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News Archive December 2019

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

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