Falls prevention classes move online

The Mid Sussex Falls Prevention programme has wasted no time in adapting to life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Before COVID-19 the WellBalanced programme was going from strength to strength – quite literally – delivering a 24-week programme of Strength & Balance classes to a growing number of elderly and vulnerable people across Mid Sussex. The courses helped the participants to improve their strength and balance, therefore making them much less susceptible to falls. 

As soon as it became clear classes could no longer be delivered as normal due to social distancing, the team set about adapting the service.  They contacted all 168 current participants to offer them a weekly support telephone call and sent them home exercises by post and email.

The main aim of the calls is to support participants with their home exercises and advise on maintaining a good level of physical activity for health but they have also been an opportunity to ensure that more vulnerable and isolated people are well supported and managing at home. In some cases the calls have helped the team to direct people to other support services and for many they have become a very welcome weekly chat and contact with the outside world. 

The Wellbalanced Team has continued to develop services online

  • Clinical Lead and Postural Stability Instructor Emma Rollings has produced a range of online exercise videos available at 
  • Website and Facebook pages offer a range of useful downloads, plus useful links to other information.
  • Virtual classes are now offered to all current participants who have access to the internet.

 Here’s what the participants have to say:

 “Thank you for your lovely phone call, you are so kind and helpful, and I really appreciate what you are doing for me.”

 “Thank you very much for a great Zoom session yesterday - it was really good to follow you and to have the discipline and feel part of the class again.”

 For more information email: or telephone 01444 657099.

Wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces

Face mask guidanceThe public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses where you may be more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

The Government guidance follows careful consideration of the latest scientific evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which confirms face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances.

Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are suffering from coronavirus but not showing symptoms. People with coronavirus symptoms, as well as members of their household, should continue to follow the advice to self-isolate.

It is also important to remember that face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing, which remain the most important actions.

The public are urged not to buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers, and instead make their own face coverings at home

Mental Health Support

Mental Health SupportThe coronavirus pandemic has reminded us all just how important it is to be kind to ourselves and prioritise our mental health. 

We are more much more susceptible to anxiety and depression during these uncertain times and it's not just the threat of the virus that can weigh heavy on our minds. The isolation caused by lockdown, worries about job security, a relationship breakdown or a bereavement can also have a serious impact on our mental health.

Thankfully there are a number of support groups, both nationally and locally, that are available to support us through this difficult time.

Sussex Oakleaf, a local provider of mental health services, has launched a new online platform aimed at providing advice, information, support, and resources to people who are struggling with their mental health.

The platform, which can be accessed through the Sussex Oakleaf website allows visitors to chat one to one, through any internet enabled device, with one of Sussex Oakleaf’s trained mental health Recovery Workers.

Visitors can ask questions, share their concerns, or receive guidance on how best to manage their mental health or the mental health of a loved one. Recovery Workers will be on hand to signpost visitors to services or resources relevant to their needs.

The Sussex Oakleaf website also hosts a new resource library with links to useful websites, videos and apps which can help to support better mental health. Visitors will find a link to Sussex Oakleaf’s Community Support Facebook Group, where members have already been supporting each other since the onset of the UK lockdown.

Find out more at

For a full list of national mental health support groups and helplines visit 

Has Covid-19 changed your drinking pattern?

Alcohol posterAlcohol Change UK has commissioned new research from Opinium to find out whether people’s drinking habits have changed during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown. As you would expect, we aren't all responding in the same way, and changes in drinking habits are happening in two directions.

More than one in three of the 1,555 drinkers surveyed said they have either stopped drinking or reduced how often they drink, since the lockdown. However, around one in five drinkers (21%) said that they have been drinking more frequently since the lockdown. This suggests that around 8.6 million UK adults are drinking more frequently.

If you are concerned about your drinking, the Mid Sussex Wellbeing Team offers a non-judgemental support service for anyone over 18 who wishes to reduce their alcohol intake. One to one sessions are offered on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, depending on the needs of each individual, and all services can be provided digitally to ensure social distancing is followed.

To take back control and change your drink pattern call the Mid Sussex Wellbeing Team on 01444 477191 or email

Time to give up smoking?

Stop smoking posterHas the coronavirus pandemic given you the extra motivation you need to give up smoking?

We all know that Covid-19 can cause significant breathing problems and it's only natural to want your lungs to be as healthy as possible in case you become infected with the virus. Maybe you'd like to eliminate that trip to the corner shop to buy cigarettes because you're worried about spreading the virus. Or maybe your income has reduced and you would like to eliminate the expense. 

Whatever your reason, our Wellbeing team can help.

If you're thinking about giving up then they can provide 12 weeks of one to one support and free Nicotine Replacement Therapy. The support sessions can be carried out either over the phone or online to provide the support you need whilst following Government social distancing guidance.

You will have an introduction session with a trained Stop Smoking Adviser to discuss your options and to work out a suitable quit date and support plan. After this, weekly appointments will involve working around challenges, discussing how to change old habits and routines, and working out how to sustain your new Smokefree lifestyle.

If you would like to start your Smokefree journey, contact the Midsussex Wellbeing on 01444 477191, email or visit  

‘After smoking for almost 50 years, I never thought I would be able to quit but here I am. I can’t stop smiling about it”
CH, Haywards Heath

Increased support for victims of domestic abuse

WORTHSince the start of lockdown, West Sussex County Council’s WORTH Domestic Abuse Service has seen a 24% increase in reports of domestic abuse compared to this time last year.

To help meet this increased demand the WORTH service is now available seven days a week to support anyone who needs help:

  • Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm on 0330 222 8181
  • Weekends, including bank holidays, 9.00am-5.00pm on 07834 968539

There is also a list of other support and resources available for victims of domestic abuse and friends and family members who may want to help, but don’t know how. These include:

  • local support for people being abused
  • things you can do if you're in an abusive relationship
  • the signs of an abusive relationship
  • information for friends and family of people being abused
  • national support for people who are experiencing abuse

Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure that any victim of domestic abuse knows that they don't have to go through their situation alone. There is help out there and the WORTH team is dedicated to do whatever they can to help those individuals get out of their abusive situations in a safe manner.

If you or someone you know needs any help or support, please call the WORTH Domestic Abuse Service directly.

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