Over the years, Suffolk Mind’s research team have been gathering anonymous data from the local population asking people how well they are meeting their Emotional Needs
Suffolk Mind’s research team gathers anonymous data from the local community to measure and analyse the mental health of individuals, the wider population and organisations.
Our validated wellbeing measure, the Emotional Needs Audit, provides an invaluable insight into mental health in Suffolk. It not only measures how well people are, but also why they are at that level of wellbeing and what they need to support them.
All of our research is based on the Emotional Needs & Resources approach, and assesses how well needs are being met within Suffolk.
Because of this, we are been able to compare this data year-on-year, to see how Suffolk’s mental health is affected over time.
Did you know?
- Mental health in Suffolk is the lowest it’s been since we started measuring in March 2020. That’s even worse than at any point during the pandemic
- The biggest factors are people’s finances, their relationships and their work (or lack of)
- Most affected are those who are unemployed or unable to work, those living with disability, and LGBT+ individuals
- Since the war in Ukraine, people who report a religious belief are much more likely to be well
- Since the cost-of-living crisis, respondents are reporting that their relationships are a much greater barrier to their wellbeing
Your own mental health
Our approach to mental health focuses around the idea that in the same way that we all have physical needs we need to meet to stay physically well (to sleep enough, move enough, drink enough water etc) we have emotional needs we need to stay emotionally well.
They include the need to have enough control and security in our lives, to feel connected to others and to have meaning and purpose.
Emotional Needs Audit
The Emotional Needs Audit (or Survey) is a psychometric, multi-dimensional tool for understanding wellbeing. We like it because as well as being a good, robust measure of wellbeing, it is also a good tool for individuals to use, to help them better understand their own wellbeing.
The emotional health of demographic or geographic groups
We started measuring the emotional health of the Suffolk population in 2016, but really ramped up our data collection with the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020. Understanding what needs were and were not met during each phase of the pandemic enabled us to provide more accurate support to those who needed it the most – be that information or services.
Our research also helps us with funding applications, so we can evidence the issues we’re trying to address.
These efforts have included:
- We saw the need for value dip in the first lockdown among industries who were working, but who were not being clapped on Thursdays. So, in partnership with Suffolk County Council, Healthwatch and other stakeholders, we started the ‘Suffolk Says Thanks’ campaign
- How well people felt connected to the wider community dipped dramatically as we continued through 2020. We saw this most acutely in those who were clinically vulnerable and/or living alone. We started the Suffolk PenPals service (now closed), to support more people to meet their needs for emotional connection and community
- We’re currently looking to develop a peer support group for LGBT+ individuals living in Suffolk
If you work with a particular demographic group (i.e. young people, or individuals who don’t identify as male or female) or in a specific location, and think this data could help inform or measure the effect of the work that you do, please get in touch, and we’ll see how we can help.
If your enquiry is to do with a school or workplace, find out more about our Wellbeing Culture Programme available from our training brand – The Mental Health Toolkit – via the button below.
Our general research and evaluation services
We have been measuring the effect of our services and our organisation for years. We know what appropriate and accessible questionnaires look like and:
- What genuinely usable information is
- How to use data to develop services or offers
- How to market market these services or offers effectively
- Creating systems to alert us to when clinical action needs to be taken
Are you interested in Suffolk Mind providing research and evaluation services your organisation, or a specific service? Get in touch with our Research team today.
How and why we do this research
At Suffolk Mind, we want to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health. Our research provides the backbone of how we do that. The more we understand mental health in the county, the more we can learn from it and build services to support it. Equally, by understanding what’s not working and for who, we can aim to address this.
The information we collect to inform this includes the Emotional Needs Audit. This comprises 15 questions on how well met needs are – scored from -3 to 3, a section of barriers (what in people’s environments presents a barrier to them being well), a demographics form (so we can understand more about who’s more and less well) and a section asking people to be part of future research.
We collect this data through our online presence primarily. This includes our website, our social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and through Google Ads. We also regularly partner with other organisations and individuals, who can help us get the word out to populations who we can’t reach as easily.
If you think you might be able to help us spread the word about this research, please do feel free to circulate the survey link. If you would like more information or support to do this, please email us.
Suffolk County Council partnership
Suffolk Mind and Suffolk County Council worked in partnership on an exciting research project, which concluded at the end of August 2023.
We gathered a huge amount of data using our Emotional Needs Audit, which the council continues to use to inform action plans and strategy work. It is aimed at supporting different groups and communities to better meet their Emotional Needs in order to avoid mental ill-health in the future.
We are still gathering data for our own use to inform the way we move forward and what provision we provide. If you have a moment, please consider completing our Emotional Needs Audit.
And, if you are interested in the findings from the project, please take a look at our Wellbeing Reports 2023.
Find out more about our research
Find out more about our research and what we are doing every day to help change the stigma of mental health, please contact us today