Sutton Mental Health Foundation

Sutton Mental Health Foundation

At a glance


  • Mental health

Other details

Geographical remit: 


We work together to promote mental well-being, resilience and recovery from mental distress. Most of our beneficiaries live in the London Borough of Sutton, where our activities are based, and have lived experience of severe mental health problems.

Our main services are as follows:

  • Belmont Connect – a focal point providing social contact, learning opportunities and support for people with long term mental health problems, funded through a contract with the London Borough of Sutton worth £75,000 a year.
  • Development work, facilitating mutual support, representation and learning for people with mental health problems, encouraging other organizations to learn about mental health and develop their own support systems and contributing to the development of our own organization. This is funded by a contract with Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) worth £86,000 a year.
  • “Intentional peer support” – a systematic approach to mutual support which is applied in the acute ward serving Sutton, through one to one contacts in the community and through a telephone support line and hearing voices groups. This is partially supported by the CCG and partly through charitable donations. The CCG contribution is £25,000 a year.


Our centre is run by a combination of people with professional experience in mental health and community work, paid support workers and volunteers, many of whom have lived experience of mental health problems. Paid staff are present on four weekdays and there is a user-run service on Sundays. No referrals are required and we welcome anyone who is able to come independently.

Our help matters because it is practically impossible for the NHS or social services to respond quickly and effectively to all the needs of people with severe mental health problems. The service we offer is based on listening and building relationships, allowing people to tell their own stories in their own time - it is neither a clinical nor a counselling service. Where practical help is needed, we try either to offer it ourselves or to make connections with other providers. The relationships that are developed help to reduce the likelihood of new crises developing and to ensure that when they do occur support is at hand. Our development workers also work with other organizations to develop awareness of mental health issues and help meet the specific needs of particular groups.

We have developed a team of peer support workers who offer support to patients in the acute ward of Springfield Hospital, which serves Sutton, to people receiving treatment in the community and to callers to our telephone "Hope Line", which operates on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Plans are being made for them also to offer regular support in the local accident and emergency department on a trial basis. Peer support demonstrates that recovery from severe mental health problems is a realistic aim and people who undergo the training often say that it has changed their lives.



We offer immediate and effective support to people with severe mental health problems, especially at times of crisis

People receive prompt attention, are listened to and are able to take action themselves or with support to address the problems they face

We provide a place in Sutton where people can both seek and offer support and build relationships which strengthen their personal and collective resilience

Facilities are open regularly and reliably and people make use of them. We support a number of user-led groups which meet elsewhere in Sutton.

We provide access to information and advice in a safe and supportive setting and referral to specialist advisers when they are needed

Staff and volunteers are able to offer access to useful information and advice or to support people in meeting their own needs; feedback from users on the impact of the help they have received is positive. Advisors from Sutton CAB and Surrey Law Centre offer advice regularly on our premises

We facilitate a productive dialogue between people who use mental health services and people who commission and provide them

Commissioners and providers of mental health services and bodies like Healthwatch and the CQC engage with people and contributions are made to consultations. Users are able to see the impact of this in changes to local services

We recruit, train, deploy and develop a team of peer support workers to support people in crisis and recovery

People build positive relationships and learn together. They are better prepared for possible crises and support each other if these arise. Many of the people who receive support later come back to train as peer support workers and we have been able to offer our train to similar organizations elsewhere

Our peer support workers provide telephone support at weekends when other services are less accessible

People receive useful support when the telephone lines are open and/or are signposted to other services and facilities


No current opportunities

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