en English

Suffolk Mind officially launches programme to help prevent mental ill health in primary school children

On World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October 2019), Suffolk Mind has officially launched a one-of-a kind-programme to help prevent mental ill health in Suffolk primary school children.

The independent mental health charity hosted an EARLY (Emotional Awareness and Resilience Learnt Young) Minds session with St Helen’s Primary School at Quay Place, Ipswich on Thursday 10th October between 10am and 11.30am.

According to major new research conducted by Mind, three in five young people (11-19 years of age) have either experienced a mental health problem themselves, or are close to someone who has and half of all mental health problems have been established by the age of 14, rising to 75% by the age of 24.

Suffolk Mind wants to teach young people (from Year 1 upwards), their teachers, parents and carers about their emotional needs and how to improve their wellbeing. The charity hopes this approach will prevent mental ill health from occurring in the future.

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind said, “EARLY Minds is part of a whole school approach which is different to others in that it teaches people how to prevent mental ill health, moving beyond teaching them to spot the signs of people already unwell.

“Current Government plans and campaigns simply deal with the symptoms of unmet emotional needs, rather than working on the causes of mental ill health.

“By focusing so much attention on things like Mental Health First Aid, they are ignoring the real issues. The pressure we are putting on our children and young people is impacting their needs for security, control and respect. And the prevalence and reliance upon screens is harming their needs for attention and achievement.”

Suffolk Mind has been piloting the project for around two years, working with schools such as Laureate Community Academy, Saxmundham Primary and Sidegate Lane Primary.

Charlie Green, the lead trainer on the Early Minds project at Suffolk Mind said: “This programme educates and inspires children by increasing their understanding of emotional wellbeing as well as teaching techniques, such as dragon breathing, to be able to calm strong emotions, think clearly and empathise with others. They’ll learn skills that they can take home and teach their families, through story telling, working in small groups and group discussions. The sessions are interactive, thought provoking and enjoyable for the children.”


Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 14th October 2019

Suffolk Mind hosts event to help people get back into work

Suffolk Mind is hosting an event for people looking for support and guidance to get themselves back into the workplace.

The free Return to Work event is being held at Quay Place, Ipswich on Wednesday 25 September, 10am – 3pm. There will be confidence workshops, CV and interview advice from recruitment experts polkadotfrog, plus workshops from Suffolk Mind explaining how people can keep themselves mentally well by meeting their emotional needs.

Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, Jon Neal said: “We all have mental health, and we all have the same emotional needs that must be met in order to stay well and not stressed. Work, or volunteering, can provide opportunities to meet all sorts of needs like Meaning and Purpose, Achievement, Community and Status, for example.

“Sometimes it can be a very stressful experience to even apply for a new job, let alone attend an interview, perhaps for the first time in many years, or start a new role. This is because we’re not fully in control of what will happen, and we can get anxious about an unknown or unfamiliar environment.

“We want to offer as much guidance and assistance as possible to people in Suffolk who are looking to get back to work.”

We will be offering people the chance to pick up a piece of clothing from our pre-loved rail for their interviews and working life with a stylist on hand to help you chose the right outfit.

It’s also an opportunity to meet the Suffolk Mind volunteering team.

Volunteer Manager, Corrina Hanley said: “If you’re not quite ready to jump straight back into the workplace, volunteering is an excellent way of developing your confidence and gaining experience to help you in the future. Many of our volunteers who have come to join the team at Suffolk Mind have moved on to gain employment.

“We have many volunteering opportunities at Suffolk Mind from administration roles to support staff and Christmas Elves. There are more details on our website.”

Anyone can come along to the Return to Work event at Quay Place. Our workshops are free to attend but booking is recommended. To book your place and for more details click here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 23rd September 2019

Suffolk Mind opens its doors to raise awareness and money for its GreenCare project

Suffolk Mind is opening its doors at its base in Bury St Edmunds (Oriental House, 5 St Andrews Street North) on Saturday 21st September between 10am and 1pm to raise awareness and money for its vital GreenCare project.

