en English

Suffolk Mind releases video to highlight men’s mental health during Men’s Health Week

Suffolk Mind has released a video of four men who live and work in Suffolk talking about their own mental health during Men’s Health Week (10-16 June).

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter, Wayne Bavin, Suffolk Mind CEO, Jon Neal, Suffolk Mind volunteer Lambert Dangmaa and Suffolk Food Hall Butchery Supervisor and Suffolk Mind fundraiser, Craig Bullard have all spoken openly about their own experiences in the three minute video to highlight the importance of men’s mental health.

Craig Bullard said: “I feel men’s health is a subject that isn’t spoken of enough in the country let alone the county. I’ve had some help from Suffolk Mind before but not to the extent that others have. I think it’s important to have the opportunity to speak to someone as it can have a bigger influence than people believe.

“I’m proud to be from Suffolk and a proud dad and so I want our county to be the best it can be for talking about and taking care of mental health right now and for our future generations.”

Men’s Health Week is run by The Men’s Health Forum and this year the focus is men’s health by numbers. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 50 in the UK and 3 out of 4 suicides are by men (1). In Suffolk in 2017, 61 people took their own life through suicide (2).

Jon Neal said: “All too often, men’s mental health campaigns focus on encouraging men to talk. That can certainly help, but some men, and women for that matter, just don’t want to talk about their feelings.

“So instead, we try to educate everyone about the emotional needs we all have that must be met in order to stay well. Stress is nature’s way of telling us a need is not being met. If we know that, we can spot the first signs of stress in ourselves and those around us and then identify the unmet need and hopefully figure out a way to get that need met.

“By making this video, we want to highlight that everyone has mental health, just as we have physical health. And we can all look after our mental health better, if we can spot the signs of stress.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 10th June 2019

Suffolk Mind and Fire Security Ltd nominated for national award

Suffolk Mind has been nominated for  an award  in recognition of its workplace wellbeing programmes at a national ceremony in London.

Suffolk Mind was shortlisted at the Employee Benefits Awards Ceremony alongside Haverhill based company, Fire Security Ltd who the charity has been working with on a Wellbeing Performance Programme.

As part of this programme, Suffolk Mind aims to increase and measure staff mental wellbeing to improve their performance, reduce absences and increase the motivation of employees. 

Jon Neal, CEO at Suffolk Mind said: “Research by Deloitte has found that employers who focus on creating a workplace culture that’s good for mental wellbeing see a return on their investment of 8:1. Fire Security Ltd is one of those forward thinking employers that puts the wellbeing of their team at the forefront of their priorities.

“Questionnaires were sent to each member of staff asking them to rate how well they are meeting their emotional needs. The questionnaire also asks for any environmental barriers and supporting factors to staff meeting their needs.

“Data is then presented back to the leadership team and together, we action it with the aim of creating cultural change. Change to better support their staff to meet their needs, by removing the environmental barriers and build on supporting factors.

“It’s an excellent programme, and we are really grateful to Fire Security Ltd for working with us on it.”

Fire Security is one of a number of organisations who are participating in Suffolk Mind’s Wellbeing Performance programme, as the charity works to influence the culture in Suffolk to make it the best place in the world to talk about and take care of mental wellbeing.

Richard Pipe, Director of Fire Security Ltd said: “Working with Suffolk Mind is a thoroughly enlightening and valuable process and one which provides a multitude of benefits for our staff on a professional and personal level. The Wellbeing Performance Programme has allowed us to gauge and support our staff’s wellbeing and to implement small and large changes to their working environment and culture.  This forms a major part of our company’s ongoing wellbeing strategy.

“We’re really proud to have been shortlisted for the Employee Benefits ‘best health and wellbeing initiative for small employer’ Award”.

Suffolk Mind and Fire Security Ltd were nominated for the ‘best health and wellbeing initiative for small employer’ at the awards ceremony in London on Friday 7th June. They were up against tough competition like Carlsberg UK and OneWeb.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 10th June 2019

Suffolk Mind staff to become Dementia Friends during Dementia Action Week

Staff at Suffolk Mind are training to become Dementia Friends during Dementia Action Week this May (20-26).

Becoming a Dementia Friend means that you learn more about what it’s like to live with dementia. There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in England. In Suffolk, it is estimated that 12,800 people are living with dementia (1).

Dementia Action Week is organised every year by the Alzheimer’s Society. Its aim is to unite people, workplaces, schools and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia. Suffolk Mind staff will be joining the 2.5 million people who are already Dementia Friends.

