Having good mental health is just as important as having good physical health. Being mentally well means that you feel good about yourself, you will make the most out of your life and opportunities and will feel connected to your friends and family.
When we’re talking about mental health, we’re talking about more than just being happy. Being mentally well means that you are able to cope when you go through a difficult time or when your physical health isn’t good.
Support in Suffolk
For people who live in West or East Suffolk, there is the Suffolk Wellbeing Service. This service is there to help and support you to improve your mental health and wellbeing whether you’re feeling stressed, have a low mood or suffer from anxiety.
The aim is to reduce mental health problems and stop them from deteriorating with a view to promoting recovery. They have a range of services that are flexible and tailored to meet individuals’ needs.
The services are provided in different community settings throughout Suffolk. There are courses, workshops, talking therapies like counselling and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as well as access to different social networks for peer support.
For those who live in Waverney, there is the Norfolk and Waveney Wellbeing Service who, in addition to the services above, also have Ambassadors. These are peer supports who are an extension to the services offered.
Getting help from a service
In Suffolk, you can visit the wellbeing website or contact the service by calling 0300 123 1781. For anyone under 16, your GP is your first point of contact. Your GP can then refer you to the services.
You can access:
- Wellbeing workshops on stress control
- Telephone support
- Short-term therapies
- One-to-one counselling
Mental Health Support – Contacts
In East and West Suffolk you can call 0300 123 1781 or visit www.wellbeingnands.co.uk/suffolk
In Waveney you can call 0300 123 1503 or visit www.wellbeingnands.co.uk/norfolk
Other places to access support
There is an NHS Choices page on the topic of mental health. This has a wealth of information about mental health. It also has links to websites outside the NHS that offer expertise and professional advice.
The national Counselling Directory is a service that is confidential. It encourages people in distress to get help. There is lots of information about different types of mental health issues and there are also lots of events, news and articles relating to mental health and wellbeing.
Mental Health Support for Children and Young People
About 10% of children are affected by mental health problems. These include anxiety, depression and conduct disorder. In children, mental health problems are usually a direct response to events in their lives.
It is important that young people are kept mentally healthy just as much as physically healthy.
In order to be in the best possible mental health, children and young people need to:
- Be in good health physically – they need to get regular exercise and eat a varied and balanced diet
- Have freedom and time to play both outdoors and indoors
- Be a part of a family where there is very little conflict
- Go to a school that cares about them and their wellbeing
- Take part in activities in their area
Children also need to:
- Feel loved, understood, trusted, safe and valued
- Have opportunities to enjoy themselves
- Be optimistic and hopeful
- Have a sense of belonging within their family, their school and their community
- Feel that they have control over what happens to them
Most children do grow up with good mental health however, there is evidence to suggest that there are more occurrences of mental health problems in children and young people nowadays than there was a generation ago. This is possibly down to how the way we live our lives has changed and how this influences the growing-up experiences.
For young people, Suffolk has the Suffolk Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Hub.
The priority of this hub was to make a new team across multiple agencies to become a central contact for young people or those concerned about a young person’s mental health right from 0 to age 25.
The hub can be contacted on 0345 600 2090. They also have a website: http://www.emotionalwellbeinggateway.org.uk/.
Seeking help in a crisis
If you need urgent help, or someone close to you does, then you need to contact The Samaritans. They are there to help you 24/7 if you are having a mental health crisis, have feelings of despair or feel suicidal. You can contact them on 08457 909 090. They have a website located at www.samaritans.org.
Don’t forget, you can also contact your GP. If it’s out of hours, there is also an out of hours service.
In an emergency, you should call 999 for an ambulance.