Sussex Mental Healthline

24/7 mental health telephone support and information service

Call NHS 111 and select option 2 or dial 0800 0309 500

The Sussex Mental Healthline offers listening support, advice, information and signposting to anyone experiencing difficulties, or who may be in crisis and in urgent need of help, with their mental health. 

The service is free and is available to anyone of any age who is concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend. This includes carers and healthcare professionals.

See below to find out more about this service or see our urgent help in a crisis page for additional support and information.

We welcome Text Relay calls and New Generation Text calls from hearing and speech impaired callers, on 0300 5000 101

If you require support with physical health symptoms please call 111 and select option 1, and if your situation is a health emergency, please call 999.

What does Sussex Mental Healthline do?

Mental illness and distress can occur at any time and our service aims to support people when they need us. Through the Healthline we can provide advice, help and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who will answer the telephone?

The Sussex Mental Healthline is staffed by a team of experienced operators. Although we are not a counselling service, all our operators will listen and help callers to identify and clarify their immediate problems and to explore ways of coping or suggest alternative avenues of help.

What sort of help do we offer?

Our operators can offer general advice regarding managing mental health issues and suggest tools and coping strategies.

We can give information about available mental health services, how to access them and details about a wide range of support and voluntary organisations, both local and national.

Will my call be confidential?

Calls will remain confidential within the services provided by Sussex Partnership. Electronic records are kept of all calls and calls are audio recorded.
 
In circumstances where a caller is expressing an immediate intent to commit a serious criminal act, endanger themselves or others, or when a child or adult is at risk, the Sussex Mental Health line will inform emergency services and local authorities as appropriate.

An extension of the existing Sussex Mental Healthline, there are now mental health trained clinicians in the service to support calls from children, young people, parents and carers.

How does it work?

When a young person calls the Sussex Mental Healthline, they will be directed to a mental health trained clinician. If the clinician is already on another call, a call back within the next hour will be arranged.

Who can call us?

Anyone who is concerned about a young person experiencing a mental health crisis can contact the service for free on 0800 0309 500.

When to call us?

  • If a young person is suicidal or has self-harmed
  • If a young person is experiencing extreme emotional distress that won't stop
  • If a young person is experiencing sudden or severe anxiety which is preventing them getting on with their normal life
  • If a young person is in extreme emotional distress and would like to speak to someone
  • If anyone needs urgent advice about a young person's mental health.

What we can do

We can: 

  • offer advice and support about how to cope in a crisis
  • help the young person and carers make plans to keep the young person safe
  • complete an urgent assessment of risk
  • offer follow-up from local CAMHS Duty and Liaison Teams
  • offer signposting to other services that may be able to support.

The Sussex Mental Healthline and the Children and Young People's Sussex Mental Healthline are accessible to people who are hearing or speech impaired via Text Relay. Our trained operators are experienced in taking these calls. To start a call, dial 18002 then the full phone number of the helpline: 0800 0309 500.

For callers whose first language is not English, we are able to arrange a telephone interpreter for other community languages. Call the helpline and let us know the language needed and we will make the necessary arrangements.

Calls are limited to 20 minutes, to allow as many people as possible to have access to the healthline, however, if a person is in extreme distress, we would be there as long as is needed. Calls via Text Relay or New Generation Text have a 30-minute restriction.