Referring and self-referral to MBCT

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a recommended NICE treatment for mild to moderate depression. Consequently it is available in many NHS primary care mental health (Talking Therapies) services. We include information on this page to help you refer or self-refer for MBCT.

Diagnosed as clincally depressed?

If you are currently receiving services from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, please speak with one of the clinicians working with you.

If this is not the case, but you fall within the catchment area for our Trust’s services, please visit your GP to discuss being referred to us.

After you’ve been referred, you may receive a generic initial assessment that will consider a variety of options. We will aim to offer you a choice from a range of suitable therapies and courses, including MBCT where this seems helpful and is available.


You can self-refer in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

East Sussex – Health in Mind

Health in Mind, the NHS Talking Therapies Service for adults (18+) in East Sussex offers MBCT courses, one-to-one therapies and other courses. For more information and to self-refer, visit their website here.

Brighton and Hove – Wellbeing Service

You can self-refer into the service by filling in a self-referral form, which you can find on the Wellbeing Service website here.

On your referral form you can mention you are interested in MBCT, however, you will have a standard initial assessment before any intervention is agreed. A clinician may suggest Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy if it seems suitable from your assessment.

Not depressed, but would like to try mindfulness?

If you have not been diagnosed as clinically depressed but would like to try mindfulness, you can join one of our public mindfulness courses. If we have a mindfulness course coming up it will be advertised here.

Referring someone

If you are thinking MBCT may be helpful for someone you are planning to refer to our services, please bear in mind that patients will usually receive a generic initial assessment that will consider a range of treatment options. Where possible, we aim to offer service-users choice from a selection of potentially helpful interventions.

MBCT is recommended by NICE guidelines for adults who are currently well, but have a history of recurrent depression, as well as for people who are currently less severely depressed. Their ability to benefit may depend on various factors including whether they are able to concentrate and participate fully.

There is also an increasing body of evidence that MBCT, or variants of it, can be helpful for a range of other conditions including stress, chronic pain and certain anxiety disorders.

Beyond this there are likely to be individual reasons why MBCT may or may not be currently suitable for a particular individual. For example, MBCT is less likely to be appropriate for someone with current substance misuse problems or recent/unresolved psychological trauma or bereavement.

Sometimes there may be other inventions that are likely to be as helpful or more helpful than MBCT in the first instance. In such circumstances, service-users/patients may be offered the option of attending an MBCT course after they have completed the intervention that was thought to be initially more helpful.

Work for SPFT?

Whether or not you have depression, if you are member of staff of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, you can take an MBCT course. See the next courses for you advertised on this page.