Dawn Williams works for Suffolk Mind and is carrying out the Dementia Friend training: “As a volunteer Dementia Friends Champion, I think it’s important for everyone to become a Dementia Friend to raise awareness. I am proud to be part of a growing network of people helping to create dementia friendly communities across England.

“The Dementia Friends sessions take just an hour, to learn about the small ways you can help.  From telling friends about the Dementia Friend programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia. Every action counts”.

Suffolk Mind launched a new service in 2018 called the Suffolk Young Dementia Network to support people in Suffolk who have traits, or a diagnosis, of young onset dementia. Figures suggest that those who live with the condition may be up to 6-9% of all people with dementia. The charity currently facilitates monthly meet-ups for people aged between 30 and 60 who are living with dementia.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 20th May 2019


We want to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental wellbeing.

This means creating environments that enable people to get their physical and emotional needs met in healthy ways; a county in which trauma is identified and treated early, professionals are highly motivated, and people who use services feel that they are taken seriously.

Suffolk has seen a genuine and concerted effort to shift the conversation around mental health over the last year. At the heart of this has been the pioneering engagement process to develop a Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy for the future of Suffolk. The series of consultation events saw a broad range of organisations and individuals taking part in the conversation. 


As part of that conversation, Suffolk Mind wrote a policy paper ‘Transforming Mental Health Systems in Suffolk Towards a mentally healthy culture: a shared agreement & basic principles’.

The paper reflects the emotional needs and resources model which sits as the heart of Suffolk Mind’s approach to mental health, and how it can promote clear-thinking around policy and service development. The paper was well received across mental health systems and has strongly influenced thinking and conversation. If you would like to read the paper yourself, or reference it for your own work, you can download it for free here here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 15th May 2019

Suffolk Food Hall staff run more miles for Suffolk Mind

Staff at the Suffolk Food Hall in Ipswich are running more miles for mental health charity, Suffolk Mind by taking on the Orwell Challenge this June.

Some of the team will be running 25 miles to raise as much money as possible. It’s after they completed their own challenge in January, where they ran every day for seven days to raise £1,268.84 for Suffolk Mind. They ran the distance on a treadmill in the exit lobby at the Food Hall in Wherstead.

Suffolk Food Hall has chosen Suffolk Mind as one of their chosen charities for 2019 and will be taking part in lots of activities throughout the year to raise money for the charity.

Craig Bullard is the Suffolk Food Hall event coordinator and butchery supervisor: “I’m so chuffed and proud that Suffolk Mind is our chosen charity for 2019. Three of us will be taking part in the Orwell Challenge for them, adding to the miles we have already ran for Suffolk Mind, with our overall aim of reaching 100 miles within the year. The Orwell Challenge is a great event where we’ll feel the benefits of exercise on our own wellbeing as well as promoting Suffolk Mind at the same time.

“We can’t wait to continue planning our other events throughout the year and create a special bond between Suffolk Mind and Suffolk Food Hall.”

The Orwell Challenge is being held on Sunday 23rd June 2019 and you can run or walk one of three main routes which range from 12 miles to 25 miles. If you’d like to get involved and raise money for Suffolk Mind, visit our website.

Lizzy Tuthill, Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Craig and the team at Suffolk Food Hall are taking part in the Orwell Challenge to raise money for Suffolk Mind. It’s a fantastic challenge and we’d like to encourage others to get involved to feel the benefit of exercise and movement on your wellbeing. If you want to have a new challenge to look forward to, keep motivated and make new friends, then the Orwell Challenge could be for you.

“Money raised from challenges like this goes towards things like subsidising our counselling services, so they are available to people who can’t afford to wait or go private, and our GreenCare project, that get people out and about working on allotments, learning new skills and meeting up with likeminded people.”

The Suffolk Food Hall Team have also produced a Suffolk Mind sausage where £1 from each pound (lb) sold goes to the charity. It’s on sale from today (Friday 10th May), and is a camomile tea and ginger flavour.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 10th May 2019

Lord Dennis Stevenson announced as Patron of Suffolk Mind

Dennis Stevenson (The Lord Stevenson of Coddenham CBE) has today been announced as the first Patron of independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind.

Dennis, who is a serial entrepreneur and has also chaired large companies such as Pearson, HBOS and GPA, is a long time mental health campaigner as a result of his own experience of depression.

