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Suffolk Mind gardening expert offers advice to help people get outdoors to help their mental health

Our Suffolk Mind gardening expert is encouraging people to get out in the garden or grow produce in their own homes to help their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah Manton-Roseblade is the manager of the GreenCare service which is made up of four allotments across Suffolk (Hadleigh, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich). Each site offers people the opportunity to learn about gardening and contribute to the creation of a thriving growing space that benefits everyone.

This service is currently unable to run, so we are encouraging people to get growing at home instead.

Sarah said: “Being out in the garden or growing things in your own home is a great way to meet your physical and emotional needs. It enables you to achieve something new, gives you some meaning and purpose and gently increases your activity levels too.”

Here are some handy ideas and tips to help you:

  • It is sunflower season – from May you can plant Sunflower seeds directly in the ground where you want them to grow. If you don’t have a garden, from mid-April seeds can be planted in a pot and left by the windowsill. Keep them watered and as they start to grow make sure you use a stick to support them.
  • Grow your own veg – it’s a great time to start growing your own vegetables. Easy vegetables to grow are things like lettuce, carrots, sugar snap peas and dwarf French beans as they don’t take up too much space in the garden. You can also grow salad leaves and pea shoots in a pot on your windowsill.
  • Herbs grow well on the windowsill – things like coriander and basil (when it’s a little warmer) are great herbs to start with.
  • Here are some helpful websites’ to help you grow your own produce: www.gardenorganic.org.uk and www.rhs.org.uk.

Suffolk Mind have also put together a number of resources to help people with their mental health whilst at home. Click here for more details.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 7th April 2020

COVID-19 virus precautions at Suffolk Mind

Update: Friday 20th March 2020

A message from our CEO, Jon Neal to people who use our services, our supporters, staff and volunteers…

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to change what we do to provide some kind of service to people that need us across Suffolk.

Our supported housing needs to operate pretty much as usual, but with everything else we took the decision to start moving from face-to-face provision, like group work and one-to-ones, to telephone or online support.

We did this before the Government told us to so we could ensure as smooth a process as possible for the people who use our services and to try and maintain a level of support that’s effective, safe and deliverable in the current climate.

We now have three main priorities.

  • Keeping up and effective and safe level of support in our housing projects, including Montrose House, our care home in Ipswich. This means potentially redeploying staff if people start needing to self-isolate
  • Our second priority is to provide some kind of telephone or online support to people that would usually be accessing our services like Waves, Suffolk Night Owls, Eating Recovery, Suffolk Work Well, Evolve Trans, Healthy Minds Counselling. Much of this is in place now, and more will begin over the next few days
  • And thirdly we want to provide as much support as possible to everyone in Suffolk and beyond who are living with changed circumstances – whatever they may be. Whether self-isolating, looking after kids who are out of school, coping with increased demand in health and retail, or just worrying about what the future might hold for you and your business or job

Hopefully starting today, we’ll have a load of resources, videos and tools available to everyone and we’ll update them every day. Keep an eye on our website and social media outlets for more.

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay connected, look after each other and be kind.


How do we meet emotional needs while self-isolating or working from home?

Mental and physical health depends upon meeting emotional needs in healthy ways (see chart below). This keeps stress levels low and allows our immune system to fight back and work to promote recovery from illness. Meeting emotional needs if we are socially isolated is challenging, and even more so if we are concerned about virus infection. What can we do to give ourselves the best chance of meeting needs to stay well? Let’s think through the emotional needs we are all familiar with.  

Security & Control

Taking active steps to control risk of infection clearly supports us to meet emotional needs for security and control. However, given that the future is unpredictable – and even experts have limited information about the virus – we need to take steps to keep ourselves calm in uncertain circumstances. It is natural for our imaginations to seek to solve problems, but with limited information, this can lead to trying to fill in the gaps with unhelpful worrying.

  • Remind yourself of the steps you are taking, keeping a list if it’s helpful. For example, washing your hands before and after and eating; cleaning your door handles regularly; and keeping surfaces clean
  • Remind yourself as often as you need to that you have done all that you can with the information that you have   
  • If you are spending more time at home, create routines to give yourself structure, both if you are working from home, but if not, activities which you enjoy
  • Spend some time remembering times when you have had to be cheerful and optimistic in the face of adversity    

Community, Attention and Emotional Connection

How do we stay connected to the wider community and give ourselves opportunity to share attention and emotional connection?

