East Sussex

Personality Disorder Support Service (NHS)

The NHS Sussex Partnership provides a range of services to support people with personality disorder, including CBT and STEPPS. STEPPS is a skills training programme developed for people who have features of borderline personality disorder or emotional intensity disorder, which uses cognitive behavioural therapy. Through STEPPS people with a personality disorder can learn how to manage their own mental wellbeing.

Assessment & Treatment Service (ATS)

Your GP may refer you to the ATS. You will meet with a member of the team initially to assess your current difficulties. You may see a Consultant Psychiatrist, who may give a formal diagnosis of Personality Disorder. You could see a Clinical Psychologist for a formulation that helps the Psychologist and you to make sense of your personal difficulties in the context of your relationships, social circumstances, and life events. These types of  assessments will help inform what care is best for you. This may be a specific therapy or a more recovery orientated approach where a ‘lead practitioner’ will support you to build and develop strengths and resources to help you through your recovery journey. At the ATS they offer triage, signposting, medication review, access to a Lead Practitioner, safeguarding, vocational support, Occupational Therapy, and psychological therapies including:

  • STEPPS GROUP – Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving
  • CAT- Cognitive Analytical Therapy
  • EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • IPT – Interpersonal Therapy
  • STAIRWAYS – Advanced group programme for people who have completed STEPPS
  • Other group therapies including Recovery groups in some areas

NHS Community Mental Health Service (CMHT)

The Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) assesses, treats and manages care needs and provides support for people experiencing serious mental health problems. The team help you to live as independently as possible in your community.

They are integrated teams of different health and social care professionals – Community Mental Health Nurses; Health Occupational Therapists; Psychiatrists; Psychologists and Social Workers. The teams bring together many different types of knowledge, skills and expertise. They look at you as a whole person so you get the care, treatment and support you need.

CMHT services may include:

Community Mental Health Nursing – supporting you to manage your health and providing treatment in the community
Occupational Therapy – working with you to overcome difficulties with day to day tasks that you need or want to do
Psychiatry – diagnosing mental health problems, prescribing medication and recommending treatment
Psychology – helping you understand how your thoughts and feelings affect your behaviour
Social Work services – providing help at home or with your social needs, including help with housing problems, financial support or general advice and support

Your GP needs to refer you to this service. Contact your GP if you are experiencing a mental health problem. They will refer you to the local CMHT if appropriate.

Mental Health Wellbeing Centres

There are 7 wellbeing centres across East Sussex (Hastings, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Uckfield, Lewes, Newhaven, and Hailsham) run by Southdowns, which offer signposting, employment support, housing support (Homeworks), debt advice, groups, courses, peer mentoring, and training forpeer specialists. This open to anyone age 16+ and you
can self-refer by contacting them. Find out more at their website.

East Sussex Community Network Peer Support Service

Drawing on personal experiences of mental health challenges, our Peer Support Specialists will work with you to support you to get well, stay well and prevent crisis. The Peer Support Service is provided at the East Sussex Community Network’s seven Wellbeing  centres. You can also request to meet a Peer Support Specialist in your local community. Find out more about the service here.

Sussex Mental Healthline

This helpline for mental health care and advice (which is now 24 hours, 7 days a week, for all ages and carers) is the best number to call for many mental health concerns during the pandemic. People who have general concerns about their mental health can also phone to receive psychological support at this time.

For callers whose first language is not English, a telephone interpreter can be arranged for other community languages, by phoning the helpline and letting them know the language needed.

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