GreenCare is a service which runs four allotment projects across Suffolk, including in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Haverhill and Hadleigh. They are places where people can come together as a group to improve their physical and mental health by gently increasing their activity levels, working alongside others.

Greencare Manager, Sarah Manton-Roseblade said: “For many of our participants this may be the only day of the week where they meet with others. Coming to our allotments gives people a sense of meaning and purpose, achievement and enables them to feel part of a community. They can grow produce, learn more about gardening and just enjoy a cup of tea.

“Anyone can self-refer for the GreenCare service, just visit our website.

In feedback received from a Suffolk Mind evaluation, a participant said: “GreenCare has allowed me to practice socialising and building skills in anticipation of returning to work at some point. It is a safe space within which I am rebuilding my confidence to help me improve working skills in the future. I do not know of any other service that could provide me with such a safe space.”

Our GreenCare project is one of the hardest to source funding for; every year we need to raise £12,000 in order to provide a professional and safe environment that participants can benefit from. That’s why we are hosting a ‘Doors Open Day’ at our office in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 21st September between 10am and 1pm. It’s also a chance to showcase the wider work of Suffolk Mind.

Join us for:

  • A plant sale with produce from our allotments
  • Children’s fun activities
  • An art display by our art group
  • A community art project
  • A raffle with excellent prizes
  • Free tea, coffee and cake
  • And learn more about what we do and why we do it!

There’s no need to book to attend the ‘Doors Open Day’. It is being held at Oriental House, 5 St Andrews Street North, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1TZ.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 18th September 2019

Suffolk Mind service for people with a Borderline Personality Disorder doubles in size

Suffolk Mind has expanded its innovative service for people with a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), to help a hundred more people a year across Suffolk. 

Waves, funded directly by the NHS in Suffolk, provides a safe and supportive environment for people, giving them a chance to learn new skills to help them maintain their own mental wellbeing. It also helps people with a diagnosis or traits of Borderline Personality Disorder, build their confidence and self-esteem and enables clients to make positive connections and achieve personal goals.

Waves had previously been running weekly sessions in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich but will now be operating two further days in Ipswich as well as opening new groups in Felixstowe and Haverhill. 160 people a year will now be helped, compared to the 60 being seen previously.

Helen Shenton, Waves Manager, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve received this funding from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to more than double the Waves service.

“It’s an innovative service that is much needed by the community of Suffolk. Extra funding means the service becomes more accessible to people in different areas of Suffolk, as well as reducing our current waiting list by half.

“This is a great opportunity to increase understanding and awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder and to continue to support the mental wellbeing of Suffolk residents.”

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 and feeling a lack of emotional connection with others
  • Seeking control over strong emotions through self-harm (for example, abusing drugs and alcohol, or taking overdoses) or, in rare cases, threatening other people
  • Becoming very attached to someone in a short space of time, before ‘pushing’ them away before they can be let down

Suffolk County Council estimates* around 84,000 people in Suffolk “have enough traits of personality disorder to justify further investigation.”

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “It’s great that the NHS has funded the expansion of this effective and popular service as part of the review of mental health services undertaken over the last 18 months. We hope to be able to expand further in future years to meet the need that’s been identified across the county.”

If you have a diagnosis of or traits of a Borderline Personality Disorder you can self-refer for the Waves service here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 16th September 2019

Suffolk Mind to support those struggling with their mental health at an event on World Suicide Prevention Day

Suffolk Mind is hosting a free event on World Suicide Prevention Day for people and their families, friends and co-workers to get help – from the first sign of mental ill health through to crisis point.

The drop-in event  on Tuesday 10th September is at Quay Place in Ipswich. A number of key agencies will be in attendance including The Samaritans, 4YP (Suffolk Youth Project), Julian Support and Public Health Suffolk. There will also be a number of workshops people can attend including ‘An Introduction to Emotional Needs and Resources’, ‘Talking about bereavement’ and ‘Link between domestic abuse and suicide’.

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Suffolk, approximately one person takes their own life every week.

The Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, Jon Neal said: “This is the second year we are hosting an event on World Suicide Prevention Day, as we want to continue to give invaluable support to those who need it.

“Among other things, we are offering people the chance to learn more about their emotional needs and how to meet them to stay mentally well. The loss of emotional connection is often a big risk factor for suicide; perhaps losing a relationship in a break-up or bereavement. If a person seems withdrawn socially, it may be an early indicator that they are experiencing depression, a symptom of which can be suicidal thoughts.”

The event is free to attend and runs between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Tuesday 10th September. Anyone can drop-in for support, however, prior booking on workshops is recommended here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 6th September 2019

Suffolk Mind launches support service for people who identify as transgender and non-binary

Suffolk Mind has launched a new weekly support project which aims to improve the wellbeing and emotional health of people who identify as transgender and non-binary.

Evolve Trans is available to all Suffolk residents over the age of 18 who are questioning their gender, on a transitioning journey or who have transitioned. It’s a service to help people feel supported in a safe environment, learn about their emotional needs and potentially forge new friendships

The weekly sessions will be made up of one-to-one appointments, peer support, creative activities, and group work that focuses on wellbeing, emotional health and self-reflection such as understanding relationships and dealing with stress.

Evolve Trans Coordinator, Emily Davey said: “This is a fantastic project which will enable the transgender and non-binary population of Suffolk to get their voice heard. Evolve Trans aims to promote and support  individual needs and bring like-minded people together, helping to prevent any potential isolation and promote positive mental health. We hope to provide happiness, safety, and new friends to drink coffee with. ”

Suffolk Mind was awarded a grant from Pubic Health Suffolk to fund the Evolve Trans service. There are only 30 spaces available on the project which will run for a year. You can self-refer to join the service here. 

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 28th August 2019

Raise your heart-beat and funds for Suffolk Mind in the 2020 Virgin London Marathon

For the first time, mental health charity Suffolk Mind has been awarded a place in the Virgin London Marathon and they want to offer it to a member of the Suffolk community.

The place is open to applications from anybody over the age of 18 and living or working in Suffolk who wants to contribute to Suffolk Mind’s mission of making Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health. 

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

Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind, Lizzy Tuthill said: “We’re delighted to have received a place in the 2020 Virgin London Marathon and we’re excited to offer this to a member of the Suffolk community.

“All we ask of this person is to raise a minimum of £1,000 for Suffolk Mind and to help us shout as loud as possible about the amazing challenge they will undertake. We at Suffolk Mind will support you every step of the way.”

The Virgin London Marathon is being held on Sunday 26th April 2020. Applications for the one and only place for Suffolk Mind close at midnight on Sunday 8th September 2019 and the selected candidate will be informed on Monday 16th September 2019.

To apply for the place, click here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 24th July 2019

New collaborative working agreements will benefit the health and wellbeing of Suffolk communities

Abbeycroft Leisure has signed two 5-year collaborative working agreements with Suffolk Mind and Allied Health Professionals Suffolk, with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Suffolk.

The aim of each agreement is to ensure that wherever there is an opportunity to provide joined up solutions that involve improving the mental and physical health of Suffolk residents through initiatives that involve physical activity we work together and not in competition. This will ensure that the clients and patients of each organisation will receive the very best outcomes for their health and wellbeing.

All three organisations have significant but different levels of expertise and resource, and the agreements will ensure that these specialisms are used to the maximum benefit for clients and members.

Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “We’re so pleased to be working collaboratively with both organisations and we’re excited about what we can achieve together.

Sharing our expertise, knowledge and resources will not only drive innovation, but importantly it will maximise our ability to help our communities’ live longer and healthier lives.”

“It’s especially important to our partners to know that whenever a health or wellbeing problem exists they only need talk to one of us and we will work together, not in competition, to come up with a solution. Being committed to smart partnerships such as this, makes perfect sense”

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “Suffolk Mind wants to make Suffolk the best place in the world to talk about and take care of mental health. To make this a reality, we need to work with excellent local partners like Abbeycroft Leisure. We are so pleased to be teaming up with one of the leading sports and fitness providers in Suffolk, combining their excellent sports and fitness knowledge with our mental health expertise to enable people in the community to access advice around movement and wellbeing together.”