  • Contact people you know who may be self-isolating by phone, messaging apps or email. Ask them how they are and if they would like to talk either over the phone or with video calling
  • Seek to set up groups with your friends so you can share conversation and positive support. If there are activities you can be both be doing together perhaps share them over video calls   

Privacy – time alone to calm down and reflect

It may seem that the need for privacy would be easy to meet while staying at home. However, if you live in a busy household with children and other relatives this could be difficult. An even bigger challenge to the need for privacy is the risk of spending too much time reading or watching coronavirus articles and videos online or on screens. What can do to meet the need for privacy at home?

  • Agree a space with your family, which people can use to spend alone time free from distractions
  • Limit online and screen time to specific times of the day
  • Only visit sites which are reliable sources of expert government advice. Avoid media outlets and second-hand sources of information which sensationalise. Anything which drives up worry compromises the immune system
  • Spend some time thinking about alternative activities which can keep you occupied – especially activities which you feel confident doing which give you a sense of being in control

Achievement and Meaning & Purpose

We meet our need for achievement through being stretched to learn and overcome challenges. Learning also contributes to meeting the need for meaning & purpose, along with the sense that we are needed by others and that we are contributed to a larger cause than ourselves. Meaning & purpose significantly contribute to resilience when we are faced with difficult situations. What steps can we take to meet these needs when we are self-isolating?    

  • If you are working from home, break the day up with rewarding goals which can be achieved in short spaces of time
  • Time alone might provide you with opportunities to learn which have otherwise been hard to find. Are there activities, hobbies and interests you can spend time doing? Are there books you haven’t had a chance to read? Are there free online courses you can take?
  • Are there people you can support over the phone or on video call to reduce the effects of isolation?
  • Challenges which we share with others can give us a sense of being connected to a bigger cause than ourselves alone. By following agreed expert guidance and supporting each other through a difficult time, we can find a huge sense of shared meaning and purpose which supports our immune system and our mental health and wellbeing.

Bullet-point guide to the emotional needs

Security – Feeling like we have a place that is ours or where we belong. Safe territory that allows us to develop fully. Examples include:

  • Waking up to news reports of company difficulties would be a challenge to feeling safe at work
  • Domestic abuse would be an environmental challenge to need for security at home

Control – Having some autonomy and direction over our lives, being able to make choices. Examples include:

  • Input into targets and objectives at work
  • Being given a challenge and having the freedom to meet it in whatever way an individual or a team feel is right
  • Toddler wanting to put their own shoes on, or feed themselves when weaning “I want to do it!”

Community – Making relationships with others, and being part of something bigger than ourselves. Examples include:

  • Humans are tribal animals and need to feel part of a group – we’ve been organising ourselves into tribes for 350k years to keep ourselves safe from predators
  • Teenagers WhatsApping in the middle of the night are doing so to make sure they’re not excluded from a conversation the next day

Respect/Status – Feeling valued by our peers, teachers, parents…feeling that we matter and our opinions count. Examples include:

  • Getting real, concrete feedback from a line manager or employer
  • Not feeling “fobbed off” or handed over to someone who can’t tackle your problem or answer your question

Privacy – Time to ourselves, away from clients, colleagues, even family, to reflect and consolidate experiences. Examples include:

  • Some people car share, but after a few weeks, start making up excuses to not do it for a couple of days
  • People going from a long commute to a short one sometimes need to get this need met in a different way when it changes

Emotional Connection – Having someone in our lives who accepts us warts and all – whether a parent, partner, pet. Examples include:

  • Someone you can completely be yourself around
  • The sort of person who will turn up at the side of the A14 in the middle of the night for you

Achievement – Being stretched or challenged, mastering something, feeling that you’re competent at a skill. Examples include: 

  • Stretched is no the same as being stressed – we need stretch in the workplace, people need to be challenged and feel they are developing
  • Opportunities to try new things, different ways of working, taking on new learning

Meaning and Purpose – Feeling there’s a point to getting out of bed in the morning – whether looking after someone or something, volunteering, doing a job that makes a difference. Examples include:

  • Seeing the link between your individual role/job and the meaning and purpose of the organisation as a whole
  • E.g, janitor at NASA when JFK was visiting: “What’s your role here?”…”I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

Attention  –We need to give and receive attention – seeing it as a form of nutrition, in that we can have too much or too little. Examples include:

  • Important to receive the right amount of attention from a line manager – not too much, so that you feel over-scrutinised, but not too little either, so that you feel ignored or under-valued
  • Good example is kids – if they don’t get attention, they will knock something over because negative attention is better than no attention at all
  • E.g office clown, Facebook status updates that are ambiguous and encourage people to ask how they are, etc

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 20th March 2020

Suffolk Business Leaders to walk over hot coals for Suffolk Mind

A number of Suffolk business leaders are walking over hot coals on Wednesday 26th February 2020 to raise money and awareness for Suffolk Mind.

The independent mental health charity and The East of England Co-op are hosting a Fire Walk at the Ufford Park Hotel in Woodridge where people will be walking barefoot over hot embers for charity. But, don’t panic, they’re using specialists to do this – the person in charge has broken the Guinness World Record for the ‘Greatest fire walking distance’ twice.

Ginny Idehen, Head of Business Operations at Suffolk Mind and a Director of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is getting involved: “Fire Walking is a challenge designed to help transform fears and encourage participants to do things they didn’t think possible. It is the perfect event for Suffolk Mind to promote and I am very excited, yet apprehensive to take on the hot coals on 26th February.

“We have lots of big business names taking on the challenge for Suffolk Mind, but registrations are open to anyone, so you can come along to test and challenge yourself.”

Doug Field, CEO of The East of England Co-op said: “There are a number of reasons why I wanted to do a firewalk and play a small part in supporting the excellent work of Suffolk Mind in talking about and taking care of your emotional well-being.  One of those reasons was to help my two boys, aged 10 and 7, develop a growth mindset and see what is possible.”

Suffolk County Council Chairman, Councillor James Finch is also taking part in the Fire Walk. As part of his Charity of the Year partnership with Suffolk Mind, Cllr Finch has already completed 10 walks across the Suffolk countryside and the Fire Walk will be his 11th and final walk.

Cllr James Finch, said: “I am really looking forward to my sponsored fire walk as it is something I have never done before. 

“Over the summer I completed my 10 sponsored walks for Suffolk Mind along the entire length of the Stour Valley Path, walking with groups of family, friends and fellow fundraisers from Newmarket to Cattawade. It was a truly wonderful experience to share the fresh air and stunning views with others, whilst at the same time raising funds for Suffolk Mind and awareness of the real benefits of physical activity to improve mental health and wellbeing.

“I wish all my fellow fire-walkers the best of luck for the event, if you would like to sponsor me please visit my fundraising page on the Suffolk Mind website.”

Other business leaders include Carole Burman, Managing Director of MAD-HR; Ian White, Suffolk Mind Chair of Trustees and Managing Director at Becketts; and Andrew West, Managing Partner of Gotelee Solicitors LLP.

To support people taking on the Fire Walk, click here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 26th February 2020

“I want to take him round in my heart” – runner to take part in London Marathon for Suffolk Mind in memory of her partner

A Suffolk woman, who lost her partner to suicide last year, will be running the Virgin London Marathon in his memory in April to fundraise for Suffolk Mind.

Natasha Miles tragically lost her partner Nick in May 2019 after what she now knows to be a long battle with mental illness. She applied for the marathon place that Suffolk Mind had secured through a lottery process.

Natasha said: “After tragically losing Nick, I felt passionate about raising awareness of mental health.

“My life will never be the same, but if I can help others in any way, I am determined to do so. Many of us have suffered varying degrees of mental ill health in our own lives, but we should not feel embarrassed or anxious about reaching out for support.

“Suffolk Mind is an amazing charity, that works extremely hard to help the community in all aspects of mental health and wellbeing and I am so pleased to support them.”

Natasha’s family and friends will be willing her on throughout the 26.2 miles on Sunday 26th April 2020. She has started her training already and will be running on the day with her friend.

Natasha continued: “For sure, doing the London Marathon is going to be extremely emotional – I miss Nick every single day. But to possibly achieve something that we both had talked about doing together, will mean the world to me. I know it’s what he would want me to do as I was always setting us new challenges.

