New counselling service for young people in West Sussex

Friday 9th November, 2018

Young people in West Sussex with mental health needs can now benefit from a reshaped counselling service that offers a combination of face-to-face, online and group sessions.

The blended counselling services will continue to be delivered by YMCA DownsLink Group, commissioned on behalf of West Sussex County Council and the NHS, and complement a host of online information and support.

People aged 11-18 who present with mild to moderate emotional wellbeing and mental health needs can get face-to-face counselling at various locations across the county.

Now, thanks to a new support platform called ‘e-wellbeing’, the service also offers online sessions with an experienced and qualified counsellor.

Another new development will see young people able to take part in a new group work programme, due to be available at set locations near the end of the year.

Paul Marshall, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

“The stresses on young people today are ever growing so it is fantastic that a wider range of counselling services now exists for them. 

“Often, teenagers need a bit of extra support to help them overcome the problems they face, so I’m delighted YMCA DownsLink Group will continue to run this service.”

Children & Young People’s Joint Commissioning Programme Manager, Lizzie Izzard said:

“We are delighted to continue working with YMCA Downslink Group and pleased to further develop these services for young people to be able to access support in a variety of ways.”

Young people can also access information through Find, Get, Give - a YMCA-produced national website that supports young people, parents and carers and professionals around mental health.

Rachel Brett, YMCA DLG Director of Children & Young People, said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer an innovative blended online and face-to-face counselling service and are committed to working with our partners to ensure the young people of West Sussex receive the right support, at the right time in the right place.”

Referrals to the counselling service can be made at the county council’s Find It Out centres, self-referrals and by contacting YMCA DownsLink Group on 07739893707 or emailing

Other sources of online information about mental health for young people: