News Archive May 2021
Suffolk Mind launches course for primary school staff to help them support the mental health of their students and themselves
Suffolk Mind have launched a new one-day course for primary school staff to help them to support their students’ mental health as well as their own.
Emotional Wellbeing in the Classroom aims to equip teachers, support assistants and leadership teams with the skills to talk to pupils, other staff, and parents and carers about their wellbeing. The training teaches techniques to support the whole classroom to stay mentally well.
The course includes:
- Mindful breathing
- How movement improves mental wellbeing
- A lesson in emotional needs and resources
- And the neuroscience behind why children may perhaps react differently to the same situation
Attendees will come away from the workshop with a wellbeing class culture action plan.
The course has been coproduced with a teaching focus group post-Covid and addresses the needs and issues that have been raised in classrooms across Suffolk during the pandemic.
Katie Hollis, Children and Young People Coordinator at Suffolk Mind said: “This course comes at a vital time when students and teachers may need some extra support with their mental wellbeing.
“It has been a challenging time for many, especially young people who have had to cope with many changes to their routines in the last year. We want to ensure school staff are equipped to be able to deal with the emotions of stress and worry that some may be feeling due to these challenges”.
Individual places are available on the course, which is being led by mental health experts at Suffolk Mind and takes place over Zoom on Tuesday 22nd June, Tuesday 6th July and Thursday 15th July. There are 12 places per course.
For more details about the course and to book a place, click here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 26th May 2021
Suffolk Mind marks Mental Health Awareness Week by encouraging you to connect with nature
During Mental Health Awareness Week (Monday 10 May – Sunday 16 May 2021), Suffolk Mind are releasing tips and advice to encourage people to connect with nature to improve mental health.
Suffolk Mind data shows the number of local people at risk of stress and mental ill health has more than doubled since before the coronavirus pandemic, so it is more important than ever to raise awareness of mental health.
More than half of us (55%) are not, on average, meeting our emotional needs – the key to avoiding stress and maintaining good mental health. This is up from 24.2% before the pandemic.
Throughout this week, Suffolk Mind will be encouraging people to plant seeds on their windowsills, make bird feeders, join a nature trail, pledge to take on the 100 Miles for Suffolk Mind challenge, create a bug hotel or join a movement session based around our book character, Sammy the Sea Squirt.
They will also be supporting other activities, organised by partner charities, like the Take 10 reading challenge, and the East Anglian Daily Times Welcome back to Wellbeing online event on 12 May.
Ezra Hewing, Head of Education at Suffolk Mind said: “Mental Health depends on meeting emotional needs which include the needs to share attention, to have privacy, so we can calm down and reflect, and to have meaning and purpose in our lives. We can meet these needs when we connect with nature.
“Getting away from busy lives and demands can be hard when we’re surrounded by screens and distractions. Connecting with nature can give us the privacy to be free to relax. Attention is precious, and giving attention to nature can help us slow down and return to a relaxed state.”
During the Awareness Week, our GreenCare allotment projects will be reopening after pausing in December 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Sarah Manton-Roseblade is the manager: “It’s been around 5 months since we stopped this service to keep people safe, but we are really excited to get back to supporting people in the open space.
“Our four allotments across Suffolk are places where people can feel like they really achieve something; they see the seeds that they plant, grow into beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables. They also have the chance to chat to other participants and volunteers whilst having a well-earned cup of tea.
“We’re look forward to welcoming anyone to our groups. For more details, visit our website: www.suffolkmind.org.uk/greencare.”
The organisers of the awareness week, the Mental Health Foundation, set the ‘connect with nature’ theme after their research showed that 45% of people reported that being in green spaces has been vital for their mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For tips and advice on how you can connect with nature during Mental Health Awareness Week, click here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 10th May 2021
People across Suffolk invited to Take 10 to Read!
Children and adults across Suffolk invited to take part in national #Take10toRead challenge at 10am on Monday 10 May, as part of a new literacy campaign created by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Suffolk County Council.
