Brighton is a seaside town on the south coast of England, bounded by the South Downs National Park to the north. The town is roughly an hour’s train ride from London. Brighton joined with neighbouring town Hove to become the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, in 2000. A popular seaside resort since the Georgian times, and even more so since the dawn of the London Brighton Railway in 1841, Brighton remains a popular spot for tourists and day trippers from London.
Though Brighton has been dubbed the ‘happiest place to live in the UK’, like anywhere, mental health awareness is important in Brighton and Hove. Between 2006-2008, Brighton and Hove had the second highest rate of suicide in the country. Thankfully this has fallen in subsequent years, however the rate remains higher than in others areas of the UK. An estimated 17% of Brighton’s population is living with common mental health difficulties, and proportional rates of mental health disorders such as bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia are marginally higher than in the rest of England.
Brighton and Hove is home to just under 300,000 residents, with a significant portion falling within the ages of 20-45. This young demographic is in part due to the area’s student population. The University of Sussex lies four miles from Brighton centre, with a student population of around 17,000. The University of Brighton is spread across various nearby areas in Falmer, Moulsecoomb, Eastbourne and Hastings. In 2003 these two universities joined to create the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Across the UK, student mental health is of rising concern. In 2015, more than 15,000 first-year students disclosed a mental health condition — nearly five times the number in 2006. Student suicide deaths rose by 79% during this period. The University of Brighton offers free counselling support to its students who are struggling with mental health difficulties.
Brighton is known for its diversity, arts and music scene – every May the second largest arts Fringe festival in the UK is held there – and large LGBT community. Every year, the ‘unofficial Gay capital of the UK’ hosts Brighton Pride and Trans Pride events. Despite the flourishing LGBTQ community in Brighton, LGBTQ individuals may still be subject to social isolation, exclusion and prejudice; research consistently finds higher rates of mental health distress in members of the LGBTQ community. MindOut is a Brighton-based charity that works to support the mental health of individuals of the LGBTQ community; of their service users, 80% of LGBTQ and 90% of trans and non-binary reported lived experience of suicidal distress.
welldoing.org is a therapy platform that lists professionals who can provide therapy and help with mental health in Brighton and Hove. You can read about their expertise and approaches, or use our matching questionnaire to see who is best suited to you and your concerns. You can make therapy appointments and pay for them online if you wish. You can find welldoing.org therapists in Brighton and Hove here.
Mind Brighton and Hove is an independent charity that offers various services and support events – they can be found at 51 New England Street, BN1 4GQ.
Brighton and Hove’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a Mental Health Rapid Response phone line, open 24/7 on 03003 040078.
Brighton and Hove Samaritans also have a 24/7 support line on 01273 772277 (local call charges apply), and a free national line on 116 123. Samaritans Brighton and Hove can be found a short walk from Hove train station at Dubarry House, Newtown Road, Hove, BN3 6AE.
The Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service NHS can be contacted on 0300 002 0060, Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm. You can be referred to their services by your GP, or fill out a self-referral form on their website.
Brighton Oasis Project is a substance misuse service for young women.
East Sussex Cruse Bereavement Care offers free support to bereaved people of all ages.
Mankind is a Sussex-based charity that offers support to male victims of sexual abuse.
Sussex Recovery College offers educational courses on mental health and recovery.
Switchboard is a helpline offering specialist support to members of the LGBTQ community who are concerned about their mental wellbeing. They are based at 113 Queen’s Road, Brighton, and can be reached on 01273 204050