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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


Thousands raised for Suffolk Mind through RED January

Hundreds of people across the county have been raising money for Suffolk Mind by people getting active every day to beat the blues away.

Nearly 370 people around Suffolk have been involved in RED January 2019, a national initiative promoting the positive power exercise can have on our minds and wellbeing, during a characteristically tough month. So far over £7,000 has been raised for the charity as a result of the campaign.

Nicole Crown is a REDer and has been exercising every day throughout January: “January is a typically difficult month for me, it’s when I’m usually feeling my lowest and most anxious, having suffered with anxiety, depression and OCD on and off since I was a teenager. I have benefited from some of the therapies and services offered by Suffolk Mind to help me manage and cope when I have been feeling mentally unwell so RED January seemed a perfect opportunity to help combat those feelings and raise a bit of money for the charity.

“I have been doing a minimum of 30 minutes exercise every day varying from walking, yoga, Zumba, Burlesque Fit, Drum n Bass Fit, Bounce Fit and ParkRun to name a few. I wanted to try lots of different things to find something that I really enjoy and could carry on once RED January is over. 

“It’s been the best January I’ve had in several years and I can’t imagine not doing RED January going forwards.  I’m looking forward to what other challenges I can complete with the newfound belief I have in my ability to give anything a go”.

Alice Mcveigh, who’s originally from Suffolk, has been taking part in RED January from Dubai: “RED January has been a real achievement for me. It has made me try things I would never have done before. As a result, I have really got into yoga and been able to spend more time with friends. Being part of the RED community has really kept me going. I am looking forward to participating again next year!”

Nationally a number of celebrities have been involved in the campaign including presenter, Fearne Cotton. On her Instagram page she posted: “To everyone taking part in RED January you are an absolute inspiration! It’s been incredible to be a part of the RED community and see it grow over the years…there are now over 60,000 people around the UK getting active every day this January to support their mental health and at the same time, connecting as a community to inspire and support others by raising vital funds for Mind”.

RED January is founded on research that shows physical activity can reduce symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.

Jon Neal, the Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, has been taking part in RED January, getting people like West Suffolk MP, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock involved. Jon has visited the Cambridge University rowing team, participated in Float Fit at Crown Pools in Ipswich, HIIT training at Brandon Leisure Centre, rugby in Woodbridge and even pole dancing at Henley Community Centre.

Money raised from campaigns such as RED January, helps Suffolk Mind to achieve our aim of making Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 1st February 2019


Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP gets involved in RED January

The Health Secretary and MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock has taken part in a HIIT Class today as part of the RED January campaign for mental health charity, Suffolk Mind.

Mr Hancock is taking part in RED January himself, doing something every day to beat the blues away. Today’s activity took place at Brandon Leisure Centre, alongside Suffolk Mind Chief Executive, Jon Neal and Warren Smyth the Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure.

Talking to Jon on a video for his YouTube channel, Mr Hancock said: “It (RED January) is fantastic for you, I feel so much better and it’s good for your mental health as well. The whole point of it tying together your physical and mental wellbeing, is so important”.

Suffolk Mind is partnering with RED January, a national initiative, promoting the positive power exercise can have on our minds and wellbeing, during a characteristically tough month. It’s founded on research that shows physical activity can reduce symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In the post RED January 2018 survey, 87% of people who took part reported feeling significantly better physically and mentally, after getting active every day. 337 people have signed up to RED January for Suffolk Mind.

In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health challenge each year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression, in any given week.

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind said: “I am so pleased many people are involved in RED January for Suffolk Mind this year. Having the Health Secretary and organisations like Abbeycroft Leisure supporting our campaign is fantastic”.

During his RED January campaign, Jon has also been out running with Ipswich MP, Sandy Martin and has taken part in an exercise session with the Cambridge University rowing team, who are training for the big boat race against Oxford in April. 

Chief Coach of Cambridge University Boat Club, Rob Baker who was talking to Jon on a video for his YouTube channel said: “We’re slightly contained in our bubble here, and what we do with the boat club, but like everyone we’ve got top preforming athletes who have struggles and have some issues we have to deal with. But across the university its something they are looking at very closely and absolutely encouraging people to do sport and take part in exercise to help in that process. Even as a coach, who doesn’t do as much exercise as I’d like, when I do it’s a huge release and a helpful process”.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 18th January 2019


Registrations for RED January come from as far away as Dubai

A woman living in Dubai has signed up to the mental health campaign, RED January for Suffolk Mind, to get active every day to beat the blues away.