“We all know the benefits of movement on our mental health and we are looking forward to working with Abbeycroft to reach a wider audience.”

“Our partnership will begin with The Stand Tall project which takes fitness and sport into high schools in West Suffolk to teach young people about their emotional needs.”

Jo Douglas, Chief Executive of Allied Health Professionals Suffolk, said, “The aim of AHP Suffolk is to lead the way towards healthier, happier lives for our people.  Working in partnership withAbbeycroft Leisure for the past 4 years has enabled us to develop a broader range of services – supporting more people to return to an active life and access leisure facilities.  This new agreement, encompassing Suffolk Mind, will extend the reach of our services to more people, promoting health and wellbeing and building on the social return all three organisations deliver.

“We are excited, to be delivering musculoskeletal services, including physiotherapy, within this partnership.”

Cllr Jo Rayner, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs  at West Suffolk Council, which owns leisure facilities managed by Abbeycroft Leisure in five of its towns, said, “increasing awareness of how inseparable physical activity is from mental wellbeing must be reflected in the way we offer our residents opportunities to improve both. I look forward to these agreements making a positive difference for local people.”

Cllr Derek Davis, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Working closely with a wide range of health partners benefits our wonderful communities in Babergh. We are delighted to back Abbeycroft Leisure and their strategic agreements with Suffolk Mind and Allied Health Professionals Suffolk which shows how, by pooling resources and expertise, we can further support our residents”.

“At Babergh we understand the value of promoting and improving wellbeing, being the first district council in Suffolk to sign up to the Local Councils’ Mental Health Challenge. I look forward to seeing how this work evolves and continuing to champion more things like this in the future.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 8th July 2019

Busy weekend of raising funds and awareness for mental health charity, Suffolk Mind

A number of individual fundraisers across Suffolk are taking part in different activities this weekend (21st -23rd June), all to raise money and awareness for Suffolk Mind. For example:

·        Asmah Syed is walking 24 hours around Ipswich

·        Cllr James Finch is walking part of the Stour Valley Path

·        A group of people, including Suffolk Food Hall fundraisers are taking part in The Orwell Challenge

This Friday, Suffolk Day, commencing at 10pm (21st June) Asmah Syed will be doing a 24 hour walk around Ipswich. She is currently training in respiratory medicine and general medicine at Ipswich hospital and wants to do something challenging both physically and mentally to raise awareness of mental health.

Asmah said: “I find mental health a fascinating subject and feel that we should talk more about our state of mind, especially among health care staff.

“The idea behind the 24 hours was that not only does it sound physically demanding, but the element that will get me through will be my mind set. If you think about a 24 hour day, there are times when you are energetic, hungry, thirsty, working, relaxing, socialising and also alone. These moments are associated with complex feelings and emotions”.

Cllr James Finch, the Chairman of the Suffolk County Council has adopted Suffolk Mind as his chosen charity of the year. Over the next few months, starting this Saturday, he will be completing 10 walks along the Stour Valley Path, as well as taking part in many other activities to raise money for Suffolk Mind. The first walk is this Saturday (22nd June) starting from Newmarket Town Hall at 10am.

Cllr James Finch said: “One of the best things about being Chairman, alongside my duties of chairing meetings and representing the council at civic and ceremonial events is being able to champion and support a charity for the duration of my chairmanship. I have chosen Suffolk Mind, a charity very dear to my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by the support and endorsement I have already had in my first four weeks in my new role”.

On Sunday 23rd June, 12 people, including the team at Suffolk Food Hall, are getting involved in the Orwell Challenge. They are running or walking one of three main routes which range from 12 miles to 25 miles for Suffolk Mind.

Craig Bullard is the Suffolk Food Hall event coordinator and butchery supervisor: “Three of us will be taking part in the Orwell Challenge for Suffolk Mind running the 25 mile route this weekend. 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.”

Lizzy Tuthill, Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind said: “It’s fantastic that so many people are taking part in events in just one weekend for Suffolk Mind.

“Money raised from different challenges like these goes towards things like 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.”


Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 26th June 2019

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

Fundraising Events

Accreditations & Awards