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Time to Talk Health - supporting people who live with a long-term health condition


Covid-19 Update:  Due to the impact that Covid-19 has had on our service, we’ve reviewed the way that we work with you.  As a result, we’ve reduced the amount of face to face work that we offer, taking advantage of digital alternatives.  We’re working to implement social distancing measures so you can be reassured of safe sessions when meeting in person.  Your clinician will discuss your treatment options with you.

Time to Talk Health is a free & confidential NHS Service for residents 18+ registered with a West Sussex GP who are in need of support to cope with the impact of living with one or more of the following diagnosed long-term health conditions:

  • Diabetes - Type 1 or Type 2
  • A cardiac (heart) condition
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (lung) Disease (COPD)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Asthma
  • Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain
  • Long Covid - ongoing symptoms for 12+ weeks

At Time to Talk Health we know living with any of these conditions can be really difficult - you may become worried, anxious or low in mood, which can lead to even worsening health. Our friendly qualified team of therapists and healthcare practitioners work   alongside your healthcare team(s) whether you’re struggling to adjust to a new diagnosis or experience problems coping as your condition(s) progresses. 

What you can expect:

Our clinicians will work with you in order to achieve outcomes you want, for example to:

  • Overcome your fears, anxieties or low mood related to living with one or more long term health condition(s).
  • Reduce the impact of the condition(s) on your work, family and friends or other activities in your day-to-day life.
  • Improve your knowledge and understanding of the condition(s) and related symptoms.
  • Make and sustain healthier lifestyle changes, no matter how big or small

What we are not:

Time to Talk Health is not a crisis or emergency service. If you feel you need help urgently, please contact:

  • Sussex Mental Healthline, 0800 0309 500
  • The Samaritans, 116 123
  • 111 or your local A&E department
  • Your GP (including out of hours service)
  • StayAlive App

I think Time to Talk Health could be useful, what should I do now?

The first step is to book a NICE-approved comprehensive telephone assessment with one of our friendly and experienced clinicians.  An assessment will allow us both to better understand the impact your physical health is having on your daily life. You can book telephone assessments Monday to Friday between 8am-3pm - allow yourself an hour in a confidential space to talk through what your needs are. Please let us know if you require a face-to-face assessment but as long as you are able to contact us by phone we find that phone assessments are the most flexible.

Following your assessment we’ll consider whether your needs can be met by our Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) clinicians - or if it’s identified that you require something else, we’ll assist you to refer to alternative support.  Having an assessment is the best way of finding out what would help you most and what your options are.

If after your assessment you agree that talking therapies with one of our clinicians would be of help to you we provide the following treatments according to varying patient needs:

  • Shorter term weekly on-line guided sessions
  • Shorter term weekly phone-based sessions at a time of your choice
  • Longer term weekly video-based sessions at a time of your choice
  • One-to-one longer term weekly sessions in person, adhering to social distancing measures and at venues across West Sussex
  • We’re currently revising our group work program so please let us know if you would benefit from hearing from others experiencing similar symptoms.
  • Regular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program – Learn skills to cope and live better with pain, stress and illness. Mindfulness is learning to live fully in the present moment. It is a practice of paying attention to the moment by moment unfolding of our lives. In the context of health and building resilience, a training in mindfulness can help you ‘take charge’ of your own live, developing inner resources to cope with the challenges of stress, pain and illness.  If you would like more details of our Mindfulness program, please click here.
  • Service Location:
    West Sussex
  • How To Access:

    You can contact us directly or ask your GP, nurse or other healthcare professional to refer you using the contact details on this page.

  • Contact Details:

    Tel: 01273 666480
    Email: sc-tr.ltcreferrals@nhs.net

    Please indicate which of the long term conditions you would like help with and we’ll aim to contact you the next working day. Please note we are not a crisis service.

  • Opening Hours:

    Time to Talk Health is available Monday to Friday, 8am - 8pm.

  • How to find us:

    We deliver the Time to Talk Health service in venues across West Sussex for anyone aged 18 years+ who needs support living with any of these diagnosed long-term conditions. We accept referrals from GPs and other healthcare professionals or patients can contact us directly as above.

