Mental health support this summer

Mental health support this summer

parents holding child's handsWhilst the summer can be a time to have fun and enjoy the sun, it’s not an easy time for everyone. Many families have been particularly struggling over the past few months, and you may be facing down the summer holidays with more dread than anticipation.

We know the stress of isolation and anxieties around Covid-19 may be affecting your child’s mental health, and exacerbating other conditions and disabilities. It’s important not to neglect yourself too – the extra support your child needs, the stress of managing challenging behaviours, anxieties around the coronavirus – these may all be affecting your own wellbeing as well, especially with the more limited respite care available this summer.

With school no longer running, even virtually, and Covid-19 affecting many services, you may not be sure what emotional and mental health support is available over the summer. As always, we’re here for you, and we’ve put together some information on where to turn if your family needs help:

I need help right now with a mental health emergency

For my child

If you require immediate support for your child you can:

  • contact your child’s GP or 111
  • call CAMHS on 0300 3040061 (Brighton & Hove) or the Single Point of Access 01323 464222 (East Sussex)
  • out of hours call the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0300 500 0101 (open 24 hours)
  • in a life threatening situation call 999 or go to A&E
For myself

If you need immediate support for yourself you can:

  • contact your GP or 111
  • out of hours call the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0300 500 0101 (open 24 hours)
  • contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (open 24 hours)
  • in a life threatening situation call 999 or go to A&E

I’m worried about my child’s emotional and mental health

Local helplines

Please note: these are all advice and support services, not crisis lines. If you require immediate support see above.


Schools Wellbeing Service [Brighton & Hove]

If you have particular concerns about your child’s emotional and mental health you can ask the Schools Wellbeing Service for a call from a Primary Mental Health Worker for a telephone consultation. This service will run throughout the summer, offering advice, guidance and just a person to talk to.

Email SWSConsultationLine@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 293481. A Primary Mental Health Worker will call you back. This should be within two days, but they expect to have a high demand so it may be longer.

The Schools Wellbeing Service is also running virtual workshops and activities including transition workshops for parent carers and young people, support preparing for school, art therapy for 11-16 year olds, family “walk and talk” sessions, and more.

Support available over the summer from the Schools Wellbeing Service [.docx 30kb]

Brighton & Hove Inclusion Support Service (BHISS) [Brighton & Hove]

BHISS comprises Educational Psychologists, SEND Specialist teachers, Primary Mental Health Workers, SEMH and Early Years Practitioners and Family Support Workers, who offer a range of support to schools and families. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, BHISS is running an open email for parent carers this summer. If you’re concerned about your child’s development and emotional wellbeing, please email your enquiry to BHISS@brighton-hove.gov.uk. They also have a central phone number linked to a duty Educational Psychologist: 01273 293481.

ISEND Parents and Carers Helpline [East Sussex]

If you are concerned about issues such as anxiety, wellbeing and behaviour you can call the new ISEND Parents and Carers Helpline to get advice from an educational psychologist. Call 01273 481967 and leave a message. ISEND educational psychology service have also written a guide for parents about emotional wellbeing that you can use to help your child manage emotions like anxiety whilst at home.

Therapy One Point [East Sussex]

Families with concerns regarding their child’s transition to a new school, or anxiety over how safe it is for a shielded child to return to school, can call the CITES Therapy One Point (TOP) for advice and support on 0300 123 2652.

ChatHealth [Brighton & Hove and East Sussex]

ChatHealth confidential texting service for young people aged 11-19 is available as normal, and now open to parent carers in both areas as well. Text the school health team about any concerns or health issues on 07507 332473 [East Sussex] or 07480 635423 [Brighton & Hove]. The number is monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm  in Brighton, or 9am to 5pm in East Sussex.

Amaze SENDIASS [Brighton & Hove and East Sussex]

All our SENDIASS team are working from home and are still offering a full Helpline service. We continue to offer information, advice and support for parent carers and to young people with SEND. Please call us on 01273 772289 or email sendiass@amazesussex.org.uk to talk about your concerns about mental health or other health issues, or about education, social care or anything else you may need. It’s important to stay connected so call us even if you just need to talk. And we are still able to offer some follow up casework support (by phone and email) for more complex issues. Please note, all calls go straight to voicemail at the moment, so please leave your contact details. Expect to hear back from us in two to three working days.

CAMHS and mental health services

Please note: these are support services, not crisis lines. If you require immediate support see above.


