More than half of Suffolk residents are not getting good sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic
During Mental Health Awareness Week (18th May – 24th May) independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind has released the results of a survey looking at the impact the coronavirus pandemic on mental health.
The research suggests 53% of us are not feeling rested after sleep. Groups who are most affected are:
- 87% of under 25’s
- 85% of those in full time work
- 78% of people unable to work
Sleep is key to emotional wellbeing and we all need the right amount and quality in a 24 hour period – about eight hours for the average adult, and less as we get older.
Naomi Simons, Research and Evaluation Manager said: “Sleep is often the first thing to go when someone is struggling with their mental health. Getting the right balance between dream sleep and other types of sleep, including deep recuperative sleep, can be affected by how well you are meeting other key emotional needs.
“Our research shows nearly two-fifths of people are not meeting their need for meaning and purpose at the moment. That could be due to losing work or being furloughed, which could lead to worry and in turn, poor quality sleep. Many people are also struggling to meet needs for community, status and receiving attention.”
Suffolk Mind has put the following five top tips together to help you get a better night’s sleep:
- Work on addressing unmet emotional needs – so that there is less to worry about! Use the Emotional Needs Audit here.
- Have regular times for going to bed and getting up – and stick to them
- Cut down on caffeine in the second half of the day
- Avoid watching TV or internet surfing in the two hours before we go to bed
- Use blackout blinds and/or eye masks to block out the light
The research has been conducted by Suffolk Mind to help inform the county’s response to Coronavirus. Other findings include:
- 53% of people are not meeting their emotional need for community
- 43% are not meeting their need for status
- 38% don’t feel they receive enough attention
Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind said: “It’s really important we capture this data, so we can work on resources and services to help people with their own mental health – and not just now, but in the future when things change again.
“It is a difficult time for many at the moment, so we have been creating online blogs, videos and activities for children and adults to encourage them to meet their own emotional needs.”
“We have also launched new services including counselling for our vital NHS and care workers, support for over 70s and men.”
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 18th May 2020
Four Suffolk charities work together on campaign to keep fundraising within the county
Suffolk Mind, Home Start in Suffolk, Survivors in Transition and 4YP have come together to create a campaign video to encourage fundraising to stay in Suffolk. Figures from Suffolk Community Foundation show an estimated 78% of funds raised in Suffolk leave the county to support large national and international charities, with very little of it coming back.
A light-hearted video with the support of Home-Start in Suffolk Patron Anthony Horowitz OBE, has been created to highlight how each of the four local charities are supporting the community of Suffolk during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have all adapted services to ensure those who need it are continuing to receive vital support, while also creating new services to meet changing demand.
The four charities work with some of the most vulnerable people in the county: Suffolk Mind is an independent mental health charity offering support services to help the mental wellbeing of adults, families and children; Home Start in Suffolk offers vital support to struggling families; Survivors in Transition supports those in who have experienced any form of sexual abuse in their childhood; and 4YP improves the social, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing of young people in Suffolk.
Lizzy Tuthill, Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind said: “We are so pleased to have this opportunity to work with other local charities to raise awareness and inform our community about what we all do and how we can come together to help support people in Suffolk. At Suffolk Mind, we are adapting and developing new services for those in our county, including our fantastic frontline NHS staff who now have access to counselling and online support from our expert team. Donations and support are especially important right now to help us maintain and keep developing these services in response to the changing needs of our community. Taking on a home fundraising challenge or making an online donation will help us support Suffolk people, through this challenging period and beyond.”
Alison Watson, Marketing and Fundraising Manager at Home Start in Suffolk said “We are so pleased to have been part of this collaboration and to show the Suffolk community how our charities are working together to support our local community. At Home-Start in Suffolk we are continuing to support vulnerable families across the county with regular telephone and video calls from our amazing team of volunteers. Whilst physical distancing is important at this time, emotional support is vital and staying connected is hugely important for our supported families’ emotional well-being. During this uncertain time our organisations need the support of Suffolk people more than ever and any donations will help us to continue to support our Suffolk Community now and in the future.”
Georgia Memory, Business and Marketing Coordinator at 4YP said: “Collaborating with three other fantastic local charities has been great to raise awareness and inform Suffolk that we are still here to listen, support and help where it is needed. 4YP are adapting and developing as many services as possible to ensure vulnerable young people in Suffolk are not forgotten about, which is why we appreciate the community of Suffolk donating to ensure Suffolk people get the support they need.”
Fiona Ellis, Co-Founder & CEO at Survivors in Transition said: “SiT are so pleased to be joining these other amazing Suffolk charities in both reassuring the public that we’re still here, still open and still supporting our respective service users and also to encourage Suffolk residents to think local when donating to a charity. We’ve got you – but we need you to support us too and you can do this by donating to one of our amazing charities #supportussuffolk”
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 27th April 2020
New service offers NHS Staff mental health support during the Coronavirus pandemic
A new mental health service has been launched, offering telephone support to all NHS and care staff in Suffolk and North East Essex during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Suffolk and North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups together with independent mental health charities Suffolk Mind and Mid and North East Essex Mind, have come together to open this dedicated telephone support service. The teams will offer help and practical solutions during this challenging period. Counselling will also be offered to those who need extra support through Suffolk or Mid and North East Essex Minds depending on their location.
