Working together to provide better care for everyone
The last year has demonstrated how communities pull together at times of crisis, when lots of people need support in many different ways.
Life has changed for everyone – whether furloughed or not…working from home, or working in an environment that’s busier or much quieter than usual. For all of us, the way we meet our emotional needs and stay well has been different.
As we start to look towards a time when things change again, Suffolk Mind has joined together with other local charities and public sector bodies to support the Integrated Care Academy at the University of Suffolk.
Our involvement stems around our desire to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health. To achieve this ambition, we’re always keen to recruit others to the cause – we can’t do it alone.
So it makes sense to want to create a future in which people come from all over the world to Suffolk to learn about the best way to deliver integrated care.
For us, this means delivering care that enables people to meet their emotional needs, rather than putting up barriers – and it means everyone delivering care to people is skilled in identifying unmet needs and coaching people through spotting the barriers and coming up with solutions.
Working with the University of Suffolk, we hope to raise more awareness of our approach, and train people who deliver services to be able to help the people they see in a more holistic way. If we’re all using the same language, and working towards identifying unmet emotional needs, then we stand a better chance of keeping people at the wellbeing end of the mental health continuum.
You can read more about our suggested approach to health in this paper.
Author: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 29th March 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. Please note, this service has now closed.
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
The number of people stressed and at risk of slipping into mental ill health in Suffolk nearly doubled during lockdown
Independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind, has released the results of a survey looking at the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on mental health in the county.
It reveals that during the lockdown period (March – June 2020) nearly half of people in Suffolk (46.3%) were not meeting their emotional needs on average, and therefore liable to stress and potential mental health issues. This compared to the year before lockdown when it was one in four people (24.2%).
Those that were unable to work, unemployed people and those who are gender non-binary were most likely to experience a significant decrease in wellbeing during the pandemic.
Abi a volunteer at Suffolk Mind found it a difficult few months: “Lockdown has been a complete struggle for me – I’ve not had anything to do, I can’t work due to a life lasting disability and I couldn’t see anyone. I struggle with the whole idea that there is something out there that can harm you, it panics me.
“I had nice things booked like holidays and events and they’ve been cancelled. I just don’t see the fun in life anymore, I don’t see joy; I feel as if I’m just existing in a world that is not very nice.
“I’ve never needed support for my mental health, but I am looking to access some through Suffolk Mind. I just need someone to talk to and discuss my worries.”
The research also showed that:
· 45% of people were not meeting the need for community, feeling connected to a group
· 46% of respondents were not feeling appreciated and valued
· 39% didn’t feel as if they had control and autonomy over their lives
Naomi Simons, Research and Evaluation Manager at Suffolk Mind, said: “As a county, our need to feel connected to a wider community, our need for status, and for control were, overall, the least well met on average during the pandemic.
“The fact that 45% of us that were not meeting the need for community could be explained by physical distancing measures, preventing us from meeting up with our friends and family, and leading to the cancellation of many organised group activities. This was particularly felt among younger people.
“Equally, 46% of respondents were not meeting their need for status or respect, which is about feeling appreciated and recognised. This could be due to the number of people not in active employment as a result of the pandemic; something which is also likely to have had an impact on meaning and purpose.
“Again, it’s perhaps not surprising that 39% didn’t feel as if they had control and autonomy over their lives, given none of us could predict what was going to happen next.”
Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind, said: “Nearly half of people in Suffolk struggled during lockdown and they could be knocking on the door of mental health services any day now looking to access support. But while this research highlights the great importance of mental health services in our county, it also points to some of the things we can all do to help keep mental ill health at bay.
“How can we get community groups up and running again, in a safe way, as soon as possible? What other opportunities can we create for people to get meaning and purpose in their lives, and to feel valued by their community? There is probably some unemployment on the horizon, what can we do to enable people to continue learning, and to be stretched and challenged so they meet the need for achievement?
“At Suffolk Mind we encourage people to look after themselves and others around them by meeting emotional needs. To help people who are struggling we are continuing to make available on our website free resources and advice.
“It is also important to continue working together across the system, with, for example, the Suffolk Says Thanks campaign. This is all about encouraging people to appreciate and thank each other for the small things in life.”
Have a look around our website or call us on 03001116000 if you are looking for support.
And visit SuffolkSaysThanks.com to join the campaign to show appreciation.
Access the full report here.
Author: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 21st August 2020
Suffolk Mind launches new fundraising campaign to plug £50,000 donations gap
Suffolk Mind has launched a new video fundraising campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week (18th -24th May) having missed out on around £50,000 of anticipated donations due to the Coronavirus pandemic so far.
The independent mental health charity, that receives no direct funding from the national Mind charity, has released a video featuring its CEO, Jon Neal, highlighting the impact of the lockdown, the support they are continuing to provide and how people can support the charity.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, vital fundraising events, including the London Marathon, Great East Swim and Orwell Challenge, have been cancelled. Events such as these provide important income to the charity that enables new services to be developed, helping more people across Suffolk, especially at such an important time like this.
Suffolk Mind predict that if fundraising events continue to be cancelled, they will lose more than £150,000 in donations this year.
Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind, said: “We have adapted our services and provided more resources over the past two months to ensure those who need it are continuing to receive vital support.
But nobody is running marathons, climbing mountains or hosting bake sales at the moment. So we are asking for the support of the Suffolk community to enable us to continue providing as much support as possible, both now and for many more years into the future when we’ll be needed even more.”
Suffolk Mind has recently launched a new service to provide counselling to our fantastic frontline NHS staff and care workers, over 70’s support and counselling for men.
Lizzy Tuthill, Community Fundraising Coordinator at Suffolk Mind said: “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.
Author: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 22nd May 2020
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 Survey 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: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 18th May 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: Ellie Winch
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: Ellie Winch
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: Ellie Winch
Posted on: 20th March 2020