He said: “I jumped at the opportunity of helping Suffolk Mind.  It is for me a happy coincidence that one of the leading organisations in the UK concerned with mental health happens to be based in my wife’s home county where we live part of the time.  I look forward to helping Suffolk Mind and its service users in any way I can.”

Dennis was the Founding Chair of MQ: Transforming Mental Health, a charity which supports research in mental health. He also led – alongside the CEO of Mind nationally, Paul Farmer – an independent review into workplace mental health commissioned by the Prime Minister in 2017. The report, Thriving at Work, looks at how employers can better support all employees, including those with poor mental health, remain in and thrive at work. The Government has announced that it will implement all 14 recommendations.

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind said: “We are so pleased to have Dennis on board as our Patron.

“The work he conducted for the Government with Paul Farmer around workplace wellbeing chimes very loudly with our own approach and strategy. We believe cultural change and a focus on prevention is the best way to maximise returns on investment in mental health.

“Dennis will help us in achieving our mission of making Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 15th April 2019

Suffolk Mind launches new service to help people with mental health issues to gain or retain employment

Suffolk Mind has launched a new service in Ipswich and Felixstowe to help people with mental health issues gain or retain employment.

Suffolk Work Well is a free service providing a supportive back-to-work system, one-to-one support sessions with a dedicated Case Worker and better in-work support through a Personal Wellbeing Plan. The programme will be tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of the individual and will enable people to understand their emotional needs in order to stay well.

Almost one in three people have experienced mental health problems while in employment and mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK. (1)

Tony Wooderson, Suffolk Work Well Co-ordinator said: “We know that appropriate work, combined with the right support, is good for people’s mental health. Suffolk Work Well will fill the gap that we identified after engaging with some people who have previously used Suffolk Mind’s services  who could not find the continued support to manage their wellbeing once they had obtained employment. Suffolk Work Well was a logical step in the variety of services that Suffolk Mind offers.

“What we think makes Suffolk Work Well unique is that we support the client even once they gain employment and where appropriate liaise with employers. That support continues because we know a new job can bring added pressure that could affect ones wellbeing.

“We are really excited to run this pilot in Suffolk; we will provide individually tailored support for clients regardless of where they are in their employment journey.”

This project is funded for two years from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund. To self-refer or for more information visit the Suffolk Mind website. You can also be referred through your Jobcentre, your HR Team, your GP, Support Worker, Care Coordinator or Psychiatrist who can email the service suffolkworkwell@suffolkmind.org.uk to gain referral forms.


*(1) Source: Time to Change

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 15th March 2019

Staff at Suffolk Food Hall raise more than £1,200 for Suffolk Mind

Staff at the Suffolk Food Hall in Ipswich have completed a mammoth challenge of running every day for seven days to raise £1,268.84 for independent mental health charity Suffolk Mind.

Seven members of the team ran the distance on a treadmill in the exit lobby at the Food Hall in Wherstead in January.

Craig Bullard, event coordinator and butchery supervisor, organised the challenge: “It was a fantastic effort from everyone: the runners, the shop floor team promoting and supporting co-workers and all the customers who donated and motivated us throughout our event. The target was to raise as much money as possible, and I am so chuffed with our final figure and more importantly, raising awareness of the significance of Suffolk Mind in our county. 

“The idea of running 24 miles a day, 7 days a week was to try and emphasise how Suffolk Mind is working 24/7, helping individuals and groups across the whole spectrum of mental health. It was a way we could be there 24/7 for them.

“On a personal note, this charity means a lot to me so I’d like to thank Suffolk Food Hall for joining me in this experience to make it such a success. A massive thank you for all donations we received, the sound of coins or in fact notes being folded and put into the tin was the biggest motivation of all.”

Suffolk Food Hall has also announced that Suffolk Mind will be one of their chosen charities for 2019.

Craig continued: “The news that we are going to continue working with the charity this year just fills me with pride, it was an honour to represent Suffolk Mind and I look forward to the next adventure.”

Lizzy Tuthill, Community Fundraising Coordinator said: “We can’t thank the team at Suffolk Food Hall enough for completing such a tough challenge – nearly 7 marathons in as many days is an absolutely amazing achievement.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Craig and the team and we are very proud of what they have achieved so far. We are so pleased that Suffolk Food Hall have chosen to support Suffolk Mind for the rest of the year with some new challenges and activities along the way and we look forward to building on the relationship and working together throughout 2019.

