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When you have issues with your mental health, it becomes part of you. Unfortunately, this means you can't turn it off when you don't want to deal with it anymore or when you go to certain places. That's why areas of employment need to begin to support and make adjustments for staff facing mental health issues the same way as if they have a staff member with a broken leg, for instance. At Sussex Partnership, we understand this and know we need to care for our staff's mental health as much as we care for our users. This is why we offer a team a range of support options.


Employee Assistance Programme

Firstly, our Employee Assistance Programme offers staff access to wellbeing and counselling. Our team of wellbeing and counselling practitioners offer support via; telephone, writing, online and face-to-face meetings. The programme also allows you to remain anonymous; our practitioners want you to feel comfortable.


Mindfulness Groups for staff

If staff are more comfortable in a less one-to-one style, we offer mindfulness groups. We provide mindfulness groups for staff to help develop greater resilience and self-compassion. Mindfulness is the process of paying attention to the present moment, drawing on approaches using the breath, body and everyday activities like walking. Research indicates mindfulness can have many benefits, including; improvements in; stress and anxiety, low mood, sleep, personal relationships, compassion, creativity and enjoyment of life. Everyone can learn mindfulness, and it can be done whenever needed. There are many ways to get started, depending on your available time and preferred learning style.


Health Passport

Having a medical condition, be it mental or physical, can be emotionally exhausting when you have to tell every new place you work about it. This is why we offer staff who work for us access to Health Passports. A passport is a place where staff can store any information they would like to about a disability, long-term health condition, mental health issue or learning disability/difficulty. This document can then be used to tell a new line manager about your health and anything you have in place in the workplace which enables you to carry out your role.


Buddy System

Most recently, we have launched our new Buddy System. Starting a new role or returning to work after needing time off can be daunting. This is why we have launched our Buddy System at the Trust. A buddy provides informal support to members of staff who may need someone to make things feel more accessible. Buddies can;

  • Provide insight into day-to-day activities.
  • Help new staff fit in more quickly, understanding Trust's values and vision.
  • Support and learn from each other at work.
  • Increase their confidence, making new/ returning staff's first few weeks a more positive experience.

The Buddy System can be used in any part of the Trust and in any role. Research has shown that peer support can positively influence staff wellbeing, experience, and retention.


The examples above are only a small sample of services we offer at the Trust. We are always looking at ways to support staff in their wellbeing. Check out our other ways via our other blogs here.

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