“It is part of my own healing process, to carry his memory with me throughout my life in a very positive way and on the day of the London Marathon. I want to take him round in my heart”

Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind, Lizzy Tuthill said: “Natasha is a fantastic advocate for Suffolk Mind and we are so pleased she will be running the London Marathon for us.

“We want to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health, and with the help of people like Natasha, we hope to achieve that mission”.

You can sponsor Natasha here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 7th January 2020

Woman who lost her husband to suicide raises money for Suffolk Mind through running race in his memory

A Felixstowe woman who lost her husband to suicide has raised £1,000 for independent mental health charity Suffolk Mind through a running race named in his memory.

Annabel Bennett is part of the Felixstowe Road Runners which has organised the Richard Bennett Felixstowe Coastal race for the past six years. It was renamed from the Felixstowe Coastal Race in memory of Richard after he took his own life in December 2013 when he was 56-years-old.

Annabel said “Richard and I were both part of the Felixstowe Road Runners – he was a really good runner himself. He always encouraged people and supported them with their hobby, he was very well thought of at the club. That’s why the group decided it would be a great tribute to name the run after him.”

“On race day, when I’d finished talking about Richard there was a massive clap. People wanted to be part of the race because they knew Richard”.

The race, which was held on Sunday 15th September 2019, was very popular, with the 500 spaces being filled within 24 hours. Money raised from the registrations was given to Suffolk Mind this year.

Annabel continued: “Suffolk Mind does such wonderful work for mental health, and ever since the race has been named after Richard, we have supported them, especially this year.

“Richard suffered from depression for many years and was ashamed of his illness. He didn’t talk freely about it with many people and that’s why I am keen to raise awareness. The warning signs were there before Richard took his own life, but it was still such a shock. I think it’s so important to take notice of the people around you, your colleagues, family and friends.”

Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind, Lizzy Tuthill said: “We are so grateful to Annabel and the Felixstowe Road Runners for raising money and awareness for Suffolk Mind. We were so pleased to be part of the fantastic event. Money such as this helps us in 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: 18th December 2019

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

Independent mental health charity, 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 is funded directly by the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (the CCGs) and is for people with a diagnosis or traits of Borderline Personality Disorder.

The service helps build confidence and self-esteem by providing a safe and supportive environment for people to learn new skills. It also helps to make positive connections and achieve personal goals by helping people maintain their own mental wellbeing.

Jodie Goolding, from Ipswich, was a client with Waves from May 2018 to May 2019:  “I joined Waves to help regulate my emotions and find support from people who have the same diagnosis as me. Throughout the year, I learnt life skills and methods to help me cope in a crisis.

During her time at Waves, Jodie also volunteered for Suffolk Mind. She has now moved on to university: “Waves was the start of my recovery and it has helped me gain confidence and open up about my past”.

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 each year.

Helen Shenton, Waves Manager, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve received this funding from the CCGs 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, 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.”

Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and mental health lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that there has been a positive and meaningful impact on those who have participated in the weekly sessions. It therefore is logical to expand the service further so that even more people can benefit.

“Waves offers people the opportunity to become more confident, happy and fulfilled individuals and I am pleased that the CCGs are able to support its expansion through the good work of Suffolk Mind.”

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 December 2019

The Suffolk Mind GreenCare project to celebrate the festivities by making a Christmas feast in a shed on their allotment

We may think making Christmas dinner in the comfort of our own home is difficult, well imagine preparing a Christmas feast in a shed on an allotment? That’s what the Suffolk Mind GreenCare service is doing to celebrate the festivities. 

Staff, volunteers and service users at the Hadleigh allotment project make their festive fry-up annually and this year they are holding their mini Christmas day on Friday 13th December 2019.

Sarah Manton-Roseblade, GreenCare Manager said: “We always like to celebrate Christmas at the Hadleigh allotment project and what better way than to make a delicious festive fry-up. We’ll be cooking the famous pigs in blankets, brussels sprouts, carrots, eggs and fried potatoes, and for dessert there will be mince pies. It’s great to come together to celebrate the Christmas season with nice food and a good chat”.

