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Southdown awarded five-year contract to transform community mental health support in East Sussex

Posted on 15 January 2024

We’re delighted to share that we’ve been awarded the five-year contract to lead the transformation of non-clinical, community support for people living with mental health challenges in East Sussex.

Commissioned by East Sussex County Council with a start date of the 1st of April, the contract involves development and delivery of a network of integrated mental health recovery support designed to help people get well, stay well, and avoid crisis. Working closely with NHS Sussex, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) partners, service development will provide integrated and holistic support as part of a pathway approach.

Neil Blanchard, our Chief Executive, says, “The team at Southdown is excited and privileged to continue our leading role to integrate and transform community mental health services across East Sussex. More than ever, there is unprecedented need for mental health support as individuals with mental health challenges represent some of our most disadvantaged populations. People with serious mental illnesses, in particular, face profound health, social and economic inequalities.

 “To provide equality of access to a range of joined-up services for all the diverse communities across East Sussex, collaboration and co-production will be key. As well as working closely with East Sussex County Council, local statutory, NHS and VCSE partners, one of our first priorities will be to fully engage with people with lived experience of mental health challenges to understand individual needs and barriers to accessing support.”

 Neil added, “There is lots of fantastic mental health support across East Sussex provided by lots of different providers with unique expertise. Over the next five years, we want to build on what is working well and develop new opportunities for providers to work together so that we can be there for more people in need of support.”

Southdown currently provide most services within the East Sussex Mental Health Support Services contract which include wellbeing centres, peer support delivered by people with lived experience of mental health, social prescribing, and employment support. Over the next five years, we will lead on a phased plan to improve access to support and develop services to ensure they offer ‘no wrong door’ and increased integration with local statutory and VCSE services.  As part of this process, we will be sub-contracting to work with an increasing number of other VCSE local organisations. Maintaining consistency of support for people accessing support will be a key focus too.

For information on mental health support across East Sussex visit our website here. The East Sussex Mental Health Directory of Community Support is also a useful resource signposting to support available.

If you would like to be kept updated on developments of mental health support in East Sussex, register your interest to sign up to an upcoming online regular newsletter here.