Staff will be able to access the service whether they are based in a hospital, GP surgery or in the community setting, as well as those who work in care, voluntary sector organisations and Hospices within Suffolk and North East Essex.
Suffolk Mind have also been commissioned to provide online support to NHS and care staff during the pandemic. Qualified emotional needs trainers will be hosting interactive group sessions using the Emotional Needs and Resources model. ‘Meeting Emotional Needs in Practice’ and ‘Keeping Calm (Mindful Breathing)’ sessions will support people to enable them to maintain their own emotional health by reducing stress.
Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind said: “We’re proud and honoured to be in a position to support NHS workers in our area – whether frontline or those, like many of us, getting to grips with a new way of working.
“Whatever role people are playing in the health system, they are crucial to tackling the pandemic, keeping people safe, and ensuring we provide the best care possible to those who need it.
“At Suffolk Mind we will do all we can to enable people to be aware of their emotional needs and how to get them met in order to avoid stress.”
Lisa Llewelyn, Director of Workforce for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System said ‘We know our health and care staff are providing tremendous support, not just to the patients they’re treating, but to each other, across the health service. As the pandemic continues, our workforce will face new and growing challenges on a daily basis, and it’s therefore more important than ever that all our NHS and Care staff are able to access the support service we have developed with our partners Mind, to help them manage their wellbeing, in a way that suits their needs.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 21st April 2020
Suffolk Mind releases helpful resources to support the mental health of young people across the county
The independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind have released a number of resources offering help and advice to parents, carers and children to encourage mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff in the EARLY (Emotional Awareness and Resilience Learnt Young) Minds team have created videos, blogs and activities to help children to stay well by meeting their emotional needs whilst at home.
Due to school closures, the Suffolk Mind EARLY Minds programme is currently unable to run. This programme is for primary schools and teaches children, teachers and parents about emotional needs and how to improve wellbeing. Our team wants to continue offering this help through a number of resources on our website.
The Children and Young People’s Facilitator at Suffolk Mind, Louise Harris said: “As a former primary school teacher and mum myself, I understand the pressures that parents are currently feeling whilst trying to manage finances, run a home, work and be a teacher for your children. That is why at Suffolk Mind, we thought it was important to create useful resources to help the whole family to stay mentally well by meeting emotional needs. This keeps stress levels low and allows our immune system to fight back and work to promote recovery from illness.
“In my blog, I have suggested a number of ways you can do this: allow time and space for each other so you can each have your privacy; with your child’s help, create a day-to-day structure for them so they have a sense of control and security; take regular breaks from work to give your child attention throughout the day and take part in an activity of their choice; set up video calls with family members and friends to help your children feel part of a community.”
You can access this blog and further resources here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 21st April 2020
Suffolk Mind gardening expert offers advice to help people get outdoors to help their mental health
Our Suffolk Mind gardening expert is encouraging people to get out in the garden or grow produce in their own homes to help their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sarah Manton-Roseblade is the manager of the GreenCare service which 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.
This service is currently unable to run, so we are encouraging people to get growing at home instead.
Sarah said: “Being out in the garden or growing things in your own home is a great way to meet your physical and emotional needs. It enables you to achieve something new, gives you some meaning and purpose and gently increases your activity levels too.”
Here are some handy ideas and tips to help you:
- It is sunflower season – from May you can plant Sunflower seeds directly in the ground where you want them to grow. If you don’t have a garden, from mid-April seeds can be planted in a pot and left by the windowsill. Keep them watered and as they start to grow make sure you use a stick to support them.
- Grow your own veg – it’s a great time to start growing your own vegetables. Easy vegetables to grow are things like lettuce, carrots, sugar snap peas and dwarf French beans as they don’t take up too much space in the garden. You can also grow salad leaves and pea shoots in a pot on your windowsill.
- Herbs grow well on the windowsill – things like coriander and basil (when it’s a little warmer) are great herbs to start with.
- Here are some helpful websites’ to help you grow your own produce: www.gardenorganic.org.uk and www.rhs.org.uk.
Suffolk Mind have also put together a number of resources to help people with their mental health whilst at home. Click here for more details.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 7th April 2020
COVID-19 precautions at Suffolk Mind
Update: Friday 21st August 2020
A message from our CEO, Jon Neal to people who use our services, our supporters, staff and volunteers.
We’re starting to make plans to re-open some of our services in September.
For example, some face-to-face counselling, for people that are comfortable with it, in Bury St Edmunds and Saxmundham, and our work with primary schools, EARLY Minds, will begin again.
We’ll be piloting a face to face group for Waves, our service for people with Borderline Personality Disorder.
One of the positives to come out of this coronavirus pandemic is that we intend to continue at least one virtual Waves group on a permanent basis, to improve access for people who can’t get to groups.
