News Archive January 2021
New mental health support service launched for health and care staff
A new support service for health and care staff across Norfolk and Suffolk has launched to help them cope with the immense pressures of working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Norfolk and Suffolk COVID-19 support service; run in partnership by Suffolk Mind and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will give all health and care staff rapid access to mental health support from local mental health specialists.
Health and care staff can call the confidential COVID-19 support service on 0300 123 1335 Monday to Friday 09:30 – 16:30
Specially trained Suffolk Mind call handlers will offer emotional support, signposting and referral into the dedicated COVID support clinical team run by NSFT if treatment is needed.
Diane Palmer, a lead nurse at NSFT said: “I feel privileged to be developing and leading this important new service, which will provide rapid access to psychological support for frontline health, social care and care staff who have been supporting the response to the COVID-19
Tony Wooderson from Suffolk Mind said “We are so pleased to be offering this service to the amazing professionals who are doing such a vital job on the frontline. We want to ensure they are receiving the support they need during this incredibly challenging time.
“We are here to be a listening ear, offer emotional support and signpost wherever necessary”.
Jonathan Warren, chief executive at NSFT said: “Every one of us in the health and care system has been affected by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this incredibly difficult time, our health and care staff continue to provide the highest standards of care to the people in our communities, and it’s vital that we look after them while they care for others.
“This funding from NHS England provides us with an opportunity to enhance the existing national and local support on offer to these staff, improve the resilience of teams, and crucially help to keep our staff well and able to continue their fantastic work across the health and care system.”
Author: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 26th January 2021
Connect with each other during lockdown to halt decline in mental health
Suffolk Mind has issued a plea to local people to write letters, telephone people they haven’t spoken to for a while, shout to neighbours over garden fences, or do whatever they can to connect with others to try and halt the decline in our mental health due to lockdown.
For those that would like to participate, the charity is launching a Suffolk Mind PenPals scheme. People can write to Suffolk Mind and a volunteer will write back within two weeks or so. For more details click here.
Suffolk Mind has released data that shows the proportion of the local population at risk of stress and mental ill health has more than doubled since this time a year ago – before the coronavirus pandemic.
More than half of us (55%) are not, on average, meeting our emotional needs – the key to avoiding stress and maintaining good mental health. And it may be people that have never experienced any kind of struggle before that are doing so for the first time.
Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “We look at mental health through the emotional needs we all have that must be met to stay well. The biggest fall has been in feeling part of a wider community – this fell in the first lockdown, but has continued to fall.
“This may seem obvious, with people unable to see anyone else, but it’s the rate of decline that’s concerning us most. And with little certainty as to when the current lockdown will end, it means wellbeing is unlikely to recover for some time.
“Around two thirds of us now say we do not feel part of a wider community. An increasing number of us don’t feel that we have meaning and purpose in our lives, and more of us are feeling like we have no control, we’re not making choices for ourselves.”
Suffolk Mind has updated the resources on the Covid19 section of its website, providing more tips, videos, blogs and infographics to help people understand their mental health and enable them to do something to help.
We are also providing Suffolk’s Needs Met sessions to the public, a virtual training course with information about how people can meet their emotional needs to stay mentally well. To attend, people just need the coupon code ‘snmopencourse’ when they book here.
“The one thing all of us can do is connect with another human being in a meaningful way. Write a letter, make a telephone call, have a conversation over a fence at a big distance. Do something to connect with people. You might not think you need it, but you probably do. And even if you don’t, there are plenty of people out there do.
“This should be our equivalent of clapping on a Thursday night to respect key workers. The need now is to connect with each other so we all feel part of a community again. We’ve got lots of resources on our website to inspire you with writing suggestions, toolkits and advice. And if you can’t think of someone to write to, write to us and we’ll write back.”
Author: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 22nd January 2021
Suffolk Mind wins national award for service quality and safety
Suffolk Mind is celebrating, after winning a national Mind award for Service Quality and Safety.
The recognition was as part of the annual Mind Network Excellence Awards which recognises the best in the 120-strong national Mind network.
Suffolk Mind was up against several other local Mind associations for the award in the Sustainability and Growth Category.
The Mind Network Excellence Awards are made up of 13 categories, split into the Mind Quality Mark’s (MQM) three current overarching areas – Leadership and Governance, Sustainability and Growth, and Influence and Engagement. Overall, there were 60 local Minds nominated.
To win the award, Suffolk Mind demonstrated that they are delivering excellent practice and working beyond MQM benchmarks.
Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind said: “Service quality, and health and safety, are the bedrock of everything we do at Suffolk Mind, so I’m incredibly proud of our team for achieving this national recognition.
“The Mind Quality Mark is a benchmark against which all local Mind charities are judged across England and Wales. It will be reassuring to the people that use our services, and to those that commission them, that our staff and volunteers are at the top of their game in this crucial area.”
Author: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 14th January 2021