Text messaging service offers mental health support over festive period

20 December 2022

People in Sussex are reminded that they can get free, confidential 24/7 help with their mental health over the festive period by texting SUSSEX to 85258.

The volunteer-led digital service offers real-time support to people who need immediate help with their mental health. A trained-volunteer will listen to the issues the texters are facing and help them reach a calmer place. If needed, they will be signposted to local mental health services for continuous and longer-term support.

The digital initiative, which is being delivered through the national text messaging service Shout, and was launched locally in July 2022, is one of a range of support services available in Sussex to help people who are experiencing or are at risk of a mental health crisis.

Other support includes the Sussex Mental Healthline - which offers telephone support and information - and the Staying Well services - a self-referral option for people who are at risk of going in to a mental health crisis.

Dr Claire Woolcock, Interim Chief Medical Director for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We know the festive period can be a difficult time for many and want to make sure that people know how to get help they need.

"There are a number of ways that people can get support in Sussex and can choose what's right for them, either by text, phone or in-person.

If you are worried about your mental health, or someone you care for, you can find help at https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/help