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NHS West Sussex Talking Therapies provides support for adults (18+) who are registered with a GP in West Sussex, and experiencing difficulties with anxiety and/or depression, as well as a number of related mental health conditions. You do not need to have a diagnosed mental health problem to refer yourself to the service.

We are a friendly and approachable team, consisting of our administrative staff, employment advisors and clinical staff including our psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWPs), cognitive behavioural therapists, counsellors, and risk and referral managers. We are a diverse and inclusive team, with experience from all walks of life.

We provide treatment for people with the following common mental health problems:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • Depression
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Health anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias (such as heights, flying, spiders etc.).

In addition to evidence-based support for the common mental health problems listed above, we also provide employment advice, to support people to reach their employment goals.

The support we provide involves you and a therapist working as a team to understand problems, overcome current difficulties and achieve identified goals. Therapy involves talking, but usually also involves doing practical exercises and tasks both in and outside of sessions. It is an active process, and the therapist or practitioner will regularly check in with you to ensure progress. As a service, we ensure that we provide a non-judgmental and inclusive safe space for all.

Talking therapies are provided in different ways, including:

  • Using a self-help workbook or website with the support of a clinician
  • One-to-one in person, over the phone or through video consultation
  • In a group setting

We offer evidence-based treatment interventions which have been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The type of support offered will vary from person to person, depending on what their difficulties and circumstances are, and what we believe may be most beneficial based on the evidence.

We work closely alongside other services and may signpost or refer you on to external support if we consider this to be appropriate given your particular needs.

You can refer yourself for support via our website any time, and over the phone between 8am and 4.45pm. We also receive referrals via health professionals such as GPs, midwives, health visitors and physical health teams. Once we have received a referral, we will consider the most appropriate next steps. Often this will be in the form of an assessment so that we can better understand your circumstances and consider what type of support might be useful.

Yes, you can refer yourself back to our service if you are not currently on the waiting list or in treatment with us. You are welcome to re-refer regardless of whether you have previously accessed support with the service or not.

If you have recently referred yourself to the service and are waiting to be contacted or are waiting for an appointment, there is no need to refer yourself again. If in doubt, please contact us.

Yes. Some of our clinicians are able to provide support in languages other than English. We are also able to arrange interpreters/translators for appointments, including British Sign Language interpreters.

Personal information about you and your attendance is treated as confidential between you and those involved in your care within NHS West Sussex Talking Therapies. We will also liaise with your GP with your consent. There are some circumstances in which we may need to break confidentiality to speak to other professionals:

  • If we have consent from you to share information and liaise with other professionals such as your GP
  • If we believe that you or a third party is at risk of significant harm
  • In certain circumstances we may be under legal obligation to reveal matters of a criminal nature

In any of these cases we may encourage you to pass on the information to the relevant person, e.g., your GP, social services. If there is no indication that this has happened or is likely to happen, or if the crisis or danger is sufficiently acute, we may pass the information on directly. Your consent to disclose information will be sought if possible.

Please see the information below for details about services we may share your information with.

You can self-refer to our service without letting your GP know in advance. However, we will ask your permission to share relevant information with your GP at referral stage. If you have queries about this, please contact us. 

In the interest of providing you with the best care possible, we may share information with other relevant services such as:

  • The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • The Assessment and Treatment Service (ATS) or Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
  • The Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS)

The services that we provide are free to access for those who receive free healthcare via the National Health Service (NHS). West Sussex Talking Therapies is part of the wider NHS England Talking Therapies programme, formally known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT).

We provide support face-to-face, via telephone, online via video call, as well as webinars and typed therapy. We have venues across West Sussex, including local GP surgeries in some areas. When face-to-face support is offered, we will look at what is available in locations most local to you.

Not at all. Please don’t hold back from reaching out and seeking support if you are experiencing difficulties with your mental health.

We are always happy to explore possible treatment or support options with you. This may be via a short phone call or a longer assessment (typically over the phone). As a service we have a wide range of treatment options. Additionally, in some circumstances we may recommend other services which may be better suited in providing you with support.

If in doubt, please contact us.

We welcome feedback as it helps us to improve the service and the support we provide. We routinely request confidential and anonymous feedback at the end of treatment via our patient experience questionnaire. Feedback can also be given at any time. Please speak to your therapist or our administrative team about this.

Alternatively, feedback can be given via Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The PALS team are dedicated to receiving and responding to compliments, comments, complaints, and information about services. They can be contacted via telephone on 01273 242292 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.