Peer Support Service (East Sussex Community Network)

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The Peer Support Service is provided by Peer Specialists, people with lived experience of mental health challenges, who can support you to take control of your mental health and stay well.

The service is part of a network of mental health recovery support, called the East Sussex Community Network (for more information download the leaflet below - translated versions are also available on our website here).

To read the information on this page in a different language, please scroll to the bottom of the page where you can select a language of your choice.

Coronavirus Statement (15th April 2021)

As we continue to adhere to the Government’s advice around the easing of restrictions, social distancing and infection control, we continue to provide a modified service offer.

In place of building-based and face-to-face support, our Peer Support Groups are taking place online. Telephone support also remains available, to continue to support our clients with their recovery and wellbeing.

Alongside the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, we are working towards being able to resume some face-to-face support with our clients where it is essential and in a socially-distanced safe way. This includes the re-introduction of inside and outside groups which will be limited in numbers initially due to the current restrictions and will therefore be offered by invitation only. In addition to this, in some circumstances we will we consider a face-to-face appointment at one of our Wellbeing centres. Individuals who attend face to face groups and appointments will be asked to adhere to Southdown’s guidelines on wearing PPE and social distancing.

Our support offer is reviewed regularly in line with the Government Covid-19 safety guidance. As and when there are any changes to the support we provide, we will update this page.

In the meantime, if you have any urgent questions about your support, or have a new enquiry about our service, please contact us by phone or email using the contact details at the bottom of this page.

What support is available?

One to one support

Drawing on personal experiences of mental health challenges our Peer Support Specialists will work with you to support recovery and prevent crisis, enabling you to identify and maintain positive coping strategies and self-management tools.

Our trained Peer Specialists will work with you for up to 6-8 sessions enabling you to identify goals and overcome challenges that will help you move forward in your recovery and maintain positive health and well-being. This includes managing your mental health, identifying your strengths and interests, connecting with the local community and exploring options such as volunteering, returning to work or other beneficial activities.

Drop in sessions (currently paused due to Coronavirus - see statement above)

We also offer weekly recovery focussed drop in sessions at our East Sussex Community Network Well-being centres where you can talk with other people facing mental health challenges in a friendly, safe and informal environment. The drop-ins are led by our Peer Specialists and a Peer volunteer, however, you will have the opportunity to share and listen to stories of recovery and hope, enabling and empowering one another to move forward and identify management techniques and pathways for recovery. If you are interested in volunteering your time to co-facilitate our weekly drop-in sessions, please get in touch.

Where can I access support?

The Peer Support Service is provided at the East Sussex Community Network’s seven Wellbeing Centres in Hastings/ St Leonard’s, Bexhill, Lewes, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Uckfield and Newhaven. You can also request to meet a Peer Support Specialist in your local community.

Am I eligible and how do I apply?

The service is available for people aged 16+ living in East Sussex with mental health support needs. To apply, contact us on the details below. We accept self-referrals and referrals from organisations and providers on behalf of individuals.

Accredited Peer Mentoring Training

Do you have lived experience of mental health challenges?

If you are interested in Peer Support/Mentoring, we provide a OCN Level Two Award in Peer Mentoring. This qualification provides a deeper understanding of the role of a mentor and will provide you with the skills, knowledge, competency and confidence to mentor others using a recovery focused/peer support approach. 

Due to the current COVID 19 pandemic and in line with the Governments guidance of social distancing and staying safe, current courses have been adapted to be delivered on-line.  This will involve a combination of tutor led support and remote learning.

Application forms are avialble in the 'Downloads' section below. For futher information contact


Service Location: 

Contact Details

Peer Support Service Team
Job Title: 
General Enquiries
01323 405 334 / 07772 613945