issues like anxiety and depression and aim to reach over 50% of West Sussex’s school population by 2023 – 68,000 children and young people. Check what schools are currently being supported.

Allsorts Family Support Service offers support for parents/carers of children and young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBT+), to connect and provide each other with support, community and friendship.

Self-Harm Parents and Carers Networks join other parents and carers across West Sussex in a free workshop to support you and your family. These are facilitated by West Sussex Mind and YMCA Downslink Group, supported by Allsorts Youth Project. You will be able to talk with other parents and carers to hear what is working for them, discuss your support needs, hear from guest speakers and get updates on the latest initiatives, research and resources.

West Sussex Mind is an independent charity whose services support young people, adults, older adults, carers and families affected by mental health problems. It is running a series of learning and training courses over the coming months. These include support for bereaved children, mental health first aid, encouraging mentally healthy internet use, and suicide prevention and support. Find more information and book a place.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has a section dedicated to parents and carers. It lists some of the challenges children and young people might be facing and tips for managing together.

Cruse Bereavement in West Sussex provides free support, including information, advice and one-to-one sessions for anyone, including children, in West Sussex who has been bereaved.
Call 07376 616628 or email sussexbereavedbysuicide@cruse.org.uk.

YMCA DownsLink Group Crawley offers support for young people aged 11-25 from Crawley and surrounding areas who identify as LGBTQU+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, unsure, plus any other LGBT+ identity). These young people can access the safe space at the LGBTQU+ Haven at the YAC (Youth Advice Centre) for:

  • free, confidential 1:1 information, advice, guidance and support from a LGBTQ+ youth support worker
  • fortnightly youth groups for 11-15 year-olds and 16-25 year-olds, giving the young people a safe space to meet other LGBTQU+ young people from the area and to build confidence through LGBTQU+ affirming activities
  • access 1:1 counselling or emotional health support in a confidential space. For more information contact Eleanor Snodgrass on 07552 825088 or Eli Adie on 07884 549349.

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a young person please advise them to talk to someone.

  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's information provides information on help in a crisis.
  • Call 999 in an emergency or one of the following helplines. The young person can phone as many times as they like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It might take a few tries before speaking to them, but they will listen and understand.
    • Childline: Freephone 0800 1111
    • Samaritans: Freephone 116 123
    • Sussex Mental Healthline: Phone 0800 0309 500
    • YoungMinds crisis messenger: Text YM to 85258 (free from most mobile providers).
  • Contact PAPYRUS, which helps prevent young suicide.
  • Contact Harmless, the national service for self-harm.
  • Text SHOUT to 85258.

Professionals working with children

Working together to support young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health in West Sussex

When working with children and young people it can sometimes be hard to know what difficulties they might be having in their life, or if they are struggling with their mental health or emotional wellbeing.

In most cases, a young person having these difficulties would not need the support of specialist mental health services.

There are a number of charities, agencies and organisations that can provide a wealth of resources and support to help young people understand how they are feeling, tools to bolster their mental resilience and tips for how to start to feel better.

For further guidance and details download the toolkit below for professionals working with children and young people

ToolkitYoung people and their mental health: where to find help (PDF, 2MB)  

For further information, also see Support for families.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) also provides guidance on a range of issues on its section dedicated to professionals.

‘Thought-Full’ Mental Health Support Teams for schools in West Sussex, support young people with issues like anxiety and depression and offer staff training and mentoring.

In some cases, the difficulties a young person is experiencing might be more severe and having a significant impact on their daily life. When this happens, it might be appropriate to make a referral to CAMHS.

Young woman with eyes closed
If you're concerned for the immediate safety of a young person please advise them to talk to someone.
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's information provides information on help in a crisis.
  • Call 999 in an emergency or one of the following helplines. The young person can phone as many times as they like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It might take a few tries before speaking to them, but they will listen and understand.
    • Childline: Freephone 0800 1111
    • Samaritans: Freephone 116 123
    • Sussex Mental Healthline: Phone 0800 0309 500
    • YoungMinds crisis messenger: Text YM to 85258 (free from most mobile providers).
  • Contact PAPYRUS which helps prevent young suicide.
  • Contact Harmless, the national service for self-harm.
  • Text SHOUT to 85258.

Programme of work in West Sussex

Young man wearing headphones

West Sussex County Council has dedicated additional resources to support young people, their families and professionals working with them at this critical time.

Together with our partners, the NHS, community groups, district councils and parents, we are co-ordinating a programme of events, initiatives and resources. It includes:

  • mental health first aid support in schools
  • online mentoring courses to support children and young people
  • online courses to support parents and carers in developing tools to help children manage their feelings and mental health
  • an LGBTQU+ support pilot project
  • a campaign to promote emotional wellbeing and positive mental health.

For more details see Supporting children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.


Organisations, training and resources

Events and training by organisation, type and links.
Organisation Training/Course/Resource Book / contact 
*Single Point of Access*  To access specialist emotional wellbeing and mental health support for children and young people via a single route. The SPoA helps direct you to the right service, eliminating the need for you to refer to multiple services.  Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust SPOA
Allsorts Youth Groups and 1:1 support in West Sussex for young people under the age of 26 who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBT+) Allsorts contact form 
Allsorts Family Support Service Support for parents/carers of children and young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBT+) Allsorts Family Support Service
Careers Advice The careers advice team supports 16-24-year-olds who have finished their education with free 1-2-1 careers advice. Careers advice 0330 222 7175 
Cruse Bereavement in West Sussex Support for anyone - including children - who has been bereaved Contact your local branch of Cruse
Every Mind Matters from the NHS Expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Every Mind Matters website 
Rites for Girls Girls' Net - a six-week journey for girls aged between 8 and 18 Book a Rites for Girls course
Sussex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Download easy-to-read guides with advice on issues including anxiety, bullying, exam stress, gaming and body image. Recipes for wellbeing cards
Sussex Health and Care Partnership Toolkit for parents, carers and families Looking after your child's mental health (PDF, 1.5MB)
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust  Tips to help parents and carers manage a child's mental health and wellbeing View information for parents and carers
Thought-Full Mental Health Support Teams  Support in West Sussex schools for young people with issues like anxiety and depression Mental Health Support Teams
West Sussex Mind A series of learning and training courses  Book a West Sussex Mind course
West Sussex Mind  Understanding Young People's Mental Health - FREE workshop for parents and carers. 

Book for dates in 2022 

Call 07468516818 or email
training@westsussexmind.org 

West Sussex Mind/YMCA Downslink Group/Allsorts Youth Project  Self-Harm Parents and Carers Networks Book a place at the next online event
YMCA DownsLink Group Crawley Youth Groups and 1:1 support for young people aged 11-25 from Crawley and surrounding areas who identify as LGBTQU+ Find out more about YMCA DownsLink Group Crawley 

Support for adults

There is mental health support, information and resources available for adults both locally and nationally. 

Every Mind Matters provides expert NHS advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

For local information about getting support with your mental health, visit:

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