  • More Information:

    Here’s what one of our fabulous Wellbeing Practitioners said about his work with patients: 

    “We will often relate bodily symptoms to that of our physical health conditions.  As a practitioner working for the service, a key element of my role is to help identify how symptoms of physical and emotional health may both be present and result in vicious cycles for a patient.  It is then a case of working together, developing tools and strategies to help break these cycles, either reducing symptoms or finding other ways to cope.

    Our experience working with each specific patient group can help bring valuable understanding and facilitate lasting change.  Often, groups of patients may find they are not alone with their experiences.  For example: Cardiac patients may feel more vulnerable and so avoid pushing themselves - or the opposite and push themselves too much to try and reach their previous exercise goals. Diabetic patients may notice their unexplainable sugar readings are actually impacted by stress resulting in a yo-yoing of their sugars.  The anxiety of being breathless may result in someone with COPD experiencing a worsened experience of their symptoms.  However, we are all different and that’s why the first step to working with us is an assessment of your needs to see what support might best suit your specific needs.  We can then decide together how to proceed”.

    And here’s what a couple of our patients have said about us:

    “Time to Talk Health and my allocated therapist was a life saver for me. I felt like I was having a breakdown when I telephoned for support. The staff were very kind and quick to respond to my distress. My therapist supported me throughout my treatment. She helped me recognise that I was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks.

    My therapist was kind and supportive throughout. She helped me to recognise warning signs, not use avoidance and to work through my fear and panic.

    I would like to say a big thank you to my therapist and Time to Talk Health for being there when I was at my lowest and in need of professional support”.


    “My therapist was great, I could not have picked a better match for me. My therapist made me feel like me again and I have not felt like that for such a long time. I now have the skills to live a better life. Thank you so much”.

    More information available:

    • Time to Talk offers a range of talking therapy treatments for adults with common mental health problems like anxiety and/or depression not impacting on the long term conditions listed above.
    • Diabetes UK Offers a range of online information, booklets to download, practical advice e.g. recipes, forums. There is a helpline staffed by trained counsellors, with knowledge of diabetes.
    • Local Diabetes UK support groups West Sussex Downs Monthly support group meetings (rotate between Steyning, Sompting and Lancing) On occasion will invite speakers e.g. diabetes nurses. Facebook group.
    • Brighton Area Diabetes Group Social events, general meetings and fundraising events Facebook group.
    • Chichester and District Group Diabetes Monthly meetings, with guest speakers, social events. Based at Diabetes Centre at St Richards Hospital. Regular newsletter with information about events, updates on research/relevant advances etc.
    • Carers UK A national charity for carers providing support and advice; has a helpline and online forum.
    • The wellbeing hubs A free, friendly and impartial service which comes from your local authority, the NHS and other partners, where you can find out more about local activities and support services.
    • Mind in Brighton and Hove offer some services in West Sussex, including participation services, peer mentoring and mental health advocacy (IMHA, Community and Children/Young Persons).
    • Carers Support West Sussex County wide service offering practical advice, information and emotional support (including counselling, online and telephone support), support groups, social events and access to low cost activities. Details of specific support groups can be found via the website.
    • British Heart Foundation offers a range of information and booklets about heart conditions and living with heart conditions. There is a helpline staffed by Cardiac Nurses and Information Support Officers. There are also details of support groups.
    • British Lung Foundation offers information about lung conditions and living with lung conditions. There is a helpline available and details of local ‘Breathe Easy’ support groups.
    • Living Well Programme This is a free 6 session self-management course developed for people living with any long-term health condition across West Sussex and is run by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
    • COPD Breathe Easy support groups – Run by members, encourages meeting others with COPD to share experiences and learn about living with the condition.  Groups throughout the UK. 
    • IBS On-line community support group specifically for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome.  Support to learn ways to cope with condition.
    • Asthma In 2020 Asthma UK merged with the British Lung Foundation to become the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership. As a partnership of equals, we are now in a strong position to share our combined energy and passion to make a difference for all people affected by asthma and other lung diseases.
    • MSK Lists MSK issues by body part (e.g.  shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, knee pain, hip pain, hand pain and so on)  which links to advice, guidance and exercises for pain. These MSK self-management resources are supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of the MSK leadership group
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