All of this will happen in a safe way, respecting physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.
While some of our training is starting up again, our courses for members of the public remain on hold for the moment.
This includes our popular Suffolk’s Needs Met sessions, which enables people to look after themselves and those around them better. These are usually freely available to people in Suffolk.
We’re working hard to update and expand our free online resources to make up for some of this shortfall. Do keep checking our website for more.
Otherwise, we continue to deliver supported housing, Suffolk Night Owls, Connect, Greencare, Suffolk Work Well and all our other services the way we have over the last few months.
Our staff are working from home where they can, coming into the office if they need to and are able to in a safe way. Where it is safe to do so, we’re also bringing back some of our valued volunteers to support our work. We’re still considering our options for service delivery in the short term in Ipswich while we plan for a longer term permanent presence in the town.
If you would like more information, or have any questions about our services, please get in touch.
Stay safe, and thank you for your ongoing support. Jon
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 20th March 2020
Suffolk Business Leaders to walk over hot coals for Suffolk Mind
A number of Suffolk business leaders are walking over hot coals on Wednesday 26th February 2020 to raise money and awareness for Suffolk Mind.
The independent mental health charity and The East of England Co-op are hosting a Fire Walk at the Ufford Park Hotel in Woodridge where people will be walking barefoot over hot embers for charity. But, don’t panic, they’re using specialists to do this – the person in charge has broken the Guinness World Record for the ‘Greatest fire walking distance’ twice.
Ginny Idehen, Head of Business Operations at Suffolk Mind and a Director of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is getting involved: “Fire Walking is a challenge designed to help transform fears and encourage participants to do things they didn’t think possible. It is the perfect event for Suffolk Mind to promote and I am very excited, yet apprehensive to take on the hot coals on 26th February.
“We have lots of big business names taking on the challenge for Suffolk Mind, but registrations are open to anyone, so you can come along to test and challenge yourself.”
Doug Field, CEO of The East of England Co-op said: “There are a number of reasons why I wanted to do a firewalk and play a small part in supporting the excellent work of Suffolk Mind in talking about and taking care of your emotional well-being. One of those reasons was to help my two boys, aged 10 and 7, develop a growth mindset and see what is possible.”
Suffolk County Council Chairman, Councillor James Finch is also taking part in the Fire Walk. As part of his Charity of the Year partnership with Suffolk Mind, Cllr Finch has already completed 10 walks across the Suffolk countryside and the Fire Walk will be his 11th and final walk.
Cllr James Finch, said: “I am really looking forward to my sponsored fire walk as it is something I have never done before.
“Over the summer I completed my 10 sponsored walks for Suffolk Mind along the entire length of the Stour Valley Path, walking with groups of family, friends and fellow fundraisers from Newmarket to Cattawade. It was a truly wonderful experience to share the fresh air and stunning views with others, whilst at the same time raising funds for Suffolk Mind and awareness of the real benefits of physical activity to improve mental health and wellbeing.
“I wish all my fellow fire-walkers the best of luck for the event, if you would like to sponsor me please visit my fundraising page on the Suffolk Mind website.”
Other business leaders include Carole Burman, Managing Director of MAD-HR; Ian White, Suffolk Mind Chair of Trustees and Managing Director at Becketts; and Andrew West, Managing Partner of Gotelee Solicitors LLP.
To support people taking on the Fire Walk, click here.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 26th February 2020
“I want to take him round in my heart” – runner to take part in London Marathon for Suffolk Mind in memory of her partner
A Suffolk woman, who lost her partner to suicide last year, will be running the Virgin London Marathon in his memory in April to fundraise for Suffolk Mind.
Natasha Miles tragically lost her partner Nick in May 2019 after what she now knows to be a long battle with mental illness. She applied for the marathon place that Suffolk Mind had secured through a lottery process.
Natasha said: “After tragically losing Nick, I felt passionate about raising awareness of mental health.
“My life will never be the same, but if I can help others in any way, I am determined to do so. Many of us have suffered varying degrees of mental ill health in our own lives, but we should not feel embarrassed or anxious about reaching out for support.
“Suffolk Mind is an amazing charity, that works extremely hard to help the community in all aspects of mental health and wellbeing and I am so pleased to support them.”
Natasha’s family and friends will be willing her on throughout the 26.2 miles on Sunday 26th April 2020. She has started her training already and will be running on the day with her friend.
Natasha continued: “For sure, doing the London Marathon is going to be extremely emotional – I miss Nick every single day. But to possibly achieve something that we both had talked about doing together, will mean the world to me. I know it’s what he would want me to do as I was always setting us new challenges.
“It is part of my own healing process, to carry his memory with me throughout my life in a very positive way and on the day of the London Marathon. I want to take him round in my heart”
Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind, Lizzy Tuthill said: “Natasha is a fantastic advocate for Suffolk Mind and we are so pleased she will be running the London Marathon for us.
“We want to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health, and with the help of people like Natasha, we hope to achieve that mission”.
Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 7th January 2020
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