Schools, businesses and local organisations across Suffolk are invited to drop everything and read for just 10 minutes, which research shows is all that is needed each day to benefit mental wellbeing. National Literacy Trust research also shows that reading has been a source of escapism for young people over the past year, supporting their mental wellbeing and enabling them to dream about the future. Children and adults are invited to pick up a book, comic, magazine, or newspaper. All participants are invited to share photos on social media using the hashtag #Take10toRead, joining a national moment where over 100,000 people are expected to take part. Many organisations across the county are already making plans to get involved including campaign partners Suffolk Libraries and Suffolk Mind.
As part of this literacy campaign, schools can sign up to a virtual visit at 9.50am from award-winning local author Anthony Horowitz to introduce the challenge.
In the virtual event, Anthony will share his love of reading and writing, explaining what reading means to him and how he uses it to escape from everyday life. He’ll also talk about his favourite places to read, then introduce the #Take10toRead challenge at 10am.
Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “Research shows that reading reduces stress levels, calming down our heart rate far more effectively than some of the other comforts we might turn to, such as making a cup of tea or zoning out by watching films or TV shows.
“Through reading or listening to fiction, we connect emotionally and build rapport with the characters we read about. We then practice the skill of entering other people’s lives by exercising empathy – an essential skill for forming and sustaining relationships. And, as we see the world from the viewpoint of a character with a very different outlook to ourselves, we learn to see the things from other points of view; regaining the flexibility of mind which low moods or depression can rob us of.
Find more information and register for the Take 10 event here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 6th May 2021
Ipswich Town Football Club promotes the importance of mental health for charity match day takeover
Suffolk Mind will be joining Ipswich Town on Sunday 9th May 2021 for a special match day takeover to promote the importance of mental wellbeing.
The charity hopes mental health-themed match days like this will raise awareness and encourage conversation among football fans about their mental health, and raise vital funds for the services they provide in the local community.
Though the charity and its volunteers won’t be able to interact with fans face-to-face at the match, they hope that by working with the club to do a virtual takeover they can raise awareness about the support they offer and raise funds at the same time.
As part of the takeover, Ipswich Town players have appeared in a video highlighting the importance of mental health support during a difficult year for many people.
Players will also be sporting Suffolk Mind t-shirts while they warm up. They will be using their platforms to promote mental health, and Suffolk Mind will be making a special appearance in the match-day programme, including support information.
A dedicated Ipswich Town giving page has also been set up for people to make any donations here.
The virtual charity match day comes as part of Mind’s partnership with the EFL (English Football League), which has already seen the squiggle of Mind’s logo appear on the shirts of Ipswich Town’s players. Over the course of the partnership Suffolk Mind has built closer links with the club by delivering training and support to help bring a lasting legacy around mental health in football.
Mind’s national charity partnership with the EFL launched at the start of the 2018/19 season and has since been extended to run until the end of the 2021/22 season. Working with all 72 EFL clubs across the country it aims to:
o raise awareness of mental health with fans, clubs and staff
o raise funds to deliver life-changing support
o help improve the approach to mental health in football working with other partners in the game.
Lizzy Tuthill, Community Fundraising Coordinator said: “Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. That could be one person in every family, hundreds of football players and many thousands of football fans. The effects of the pandemic have undoubtedly made things more challenging.
“We know that many fans have been particularly affected by the pandemic through missing out on the camaraderie and community spirit felt by being together on match days. Through this virtual charity match day, we want to let fans know that although we can’t all be together for the match, we are still here for them if they need support.
“We are proud to be working with Ipswich Town over the course of the partnership to raise wider awareness about mental health among fans and within the local community, as well as raising vital funds for our services.”
Dan Palfrey, Ipswich Town’s PR manager said: “We’ve worked closely with Suffolk Mind for three years now, and are delighted to continue supporting them and raising vital awareness of mental health amongst our fans through initiatives such as their matchday takeover against Fleetwood.”
For more information about the charity match day and to donate, click here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 6th May 2021