 “Money raised goes towards helping Suffolk Mind to achieve our aim of making Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health. Specifically support like this enables us to subsidise our counselling services, so they are available to people who can’t afford to wait or go private, and our ecotherapy projects, that get people out and about working on allotments, learning new skills and meeting up with like minded people.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 15th February 2019

Suffolk Mind launches new Suffolk Young Dementia Network

Suffolk Mind is launching a new peer support group to help people who have traits or a diagnosis of young onset dementia.

The Suffolk Young Dementia Network comes off the back of a 6 month service launched by Suffolk Mind last summer, for people aged between 30 and 65 who are living with dementia in Suffolk.  Figures suggest that those who live with the condition may be up to 6-9% of all people with dementia. Overall in Suffolk, it is estimated that 12,800 people are living with dementia (1).

The group will be based in different areas of Suffolk on a monthly basis and is a gathering point for younger people with dementia and their carers to offer support to each other.

Peter Berry who will be using the Suffolk Young Dementia Network was diagnosed with dementia when he was 50 year’s old: “When I was told I had dementia, I didn’t think it was going to be that bad and I thought I could deal with it. However, when you get home and think about the enormity of what the future will hold, it lays heavy on your shoulders. I got very depressed and down about it, in the first 12 months, me and my wife hardly told anybody, I felt embarrassed.

“One of the key things that I and so many other people in my position lack is peer support; having some sort of network with people in the same age group is very important. Peer support networks don’t just help people with dementia, it can actually save lives. It can save people from depression; it can save families and give people a sense of worth. It gives people something to look forward to and for some it can be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Peter’s wife Teresa Berry said: “This has been something that we’ve wanted for so long – I have never met a single person in Suffolk in the same boat as we are – it’s so isolating. To have a group that will hopefully grow and spread would be wonderful”.

The launch of the Suffolk Young Dementia Network is being held at DanceEast in Ipswich on Sunday 17th February 2019, 11am – 1pm. There will be a pop-up games café for all abilities and refreshments.

Sue Gray, Suffolk Young Dementia Network Co-ordinator said: “When you are younger than the perceived age to ‘get’ dementia it’s frightening to go to the doctor and explore why your memory and planning abilities seem to be changing – and then possibly being told that you have Dementia. Dementia is a life changing condition at any age but when you are young it is all the more difficult to take in and adjust to.

“We want people to be able to meet others in a similar situation – either face to face, via email or over the phone, and be able to exchange support and information.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 13th February 2019

Suffolk Mind works with schools to improve mental health in young people

Suffolk Mind has been working with schools to help children understand more about their mental health.

The independent mental health charity is currently piloting a project called EARLY Minds (Emotional Awareness & Resilience Learnt Young) to teach young people (from Year 1 upwards), their teachers, parents and carers about their emotional needs and how to improve their wellbeing.

Charlie Green, the lead trainer on the EARLY Minds project at Suffolk Mind said: “This project is still in the development stages, but is already making a difference. The children are really engaging and enjoying what we teach and how we teach.

“One of our main aims is to raise awareness of what it means to be emotionally and physically well. It is interesting that if you ask any child from five upwards what a plant needs to be well, they can answer straight away – sunlight, water and food. But ask them about what humans need to be well and they are not so sure. This is what we aim to change across the county.

“EARLY Minds educates and inspires children by increasing their understanding of emotional wellbeing as well as teaching techniques to be able to calm strong emotions, think clearly and empathise with others. Through story telling, working in small groups and group discussions, the sessions are interactive, thought provoking and enjoyable for the children”.

Suffolk Mind has worked with schools such as Laureate Community Academy, Sidegate Primary, Saxmundham Primary and Holbrook Academy.

Nicola Shelley, Deputy Headteacher at Holbrook Academy said: “We approached Suffolk Mind whilst reflecting on what we currently offer in school to support young people’s mental health. 

“Straight away they were able to discuss their philosophy and offer us advice, guidance and practical support.  Suffolk Mind and Gecko Theatre Company ran a fantastic workshop with students at Holbrook during which young people could openly discuss and explore the issues affecting them”. 

Suffolk Mind is currently marking Children’s Mental Heath week (4th February – 10th February) by offering help and advice to parents and carers on social media. A blog and video have been released explaining a technique called dragon breathing, aimed to calm people down. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for more details.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 6th February 2019

Fundraising Events

Accreditations & Awards