Alice Mcveigh who’s originally from Suffolk, heard about RED January from a friend. She is one of 367 people registered with Suffolk Mind to participate in some form of exercise every day to help with their mental health and wellbeing.

Alice said: “I am pleased to be able to raise awareness of mental health issues such as depression and promote exercise as a way to improve wellbeing and happiness.

“It is easy to think ‘I won’t have time for this’ when you are busy with work, but it is so important to make time for exercise; especially after the Christmas holiday where reality hits again”.

In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health challenge in any given year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health issue, such as anxiety and depression, each week.

RED January is founded on research that shows physical activity can reduce symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In the post RED January 2018 survey, 87% of people who took part reported feeling significantly better physically and mentally, after getting active every day.

Alice continues: “I run two or three times a week but to do something every day is challenging, it is however a great cause and therefore I’m giving it my all”.

We are putting on free activities every weekday at Quay Place in Ipswich to help people get active every day. You can enjoy yoga, short tennis, Tai Chi, Wii Sports, and a walking group. For more details, visit our website.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 15th January 2019


Ipswich Town footballer highlights Suffolk Mind mental health campaign

An Ipswich Town footballer is involved in promoting RED January, a mental health campaign encouraging people to get active every day, to beat the blues away.

Suffolk Mind is partnering with RED January, a national initiative, promoting the positive power exercise can have on our minds and wellbeing, during a characteristically tough month. It’s founded on research that shows physical activity can reduce symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In the post RED January 2018 survey, 87% of people who took part reported feeling significantly better physically and mentally, after getting active every day.

An event was held at Portman Road for people signed up to RED January. Dan Palfrey, Marketing & Public Relations Officer at Ipswich Town Football Club said: “We’re delighted to support RED January with Suffolk Mind as part of our broader partnership with the charity this season.

“Physical activity is hugely important for both physical and mental wellbeing, and we see that all the time at Ipswich Town FC. We really want to encourage all football supporters, family and friends to sign up to do a little exercise every day to help their mental health during what can sometimes be a challenging month.”

In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health challenge each year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression, in any given week.

Jodie Goolding has Borderline Personality Disorder and is taking part in RED January to help her own mental health, “I have suffered with both chronic illness and mental illness since my early teens. I haven’t always had the best relationship with exercise over the years – I would either engage in it too much or not do anything at all.

“So I’m doing RED January to give me motivation to maintain a healthy relationship with exercise and to keep moving even during those times where I feel like I can’t leave the house for days.

“During January I will vlog through the ups and downs of suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder, Endometriosis & Polycystic Kidney Disease in order to share my journey and awareness of these illnesses.”

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 18th December 2018


Suffolk Mind launches mental health campaign, RED January

Suffolk Mind is warming up for RED January, a mental health campaign encouraging people to get active every day to beat the blues away.

In Suffolk, and across the UK, figures show one in four people will experience a mental health challenge in any given year. In England, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health issue, such as anxiety and depression, each week.

RED January is founded on research that shows physical activity can reduce symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety. In the post RED January 2018 survey, 87% of people who took part reported feeling significantly better physically and mentally, after getting active every day.

To take part in RED January, all you need to do is register for free here, and then walk, run, swim (or anything you like) for however long you like – whether 5 minutes or 5k and beyond. Over 100 people have already registered for RED January in Suffolk.

You can also fundraise for Suffolk Mind as part of your RED January journey. The money raised supports our vital work in the local community, supporting mental health services and helping achieve our mission of making Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health.

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind is taking part again this year after raising £2,400 last year: “I was amazed when taking part in RED January last year, at the difference it made to my mental and physical health. I didn’t run far each day, but I was definitely a lot fitter by the end of the month and even managed to do a Park Run. I also lost a stone in weight, without changing what I ate.

“Typically some people struggle during January because of the dark nights, cold weather and Christmas being over, so taking part in RED January gives people a focus. A little exercise can be very helpful for staying mentally healthy”.

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 23rd November 2018


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