Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Suffolk libraries to increase mental health services in 2016

12:01 05 January 2016

Suffolk Libraries

Suffolk Libraries' mental health and wellbeing co-ordinator Sarah Lungley

Archant

Suffolk libraries are looking to build on their strong presence in the community to support sufferers of mental ill health as they relaunch services for the new year.

A Suffolk Libraries mental health workshopA Suffolk Libraries mental health workshop

Libraries across the county have been offering schemes to help people find help for the past six years, but say they will be developing the programme even further in 2016 as the service backs the EADT’s Mental Healthwatch campaign.

Sarah Lungley, who was recently appointed as Suffolk Libraries’ new mental health and well-being co-ordinator, said there was an increasing emphasis on community organisations to step in because of the cuts facing statutory services.

“Libraries are seen as being a safe space at the centre of the community by lots of people,” she said.

“I think that can make it seem like a more approachable place for people who might be struggling with mental health or well-being to seek help.

“It can feel less pressured coming into the library than the clinical setting. Everyone knows where their local library is.”

The mental health programme offered up until now has been mainly an information-sharing system, 
helping to direct people to various points of help while working with a wide variety of health and social care providers in the county.

Library staff have been given guidance on how to support people seeking help and to provide the relevant information they might need. And a number of regular sessions have been held at the larger libraries by teaming up with other organisations and providers.

The Action Happiness programme, provided in partnership with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and with funding from Suffolk Community Foundation, has proved a popular part of the scheme, with workshops held in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds.

Some of the mental health information offered at libraries in SuffolkSome of the mental health information offered at libraries in Suffolk

Based on an international scheme helping people with advice on how to become happier or help make their community a happier place, the programme also involves comedy film nights and “laugh aloud” book groups.

Ms Lungley said the plan for 2016 was to continue with the programmes offered so far while at the same time looking to provide more mental health and well-being services inhouse, to be announced over the coming months.

“I think the awareness is definitely growing,” she said. “As a community organisation the more our staff are provided with the knowledge and competency to help support people with issues such as mental health the easier it will be for people to come forward.

“Lots of people who use the library do so on a regular basis and so staff get to know them really quite well and so they can pick up on issues if they present themselves.”

A recent survey revealed Suffolk libraries received 154 enquiries about their mental health services over the course of a week – the equivalent of around 2,000 a year, which is expected to grow in 2016 as the service develops further.

Examples of Suffolk Libraries projects held over recent years

A Suffolk Libraries mental health workshopA Suffolk Libraries mental health workshop

Warm Handover project – Suffolk Libraries is part of a partnership of organisations working to help people find the help they need. As part of this partnership, if one organisation believes someone would benefit the services of another organisation they can make referrals. This means people do not have to repeat their stories to multiple organisations and also helps them access services they might not have been aware of.

Men’s Health week – Working with Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Mind, African and Caribbean Men’s Health Forum, and others, Suffolk Libraries helped provide events around health and well-being for men and promote local services.

Suffolk Information Standard – Suffolk Libraries was one of the first organisations to be accredited with the Suffolk Information Standard, in recognition of providing reliable and up-to-date information on health, care and well-being. Suffolk Healthwatch helped establish this.

Living Library – Suffolk Libraries has provided several “Living Library” events for psychology students at One, formerly Suffolk One, as well as other schools and colleges. This allows students to spend time with a volunteer to hear their experiences around mental health.

Physical activities – Ipswich Library has hosted new age kurling sessions for older people, while Halesworth Library has provided fitness sessions as part of the NHS Exercise Referral Scheme.

Visit here for more details on our Mental Health Watch campaign

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Suffolk fisherman Harry Simper

A young Suffolk fisherman has netted himself a national award.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Photo: David Tett

From half-term fun and open gardens to the Suffolk Show and air displays, there’s plenty to see and do in Suffolk during the school holidays.

John Popplewell with his 45lb stingray

A Clacton fisherman caught a “monster” stingray weighing nearly three and a half stone on an Essex beach this week – and filmed it all on his new GoPro.

Essex fire crews.

Firefighters attending a blaze in the basement of a Harwich home initially thought someone was trapped in the house.

A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO outside Heveningham Hall. Picture: Cameron Maynard/Aperto Photos.

An 18th Century Suffolk mansion has announced plans to host a gathering of rare classic cars as part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of its annual country fair.

BBC's Springwatch has arrived in Minsmere Nature reserve for the third year.
Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.

A new Springwatch star is likely to be born at RSPB Minsmere in the next three weeks to capture the hearts of millions of viewers in the same way that a hapless little fish did during last year’s immensely popular BBC nature showcase series.

Gina Long celebrating with the family on receiving her MBE

Three community heroes from Suffolk were honoured for their selfless work and made an MBE by Prince Charles.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24