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Our Approach to Mental Health

All of us have mental health, just as we have physical health. We are all on the mental health continuum – and we move up and down it depending on how we cope with the challenges of life and the stresses that it creates.

Suffolk Mind works across the continuum, from wellbeing to ‘severe and enduring’ mental ill-health, providing support & information for everyone.

The Mental Health Continuum

Having a good state of wellbeing sits at one end of the continuum, where people feel able to cope with challenges without becoming overwhelmed. Your Emotional Needs are met in balance.

Stress is the crossover point bewteen wellbeing and mental ill health. Too much anxiety, depression and other conditions.

When people are exposed to stress over a long period of time, they can begin to feel anxious and risk developing anxiety disorders. 1 in 4 of us experience mild-to-moderate anxiety and/or depression in any given year

Anxiety Disorders include: PTSD, OCD, Phobias, Panic Attacks and Insomnia

People experiencing depression may appear to be down and flat. However, depression is a highly Emotional state. When we become Emotional we are less able to think clearly – access to Rational Thinking is reduced – which is why people experiencing strong depression often find concentrating on tasks or making decisions difficult.

People diagnosed with bipolar disorder experience swings in mood, from periods of overactive, excited behaviour known as mania or the manic phase, to deep depression. Everybody experiences mood shifts in daily life, but with bipolar disorder these changes are extreme. 1 in 10 of us will experience severe mental ill health in our lifetime.

Borderline personality disorders are mental health conditions which affect people in some of the following ways:

  • Being easily overwhelmed by strong Emotions such as distress, anxiety, anger or feelings of low self-esteem
  • Avoiding other people
  • Seeking Control over strong Emotions through self-harm
  • By becoming very attached to a romantic partner in a short space of time, then ‘pushing’ them away before they can be let down

Schizophrenia is a diagnosis given to people who experience a range of symptoms which fall into one of two groups:

  • Loss of motivation, flat emotional expression, loss of the ability to take pleasure from activities the person used to enjoy, difficulty with moving and sometimes physical tremors akin to parkinsonism.
  • Psychotic symptoms which include delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations – hearing and seeing things which other people don’t – holding unusual beliefs
  • and disordered thoughts.

Psychotic symptoms can also accompany severe depression and bipolar disorder, which makes diagnosis difficult. People who have experienced psychotic symptoms may be more at risk of depression as a result.

When suffering mental ill health, the most likely outcome is recovery – a reason to be optimistic.

The Emotional Needs and Resources

To influence our services and products we use an ‘organising idea’: that we all have physical and emotional needs and a set of skills and resources that we’re born with to meet those needs. This is referred to as the Emotional Needs & Resources Model.

We have 12 physical and emotional needs, including attention, control, emotional connection, respect, food and drink, achievement, sleep, security, community, meaning and purpose, privacy, movement.

Our priorities

  • Our education programme – rolled out online, through schools, businesses, statutory services and elsewhere – will help people understand that they have emotional needs that must be met in order to stay mentally well.
  • By focusing more time and effort on helping people keep themselves well, we hope the resources of the county can be spent in such a way that the NHS is there to help you when you need it.
  • We will be relentless in encouraging a similar emphasis on prevention among all organisations we interact with. We will encourage employers to recruit and value people with mental health issues, thus securing better outcomes for the employees and for the profits of those businesses.

Annual Report

For more information please click the link below to read our most recent annual report and financial statements.

Annual Accounts 2018

Accreditations & Awards

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