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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


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


#averydifferentconversation

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. 

#averydifferentconversation

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


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