New mental health information service for Suffolk thanks to partnership between charities and library

A wellbeing event for Mental Health Awareness Week at Ipswich Library. Picture: Phil Morley

A wellbeing event for Mental Health Awareness Week at Ipswich Library. Picture: Phil Morley - Credit: Archant

A new phone-line and extra support groups are to be laid on in Suffolk to help people improve their mental health.

Suffolk Libraries, Suffolk Family Carers and Suffolk Mind have come together to start a new partnership with the aim of developing an easy access and open-to-all wellbeing information service.

It has been made possible thanks to a grant from Suffolk County Council and Suffolk’s CCGs on behalf of the Mental Health Pooled Fund.

The project will build on existing provision in the county but inspires to add a fresh information phone-line, signposting, community-based help groups, drop-ins and information events.

Assistance will be provided to those who care for people living with mental ill health by Suffolk Family Carers; while Suffolk Mind is set to recruit 10 new volunteers as “peer mentors”.

Christina Perea, volunteer and ecotherapy service manager at Suffolk Mind, said: “Our peer mentors will come alongside people who need some encouragement or advice on what they can do to support their mental wellbeing and better meet their emotional and physical needs so they are more emotionally resilient and happier.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can email here.

Suffolk Libraries will continue to train its staff, develop resources as well its Open Space group, which already offers drop-in sessions in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, partnering with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Julian Support.

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Jason Joseph, commissions manager for Suffolk County Council, said the authority was “proud” to back the partnership.

He added: “It builds on Suffolk’s ambition to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“We are always working hard to support local organisations and this project will provide information, advice and guidance for people to improve their wellbeing.”

The first stage will begin next month, which will involve designing the service, rolling out new projects and engaging stakeholders.

To have your say on what you want to new initiative to look like, email here or fill in a survey here.