The Suffolk Mind GreenCare project is made up of four allotments across Suffolk (Hadleigh, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich). Each site offers people the opportunity to learn about gardening and contribute to the creation of a thriving growing space that benefits everyone. People can also make new friends and get support from other group members.

Sarah Manton-Roseblade continues: “Being on an allotment is a great way to meet your physical and emotional needs; people meet others and become part of a community, they achieve something new and it enables them to have some meaning and purpose in their life whilst gently increasing their activity levels also.”

You can self-refer to the GreenCare project or become a volunteer with us, more details here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 10th December 2019

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

Suffolk Mind has expanded its Suffolk Work Well (SWW) service to help more people to gain or retain employment.

SWW launched in Felixstowe and Ipswich in March 2019 but will now also operate from Saxmundham. To celebrate the launch, we’re hosting a Suffolk’s Needs Met session on Monday 25th November for local interested parties including health professionals, local business HR representatives, an East Suffolk Council representative and Action Community Trust Connect 4 Health staff.

Suffolk Work Well is a free service providing back-to-work support, one-to-one sessions with a dedicated Case Worker and better in-work support through a Personal Wellbeing Plan. The programme is tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of the individual and enables 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: “The Suffolk Work Well service was originally set up following a grant from the Big Lottery fund in Ipswich and Felixstowe. However, a need for the service was identified in Saxmundham and the surrounding areas so we successfully sought further funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership to expand.

“So far we have helped in excess of 60 people, most of whom have reported improved wellbeing enabling them to gain employment, access courses or retain their employment.

“Suffolk Work Well is a special service which supports the client even once they gain employment and where appropriate liaise with employers to facilitate workplace wellbeing too. We all have emotional needs that must be met in order to avoid stress and stay mentally well. Going to work is an effective way of meeting needs for achievement, status, community and attention – as long as the workplace environment is a good one.

“By helping people to gain and retain employment, we are helping them to meet their emotional needs and, hopefully, stay well.”

To self-refer or for more information click here. Your Jobcentre, your HR Team, Health Professional,  Support Worker, Care Coordinator or Psychiatrist who also refer and/or email the service suffolkworkwell@suffolkmind.org.uk to gain further information and advice.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 22nd November 2019

Vital out-of-hours helpline expands to help more people with their mental health

Independent mental health charity Suffolk Mind has expanded its support line service, Suffolk Night Owls (SNO), to 7 nights a week, thanks to funding from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

SNO is a telephone, text and email service which currently operates on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 7pm to 1am. Due to increased demand on the service, leading to funding from the NHS, it will now run every night of the week.

SNO is available in Suffolk to people with complex emotional needs, including those with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or who present with behaviours typical of such conditions. Support line workers listen to clients in a non-judgemental way to support those who need a chat or are in crisis. The service is different to other helpline, like The Samaritans, in that all of our clients are pre-registered, enabling us to offer a personalised and tailored service to individuals who are seeking support in times of need. Suffolk Night Owls manages the service with strict boundaries in place in order to support and safeguard both those using the service and those working for it.

The SNO team take more than 4,500 calls, texts and emails a year and that figure is now expected to nearly double.

Becky Attwater, Deputy Manager of SNO said: “We’re so pleased to have received this funding from the NHS to support people in Suffolk during a time of day when other services are not running and people feel alone or are struggling with there own mental health difficulties.

“Suffolk Night Owls gives people an opportunity to talk about their feelings and daily struggles, providing a safe space for people to just be themselves in a non-judgemental environment  where they are heard and, where needed, offered advice and signposting.”

In an evaluation by Suffolk County Council, someone who uses the service gave the team this feedback: “Since using Suffolk Night Owls I have had no need to seek any other support. Not only are they there when I’m feeling suicidal, I can talk with them as a safety mechanism. This means if I am experiencing a really bad day, instead of doing what comes naturally by self-harming or self-medicating, I know I can speak to someone”

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, added: “The review of mental health services in Suffolk identified the need to expand Suffolk Night Owls. We are grateful to them for increasing our funding to allow us to provide this much valued service seven nights a week.

“We want to help as many people as possible to look after themselves and those around them. We’re aiming to prevent periods of serious mental ill health as much as possible, so that the stretched resources of the NHS can be there when people need them most.”

You can access the SNO service by self-referring here.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 21st October 2019

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

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