Mindfulness courses for Sussex Health & Care Partnership

Do you work for the NHS in Sussex or any one of the local authority or third sector organisations delivering health and care across Sussex? If so, you are eligible for a free eight-week mindfulness course to help improve your wellbeing.

Support to improve wellbeing

Logo of the Sussex Health & Care Partnership

Working in the caring professions can be inspiring and rewarding, however it can also be hard work and at times stressful and emotionally demanding. Research indicates that mindfulness can have physical and psychological benefits, including reductions in stress, anxiety, worry, low mood and sleep difficulties, and improvements in immune function, personal relationships, compassion, creativity and enjoyment of life.

That’s why the Sussex Health & Care Partnership have commissioned these mindfulness courses for all of their staff working to ensure better health and care for the 1.7 million people living in Sussex.

Free to staff – sign up below

The eight-week mindfulness courses are available from January 2024 and throughout the year, and are free to you. They are available either online or in-person and take place at different times of the day and week to suit you. You can find out more about mindfulness and the courses we offer below. Then when you’ve decided, you just need to fill in the application form below, where you can choose your preferred dates. Places are limited so do book early!

A chance to pause

A mindfulness course offers a chance to take a pause, to learn a different approach to managing stress and difficulties, to reflect on what’s important to you and to take care of yourself.

“For anyone looking to find a way of balancing the often competing demands of home, work, and not least, ourselves, it’s worth their checking out a mindfulness course. Too often we overlook the basics in our lives and need to find a way of connecting with what really matters.”

Mindful Nation report

What exactly is mindfulness and how can it help?

Mindfulness is about being present with our experience, with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. This enables us to relate to our experience, rather than run from it, and that gives us some freedom not to be blown around by strong emotions or sensations, or by compelling thoughts. In that space that we then create, we can see more clearly what we are experiencing and we can decide how to respond in ways that are most beneficial for ourselves and those around us.

The evidence

Data is showing that high levels of healthcare and social care staff are reporting stress and feeling unwell. There is also strong evidence to suggest that healthcare staff attending mindfulness courses are significantly less stressed at the end of the course. In addition, the effects on stress are maintained at follow-up time periods.

Who are the courses for?

You are eligible if you work in the health and care sectors in Sussex, whether your role is to keep the office clean or provide frontline services. This covers all staff working in the care and health sector in Sussex; so includes all staff working in health and social care for the NHS, local authorities and third sector.

What the course involves

The eight-week mindfulness course consists of an introductory orientation session to help you to decide if mindfulness is for you. This is followed by eight weekly two-hour classes. Participants are encouraged to do about half an hour of daily exercises between classes to gain maximum benefits.

The courses are offered free to all employees working in the Sussex Integrated Care System. If the course takes place during working hours you will need permission from your manager to attend.

We’re offering three mindfulness courses, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness for Life. See the descriptions below.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is the original eight-week course that other mindfulness courses have been developed from. Evidence suggests it can help with stress, anxiety and chronic pain, as well as other physical health issues affected by stress. It is also great for simply appreciating life more. The programme uses a combination of mindfulness and meditation practices, body awareness, yoga and an exploration of patterns of behaviour, thinking, feeling and action.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy combines mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques to help reduce depression. Evidence demonstrates it can be as effective as anti-depressants in preventing relapse.

The eight-week course helps participants develop greater awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and experiences which in turn helps cultivate resilience and reduce depression and anxiety. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was designed specifically to help people who experience repeated episodes of depression to prevent relapse. MBCT is now recognised as an effective treatment for existing mild to moderate depression (not just to prevent relapse). And there is increasing evidence that shows it is effective for other mental health issues, and that it helps to improve wellbeing and resilience.

Mindfulness for Life

The Mindfulness for Life programme has evolved from the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy eight-week course.

The programme offers mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques in a way that is accessible for everybody.

The programme guides participants in how to apply the learning in everyday life to manage what is painful and difficult and cultivate qualities such as compassion. It supports people to work with challenges, including recurring patterns of thought and behaviour that create suffering. It also supports our capacity to savour life and to flourish. Mindfulness for Life is an in-depth programme intended to cultivate lasting and sustainable change.

Find courses and book

The Sussex Health & Care Partnership have commissioned 14 eight-week mindfulness courses for 2024.

The spring-summer courses are now underway and there are eight more courses starting from September 2024. Please see the courses available to apply for now using the link below:

  • ONLINE: Friday mornings, 10.00-12.00, running from 27 September to 29 November 2024 (no session 1 Nov)
  • ONLINE: Monday evenings, 18.00-20.00, running from 30 September to 25 November 2024
  • ONLINE: Tuesday evenings, 18.00–20.00, running from 1 October to 26 November 2024
  • ONLINE: Wednesday afternoons, 15.30–17.30, running from 2 October to 4 December 2024 (no session 30 Oct)
  • ONLINE: Wednesday evenings, 18.00–20.00, running from 2 October to 27 November 2024
  • ONLINE: Thursday afternoons, 14.00-16.00, running from 3 October to 12 December (no session 10 and 17 October)
  • ONLINE: Tuesday afternoons, 15.30–17.30, running from 8 October to 10 December 2024 (no session 29 Oct)

If the course takes place during work hours you will need to check with your manager. And then all you need to do is fill in this application form where you can choose the course most convenient to you.