Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service

Frequently Asked Questions

  

We hope this page will answer any questions that you have. If you can't find your question here, you can call us on 0300 002 0060 or email us on bics.brighton-and-hove-welllbeing@nhs.net.

Referral

+ Is the Wellbeing Service right for me?

Yes, if you are experiencing mild to moderate difficulties with your mental health, such as low mood, anxiety, stress or worry, and you are...

  • Ready to make changes in your life
  • Wanting to build on your strengths and learn new coping skills

If you are aged 4-17, or making a referral on behalf of a child or young person, click here to read about what the Wellbeing Service can and cannot do.

+ Do I need to be registered with a Brighton & Hove GP to access this service?

The service is available to people registered with a local GP practice or living in Brighton and Hove. If you are not registered with a Brighton & Hove GP, we will require confirmation that you are residing in the area (BN1, BN2, BN3 or BN41 postcodes).

+ How do I refer into this Service?

Anyone can refer themselves (or a child or young person, with their consent) into the Wellbeing Service using our online referral forms:

If you can’t complete an online form, or would like to discuss your potential referral, or if you need any extra support such as large print or translated forms, a language or British Sign Language interpreter, or an accessible room, you can either:

  • Book an appointment with your GP
  • Call us directly on 0300 002 0060 (weekdays 8am–6pm)
  • Email us at bics.brighton-and-hove-wellbeing@nhs.net

+ What happens when you receive my referral?

Clinicians will review your referral form. If your referral is considered appropriate for the Wellbeing Service, you will be placed on a waiting list for an initial assessment, and you will be contacted when a space becomes available.

The Wellbeing Service treats people with mild to moderate mental health issues, such as anxiety, low mood or stress. If for any reason our service isn’t right for you, we will inform you of our decision and help you identify a suitable alternative that is more likely to meet your needs.

Some of the services and resources we may suggest you access are listed on our Resources pages: for Children & Young People and for Adults.

+ How will you contact me?

We usually try to call you on a mobile phone number if you have one, otherwise we will contact you on your landline. When we call you it is likely to be from a withheld number.

Please indicate on your referral form if you prefer to be contacted by email or another method. If we cannot reach you on the phone or by email, we will send you a letter asking you to contact us.


Initial assessment

+ How long will my initial assessment last?

Your first appointment no more than 60 minutes long, usually lasting around 30-45 minutes. We will confirm these details with you when we make contact with you.

+ How will the assessment help me?

You will be able to talk through the issues you feel are important, and be listened to without prejudice.

You will be given advice on next steps and have a chance to explore what support might be most helpful for you.

You may be offered a range of treatment options including educational courses, telephone sessions or online support.


Confidentiality

+ Will anyone else need to know I am using the service?

When we call you, we will always ask you to identify yourself (this will usually involve us asking for you to confirm your date of birth and first line of your address). We will not disclose any information about the nature of our calls until we are confident that we are speaking to you rather than a third party.

We normally send a copy of any letters you receive to your GP, for your medical records. Please let us know if you do not want us to share this information with your Doctor.

+ What do I do if I would like someone else to speak on my behalf?

You can let us know if you would like someone else to speak on your behalf, and specify what actions that person can take in relation to your care (such as appointment booking). We will add a note to your record so that we don’t need to ask you to give this consent each time we speak to them.


Cancellations

+ What if I can’t attend my assessment?

Please call us on 0300 002 0060 to cancel or re-arrange your assessment, or email us at bics.brighton-and-hove-wellbeing@nhs.net.

We appreciate you giving us as much advance notice as you are able; if you cancel your appointment with more than 24 hours’ notice we can usually offer the time to someone else who needs it.

+ What if I can’t attend a session?

Once you have started treatment, missed sessions may disrupt the process, so it is important to let your therapist know of any planned absences well in advance. Your therapist will do the same.

If you cannot make a session for any unplanned reason, please call 0300 002 0060 or email bics.brighton-and-hove-wellbeing@nhs.net as soon as you are able. Our Admin team will inform your therapist right away.

Late cancellations could result in losing that session. If you consistently miss or cancel sessions, we may need to discharge you from the service. However, you will have the option of re-referring to the service when you have more time available.


Children & Young People (CYP)

+ How many sessions will I receive?

After your initial assessment, if the Wellbeing Service is still believed to be the most appropriate support, you/your child will be offered 10 sessions of weekly therapy, each lasting approximately 50 minutes (with the exception of Emotional Wellbeing Support, where 4 sessions are offered).

The consistency of the same day, time and place is very important for developing a trusting relationship between the therapist and young person.

+ Will the Wellbeing Service make me feel better?

It important that you understand that, although our CYP team are highly trained and skilled professionals, our treatments cannot offer a magic wand. You will likely not feel better instantly (sometimes people feel worse before they feel better) and treatments can sometimes feel like hard work - but you will not be working alone.

But with the right attitude and commitment from you (as you will receive from your therapist) our treatments are very effective. The CYP team will never tell you to 'get over it' or 'pull yourself together'. Instead, they will help you to:

  • Learn skills that fight that back against difficult thoughts
  • Increase your self-awareness and learn new ways to handle your feelings
  • Try out new behaviours

+ What if I don’t know what to say in my sessions?

Sometimes it can be hard to find the words to describe what we’re thinking and feeling - the CYP team understands this. They will work with you at a pace that feels good for you, and might suggest alternative ways to help you relax, open up and find ways to express yourself, like doing activities, exercises, worksheets, doing art together, or even playing games.

+ Is my treatment confidential?

Information that you or your child shares about themselves or their family will be kept confidential within the service, and the specific content of treatment sessions is kept confidential between the therapist and child, in order to maintain trust within the therapeutic relationship.

Some of our treatments with younger clients (e.g. aged 4-10) such as Dramatherapy or Play Therapy include parent reviews at the start, end and mid-way point. General themes of the client's sessions may be discussed at these review meetings, but not specific details.

However, our team must and do need to "break confidentiality" by sharing disclosed information with their line manager, safeguarding officer and other professionals if they are concerned that their client, or any other person, is at risk of harm. The therapist would always try to discuss first with the young person who else they will need to talk to.

The limits of confidentiality, in accordance with safeguarding regulations, are explained to the child in a way that they can understand. Privacy statements regarding the storage of information will be given to you and your child (if appropriate) at the outset.