How our service can help you
We offer crisis and peer support groups for adults in Lewisham with emotional and relationship difficulties.
What is SUN?
Lewisham Service User Network (SUN) is a community-based support group for adults experiencing difficulties with complex emotional needs. SUN aims to empower people to problem solve their current struggles – emotional, relational, social, and practical.
Who can join SUN?
You can refer yourself to Lewisham SUN Project if you are an adult who lives in Lewisham, or if you are registered with a Lewisham GP. We welcome people from all sorts of backgrounds to learn from each other’s experiences.
How the group works
Each group runs for two-and-a-half hours with breaks. We offer a mixture of online and in-person groups. You can attend Lewisham SUN groups as often or as little as you wish. SUN groups offer peer support. Members both offer and receive support at different times. Two health professionals facilitate the group. All of the support provided by Lewisham SUN Project happens within the groups themselves, in a confidential and safe space. New members are helped to complete a Crisis and Support Plan (CASP). A CASP sets out the steps you take to cope with stress and any challenges in life, so that the group knows how best to support you in times of crisis.
- Service Borough Covers: Lewisham Treatment type: Group (Community)
Contact the serviceEmail: LewishamSUNProject @slam.nhs.uk Phone Number: 020 3228 9260 or 07546 560 852
- Disabled Access: Yes
- Address: Wallace Health Centre, Clarence Road,London, SE8 3BX
- Business Hours/Visiting Hours: Mondays 2pm - 4.30pm, Wednesdays 2pm - 4.30pm and Fridays 10.30am - 1pm
- Conditions: complex emotional, relational, social and practical needs
Other essential information
- How to self-refer?
- Group Timetable
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Feedback from SUN members
- Download our flyers
How to self-refer?
If you are interested in joining one of our upcoming Lewisham SUN groups, please complete our registration form by clicking here.
Once you have completed this, somebody from Lewisham SUN Project will contact you by telephone to explain more about how the groups work. You will have an opportunity at that point to ask any questions you might have for us.
Please note we only accept self-referrals*. Health and social care professionals are not able to refer clients/patients on their behalf, but they may choose to signpost clients/patients to our website or give them one of our downloadable flyers.
* If you have communication needs which make it difficult to self-refer, please speak to another professional for support in completing the form or you can contact us directly by telephone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can benefit from SUN?
Any adult experiencing difficulties with complex emotional needs, including challenges with relationships, stress, and impulsivity. This may or may not have led to a formal diagnosis. We also welcome people from all sorts of backgrounds to learn from each other’s experiences.
Why do people join SUN?
SUN has been used in other parts of the UK, and members report:
- Better ability to problem solve difficulties and things causing stress
- Feeling understood and accepted
- Less contact with crisis or emergency services
- To get ideas about how to cope
- Less risky or destructive behaviours
- Feeling less alone and isolated
What happens at a SUN group?
Each group meeting is two-and-a-half hours, and follows the same three stage format with breaks in between each stage:
- Check In: people talk about how they are feeling/thinking, what support they want from the group, and/or whether they can offer support to others
- Main discussion: depending on what topics or themes are raised at the check in, the group negotiate an agenda (always prioritising risk) and offer support and advice to each other, including alternative ways of coping.
- Check Out: people are asked to confirm they are safe to leave the group, and if needed they are signposted for further support.
What is expected of me?
You will always be asked to check in and check out. In the main discussion, you will be encouraged to give support and receive support, and generally be part of the group. If you do not feel confident about being in a group, please raise this with the Lewisham SUN Project Team.
How long can I join SUN for?
You can attend as many or as few groups as you choose. If you have not attended a group for three months we will close your membership but you can self-refer again in future.
Is SUN like a Community Mental Health Team?
No, all the work in SUN is done within the group as the peer support element is key. The facilitators do not spend individual time with members. Whilst attending SUN, you can still be open to another mental health team and in crisis you would be signposted to relevant services.
Can I invite someone to the SUN group?
To attend a SUN group, a person has to register with the SUN team. If they have not done this, they will not be able to attend any groups.
What if professional visitors attend SUN groups?
Occasionally professional visitors may ask to observe a SUN group to understand the model of support. If a visit is expected, members of that group will be notified in advance.
Will you collect my information?
We only collect the personal data required to ensure a person receives the support they need. For more information about how data is held, please go to our information sharing webpage - www.slam.nhs.uk/about-us/privacy-and-gdpr
Are the groups confidential?
Everyone attending the group is asked to respect each other's confidentiality and to not disclose anything discussed within the group outside of the group. There may be times when group facilitators need to share information with other professionals. They will always aim to discuss this with you within the group and come to an agreement about what action is needed.
Can I meet up or speak to other group members outside of SUN?
We do not encourage people to meet outside of SUN, as it may disrupt the group process e.g. people feeling left out. We also discourage communicating on social media.
What if I want to leave SUN?
To stop being a member, you will need to inform the SUN team.
Feedback from SUN members
“I have been helped to gain better ways of coping and have not harmed myself.”
“I have been helped and supported to contact other health professionals.”
“I have been signposted to other services that can help me.”
“I have been helped to think about work and education opportunities.”
“It has been good to feel useful to other people in the group.”
“It has been helpful to write down a plan to help me.”