Mental health is key priority for the NHS, as outlined in the Long-Term Plan (2019). To support this, Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN is working with NHS commissioners and systems leads, industry partners, other AHSNs, voluntary and community sectors, and those with lived experience to support the spread and adoption of innovation in mental health.

National Programmes

FREED – First episode Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), including Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN, are supporting mental health teams across England to speed up diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders in young people aged 16 to 25 through FREED.

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Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN is working with mental health trusts and community paediatric services to improve the assessment process for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) using computer-based tests (measuring attention, impulsivity and activity).

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Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme

The Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP) is a national programme aimed at improving the safety and outcomes of mental health care by reducing unwarranted variation and providing a high-quality healthcare experience for all people across the system by March 2024.

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Mental Health Research

Mental Health Research

KSS AHSN supports Kent Surrey and Sussex Applied Research Collaboration (ARC KSS) to implement research in mental health

Find out more about Children and Young People’s Mental Health research  – Starting Well: Children’s Mental Health | ARC KSS ( and mental health research through primary and community health care – Primary & Community Services | ARC Kent, Surrey & Sussex (

Find out more about ARC KSS

Local Programmes

CYP Digital Mental Health

Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN in partnerships with YMCA Downslink group worked with young people from across Sussex to make recommendations aimed at improving digital mental health services in a new report.

Find out more here

New training programme

Building on the recommendations made in the 2021 CYP Digital Mental Health Review, e-wellbeing (YMCA DownsLink Group), KSS AHSN and Unity Insights have developed a new Digital Mental Health Communications Training Programme. The course provides an overview of digital communications channels, how to engage children and young people via digital channels, and diversity and inclusion best practice associated with digital communications.

Funded by Health Education England, this training was attended by the Sussex children and young people’s workforce and delivered by e-wellbeing staff and Youth Ambassadors; young people aged 16-25 who are passionate about youth mental health and wellbeing.

Visit the YMCA Downslink e-wellbeing website to download the full evaluation report, training toolkit and supporting resources.


Whole School Approach

KSS AHSN is leading a best practice review of the whole school approach (WSA) within mental health support teams (MHSTs). The work aims to identify the added value and impact of MHSTs on the WSA across the South East and East of England. The review will support the development of impact measures for the MHST model. This will be important in providing evidence of its effectiveness, as well as adding to the overarching evidence relating to whole school interventions.

Find out more about the work here

Youth Summit

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN), NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) in partnership with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) organised an event for key stakeholders across Sussex to pledge their support and help develop ambitions around community-based emotional wellbeing and mental health youth interventions for 16-25 year olds.

Find out the outcomes from the summit here

Click here to see the full-size image of the visual minutes of the Youth Summit.


Surrey CYP Roadshow

Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN), NIHR Kent Surrey and Sussex Applied Research Collaborative (ARC KSS), Surrey Heartlands ICS (SyH) and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SaBP) came together to plan and put on a roadshow, to highlight the priorities for Children and Young People in Surrey and shine a light on the art of the possible when it comes to innovation in health and care.

Find out more about the work here

Improving Student Mental Health

Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSN and representatives from across health services, higher education sector and students have come together to discuss ways to improve local students’ wellbeing and mental health.

Find out more about the outcomes of this programme here

Meet the Team

Becca Randell

Becca Randell

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Implementation Lead – Starting Well (Children’s Mental Health)

Ellie Mason

Ellie Mason

Programme Manager

Sam Fraser

Sam Fraser

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Implementation Lead, Primary and Community Care

Ursula Clarke

Ursula Clarke

Patient Safety Lead - Kent, Surrey & Sussex Patient Safety Improvement Programmes