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This website is only one part of the Local Offer; we also have a directory which you can visit at

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

Sussex Mental Healthline

The Sussex Mental Healthline is a 24/7 telephone service. The service is free and available to everyone with a concern about their own mental health. It is also for those with a concern for a relative, friend or someone they care for. They offer listening support, advice and information.

If you need support right now, this is a good place to start.

During busy periods, you may need to wait for someone to answer your call. If you would prefer not to wait, you could use the free crisis support text messaging service instead. This allows you to have a confidential text-based conversation with a trained volunteer. To use this text messaging service:

You can also visit the Sussex Mental Healthline site for more information.

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Poor wellbeing or social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) can be a part of a child's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  

Most wellbeing and mental health support services can adapt their service to specific SEND needs. Some are specialist in different types of SEND.

There are many wellbeing and mental health services that a child could have access to. The child and their parents or carers should identify the support they think is best suited to them. A child could have different forms of wellbeing or mental health support at different times in their life.

If you have concerns about your child’s mental health and wellbeing, it is important to talk to:

Together, you can discuss the best way forward to support you and your child.

Mental health or wellbeing support could be:

This page offers some advice on different kinds of wellbeing and mental health support. It also provides useful links to help find the right support for children and young people.

Please note, we have a separate page for Personal Health and Wellbeing. It covers other topics such as physical health and relationships.

Wellbeing Support in Schools

Every school in East Sussex will have their own approach to supporting students with their wellbeing and SEMH. Parents and carers should speak to the SENCo about what support is available in their child's school.

The majority of schools have a mental health lead. Some schools in East Sussex have a mental health lead governor.

Types of support available in school could include:

All schools must publish a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Information Report on their school website. This report should include information about what support is available for SEMH in their school. 

You may wish to read these reports to have an idea of the support different schools can offer.

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Mental Health Support Teams - Me & My Mind

The East Sussex Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) provide short-term support for children and young people affected by mild to moderate mental health needs. Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) deliver the evidence-based interventions. They are East Sussex County Council teams with close links to the NHS. 

They work across many schools in East Sussex. 

Find out what schools are supported by visiting this websites' page on Schools Supported by MHSTs in East Sussex.

East Sussex School Health

The School Health service has a focus on promoting the health and wellbeing of all school-aged children (4 to 19). They do this by completing a health assessment with:

The assessment helps to identify the most appropriate intervention and potential outcome. They will work with parents/carers to achieve this. Where they are unable to help, they will always signpost or refer to a more suitable service.

Registered, qualified nurses lead the School Health service. The nurses have a specialist community public health degree. The team consists of:

They work closely with other services, including:

You can find out more by visiting their website:

NHS East Sussex Children also provides lots of information that cover a range of SEMH topics. This includes:

To find out more, please visit the NHS East Sussex Children site.

Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA)

Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) is a term used to describe some children and young people who do not attend school due to emotional factors.

Other terms are: 

Education East Sussex staff have worked with East Sussex Parent Carer Forum (ESPCF) to gather the views of parents and carers about EBSA. This information was used to produce a toolkit for schools and an information booklet for parents and carers. This includes EBSA information for children and young people:

Please note, ISEND is now part of Education East Sussex.

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Wellbeing and Mental Health Support

There are various services throughout East Sussex and online that seek to help children and young people with SEMH. Within this section we have listed some of those services. At the bottom of this section we have linked to our directory, on 1Space, that highlights further support.

Please note: some of these services only operate in certain areas of East Sussex. Please visit their websites to find out more.

Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) focuses primarily on the learning, social and emotional development of children and young people aged 0-25 years. This is within their educational setting. They may provide advice, make referrals to other services or provide some one-to-one support. Access to EPS is via referral by your child's school. Speak to your child's SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) if you think this is the best option for them:

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) 

CAMHS provide specialist NHS services and support to children and young people up to the age of 18, and their families and carers who are experiencing difficulties with their emotional, psychological and mental health. They have teams of staff across Sussex and in the community. They can help you and your family to get the support that you need. 

You can find out more by visiting their website:

Their site provides a wide range of information, advice, resources and more, including:

Health in Mind

Health in Mind are dedicated to improving mental wellbeing. They deliver free courses, online programmes and 1:1 talking therapies for people over the age of 18 in East Sussex:


i-Rock can offer advice and support on emotional and mental wellbeing, jobs, education and housing for young people aged 14-25.

They have drop-ins in Hastings, Eastbourne and Newhaven and offer virtual appointments:


E-Motion is a free online counselling project for young people aged 12-18 years who live in East Sussex:


e-wellbeing is a digital wellbeing service for young people in Sussex. It is run by YMCA DownsLink Group:

Finding SEND Suitable Counselling

There are counselling and therapy directory websites that can help you find the right support for particular ages and needs. 

For example, the Psychology Today website has counsellors and therapists working in East Sussex. It has the option to search for specific help. This includes 'Autism' or 'ADHD':

Other counselling directories include:

Additional Help and Support


Amaze have a web page dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. This includes signposting and fact sheets for East Sussex and Brighton & Hove:


Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) are a local charity. They offer free, independent, and impartial advice for all matters relating to SEND. Contact Amaze SENDIASS by:

Visit the Amaze SENDIASS web page.

East Sussex Local Offer directory of services

You can visit our SEND-specific online directory, hosted on East Sussex 1Space. The directory lists many different services both throughout the county and online. Services cover many topics, including:

Visit the East Sussex Local Offer directory.

NHS - Health A to Z

The East Sussex Local Offer aims to provide as much information as possible. There may be some conditions that aren't covered in thorough detail. The NHS website has pages that list all conditions. These pages provide information and advice on how to get extra support:

Visit the NHS Health A to Z web page.

Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

We explain some of the terms used on this website on our page, Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms.

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