Welcome to Suffolk User Forum

  Providing feedback to inform, shape and improve services.  Active across the whole of Suffolk.  

SUF Ipswich office :  Unit 3a, Grange Business Centre, Tommy Flowers Drive, Kesgrave,  Ipswich IP5 2BY  

 Telephone 01473 907087

  Email us directly at: hello@suffolkuserforum.co.uk or through our Contact Us page 



16th to 22nd May - Mental Health Awareness Week 2016

SUF had a busy week visiting Eye library, a workshop at Stowmarket and an event in Sudbury.

 Thank you to Linda Barbour for running the workshop focusing on confidence and relationships and thank you to everyone that came. 

"Many thanks Linda for your workshop on 19th in Stowmarket, I found it very helpful"  - Jeannette



 3rd May 2016 - SUF latest newsletter is available now


            In this issue we are pleased to include lots of news and information plus

               * Jeannie Wright wins Highly Commended at the High Sheriff's Award

               * Using Spirituality to Overcome Depression, article by Samantha Brook, SUF Trustee

               * Homelessness on our Doorstep, Jayne Davey tells us of her recent experience talking to a        homeless man in Woodbridge

                 * SUF advocacy project launches this month
   Download the newsletter here as a pdf or contact us for a printed version. If you would like the newsletter in any other format such as large print please do contact us.

If you have an event, group or information that you would like to be included in our newsletter please contact us hello@suffolkuserforum.co.uk 

 For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson  


  Homeless … remember to keep on boogieing! 

 Jayne Davey SUF Manager recently talked to a homeless man in Woodbridge and wrote about her encounter:-

Sitting having a morning Costa Coffee in Woodbridge, I talk to my friend about a new film made by her favourite heart throb Richard Gere, who is using his celebrity capital this week to raise awareness of homelessness as he promotes a film in which he plays a man living on the streets. Having heard him interviewed on Radio 4 last week, I tell her that Gere has summed up what home and housing is; 

 “Housing is the most important thing in bringing anyone back into society. It’s that sense of self … that ‘I exist and have some importance to people around me’. I’m saddened that we’re all too selfish to help each other as much as we should.” 

 We talk about Gere’s spiritual beliefs of Buddhism; We talk about human compassion, how Gere has challenged the debate about how we see homeless people and how we question whether we should give money, asking ourselves will they ‘waste it’ on cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, or could we just give with compassion and without judgement, as Gere says: “It’s not to up to us to make that judgment. Give them money. Ultimately, a genuine act of generosity communicates to that person.” 

As we talk, a man, in his 40’s I guess, looking like a builder in a high vis Jacket approaches us. He is drinking a can of high alcohol cider, ‘Excuse me, I cannot help but over hear your conversation. I’m homeless, I don’t believe in God but value Buddhist principles, he says. He pulls up a chair, ‘I sometimes pick up cigarettes ends here.’

read the full article here



SUF March Newsletter is available to download here or paper copies are available.

In this issue we have further details on;

·       Mental Health Advocacy project launching next month

·       An introduction to the Local Area Coordination Network

·       Interview with Martin Wright, NSFT Public Governor for Suffolk

·       Focus on Peer Support Groups in Suffolk


If you have an event, support group or information that you would like to promote to SUF Members please do contact us. We would really like to hear your experience of recent mental health services in Suffolk and if you need support to convey this or perhaps write about your experience, we are here to help.


SUF Mental Health Advocacy

I know I have rights, choices and a voice        

A new pilot project delivering Mental Health Advocacy within East and West Suffolk

is launching in April 2016 – initially for a 6 months trial.

 SUF listened to what our members told us – We took action

Over the last year SUF members have been saying that they do not understand their legal rights when receiving mental health care; did not know that they had choices or even basic fundamental human rights. Patients who had been detained under Section of the Mental Health Act 2007, also did not understand the rights they had whilst being on a section. Through newsletter articles SUF has begun to inform our members and supporters about our human and legal rights. At the same time SUF has been talking about these concerns with Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, at their law forum and to Suffolk County Council, Customer Rights team, who fund mental health advocacy.

Together with VoiceAbility, SUF will from April 2016, pilot a new way of offering information about rights and choices, to support great advocacy for mental health in Suffolk. The SUF Mental Health Advocate will hold regular inpatient/ward based ‘drop in’ sessions providing information and referral to the professional Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) where appropriate.

The SUF Mental Health Advocate will be contactable via the SUF office on tel 01473 907087.


MARCH News Update 

SUF has successfully transferred our ICT support we would like to confirm that

our new and permanent phone number is now;

01473 907087             


 This also means that the email address for Jayne Davey will now be jayne@suffolkuserforum.co.uk


Please do not use the NSFT email address jayne.davey@nsft.nhs.uk 

   We will also no longer be using the following email account: suf.mh@nsft.nhs.uk


   All of our email addresses are as follows:





and our generic enquiry email address is hello@suffolkuserforum.co.uk


26th Feb 2016          Our joint report with Healthwatch Suffolk        Healthwatch Suffolk

We are pleased to publish the final report from our partnership working with Healthwatch Suffolk, through which we engaged Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) service users for their views and experiences. It is important to note that we cannot claim our results to be representative of the entire population of NSFT service users however the findings raise some interesting themes and are worthy of attention. 

Results of note include: 

  -  32% of people who had been referred to NSFT did not receive their first contact from the Trust for over one month.

  -  Over 1 in 3 respondents considered that they did not have a care plan in place.

  -  44% said that they would have liked family or friends involved in reviews of their care but they were not.

  -  Over half of our respondents were not told about medication side effects during appointments.

  -  Half of the respondents did not think they had a discharge plan.

Read more about the report on our news page

To view the full report click here or contact SUF for a paper copy. If you would like the report in a format such as easy read or large print contact us 01473 633733 or email hello@suffolkuserforum.co.uk

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey and stepping forward event by sharing our commitment to ensuring that everyone knows how their contribution has made a difference.


Mental Health Awareness Workshops

                Suffolk User Forum have developed workshops that can be delivered in your workplace,                                       for your staff and managers.

These workshops introduce the benefits of maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. They look at the steps anyone can take to look out for others at work and a short DVD is shown to provide examples of early warning signs. The focus of the workshop is discussion around the knowledge of mental ill health already existing with staff and how these “Hidden Talents” can be used to benefit the whole company.

see our workplace wellbeing page for more information

1 in 6 employees are currently experiencing mental ill health which, every year, costs British businesses in terms of lost production over £1000 per employee. 

View a 4 minute long presentation film here

 In business mental health is everyone's business

Suffolk User Forum (SUF) is a user led mental health Charity.
This means that all of our trustees, staff and volunteers have lived experience of mental ill health. This matters to us because we have a genuine understanding of living with or caring for people with mental ill health.
We are dedicated to speaking out for the mental health & wellbeing of service users in Suffolk when they need help to do so. SUF covers the whole range of services from wellbeing to support; from GP led care and treatment through to voluntary and statutory sector services including in-patient care.

To find out more about SUF and our key priorities for 2015-2017 please follow

this link to our About Us page.



Connecting people with the experience of mental illness

to support a stronger user voice. Tel 01473 907087