Brighton & Hove

The Wellbeing Service is still operating although not doing face to face work. They are offering telephone appointments and taking new referrals. Find out what the Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service do and how to self-refer. This is also the route for new referrals to CAMHS in Brighton & Hove if you think your child may now need that level of specialist help.

All Sussex Partnership Foundation trust (SPFT) services including CAMHS are continuing to run in Brighton & Hove.  As much as possible has been moved to telephone or online video consultation. Brighton & Hove CAMHS are running virtual workshops, structured groups and drop-in groups for referred cases. This includes starting a virtual weekly ASC and ADHD drop in advice and support session for those already referred who are either waiting to be assessed or are waiting for input regarding low mood or anxiety. Assessments may be delayed, however.

For mental health emergencies call CAMHS duty care on 0300 3040061, the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0300 500 0101 (open 24 hours), or in a life threatening situation call 999.

East Sussex

All Sussex Partnership Foundation trust (SPFT) services including CAMHS are continuing to run in East Sussex, apart from group-based services which have stopped. As much as possible has been moved to telephone or online video consultation. More about how Sussex CAMHS is working currently and find advice for young people

If your child is not already being seen by CAMHS but you think they now need that level of mental health support you need to contact your child’s GP or the Single Point of Access on 01323 464222 (East Sussex), who deal with all new referrals to CAMHS in East Sussex.

For mental health emergencies out of hours call the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0300 500 0101, or in a life threatening situation call 999.

Support for young people

Please note: these are support services, not crisis lines. If you require immediate support see above.


E-wellbeing website [Brighton & Hove and East Sussex]

Young people (13-25) can use a new e-wellbeing website which has launched earlier than planned so it can help during the Covid-19 crisis. It is an accessible guide to the mental health services available to young people in Sussex. It will also help them identify self help resources relevant to how they are feeling at the moment.

i-rock advice and support [East Sussex]

14-25 year olds living in East Sussex can access support through i-rock, which offers advice and support on emotional and mental wellbeing, The service continues to offer an 11-6pm provision daily through virtual clinic software, telephone or email. Young people interested in accessing support, whether or not they have used i-rock before, should make an initial enquiry by emailing irockhastings@gmail.com.

I need support with my own wellbeing as a parent carer

Local helplines

Please note, these are all advice and support services, not crisis lines, unless otherwise stated. If you need immediate support, see above.


Amaze SENDIASS [Brighton & Hove and East Sussex]

All our SENDIASS team are working from home and are still offering a full Helpline service. We continue to offer information, advice and support for parent carers and to young people with SEND. Please call us on 01273 772289 or email sendiass@amazesussex.org.uk to talk about your concerns about mental health or other health issues, or about education, social care or anything else you may need. It’s important to stay connected so call us even if you just need to talk. And we are still able to offer some follow up casework support (by phone and email) for more complex issues. All calls go straight to voicemail at the moment, so please leave your contact details. Expect to hear back from us in two to three working days.

Sussex Mental Health Line [Brighton & Hove and East Sussex]

If you are concerned about your own mental health, you can contact the Sussex Mental Health Line  0300 5000 101.  This service is now open 24/7 as a response to the COVID-19 situation and the impact it is having on mental health across the community. It is run by Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust and can give direct support for mental wellbeing and signpost you to other services appropriate for your needs. This service can offer crisis support.

Mind in Brighton & Hove [Brighton & Hove]

This charity offers advice and information around mental health issues, and can signpost you to other services that may be able to help. Call them on 01273 66 69 50 and leave your contact details if you’d like to speak with an advisor, or email info@mindcharity.co.uk.

Mental health services

Please note, these are support services, not crisis lines. If you need immediate support, see above.


Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service [Brighton & Hove]

Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Service is still operating although not doing face to face work. The support they currently offer include recorded webinars and online CBT, and one-to-one psychological therapy by telephone is available for some, though not as widely as usual. You can download a form on their website to self-refer, or call them for a paper form. Alternatively speak to your GP and they can refer you.

Health in Mind [East Sussex]

Health in Mind is a free NHS service for anyone in East Sussex experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties. They currently offer support via the telephone, or through online courses. Self-refer via their website, or ask your GP to refer you.


phoneIf you’re struggling and need advice and support, or want more information about how to find help, contact the Amaze SENDIASS helpline on 01273 772289 or email SENDIASS@amazesussex.org.uk.

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