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
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
Free Workshop - Confidence & Relationships
The workshop will be run by Linda Barbour for Suffolk User Forum
Thursday 19th May 2016 from 10.30 to 12.30
John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Stowmarket IP14 1ET
SUF is pleased to support Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 by running this free workshop for our members and supporters. Linda Barbour will facilitate the workshop focusing on confidence & relationships. Linda has been a counsellor for over 20 years, is a BACP Accredited counsellor & a BACP Registered coach.
Please book your place via SUF on tel 01473 907087. Reasonable travel expenses will be paid.
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;
This also means that the email address for Jayne Davey will now be firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not use the NSFT email address email@example.com
We will also no longer be using the following email account: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our email addresses are as follows:
and our generic enquiry email address is email@example.com
Vacancy SUF Chair of Trustees
Are you passionate about mental health and wellbeing in Suffolk?
Due to the retirement of our longstanding chair of trustees Jeannie Wright, an exciting opportunity has arisen to lead a dynamic and passionate board of seven trustees, to shape the strategic direction and future of Suffolk User Forum.
Suffolk User Forum (SUF) is a small but highly successful charity based in Kesgrave, Ipswich, with a mission to be the voice of mental health service users in Suffolk. We are looking for a motivated and organised individual who has experience of leading an organisation within a challenging environment. You will have a human understanding of mental healthcare today and tomorrow. Your background is likely to include management, strategic planning, budgeting with limited resources, fundraising and governance of a small-to-medium sized organisation. Experience in the voluntary/community sector is desirable. Previous experience as a Chair or trustee would be welcomed.
Key skills will include the ability to: lead and motivate a team of trustees; develop effective relationships across a wide variety of stakeholders; strong communication and sound decision-making skills. It will be essential to be able to prioritise scarce resources.
Please see the Chair of Trustees Role Description for further details.
The Chair of Trustees role is a voluntary position and as such attracts travel expenses to perform the duties but is not a funded position. The time commitment is approximately 5 to 6 days per month on average including monthly board meetings and sub group meetings. This time commitment is approximate and includes email correspondence, networking, representing SUF and document review.
Expressions of interest due in by the end of April 2016 to SUF Company Secretary, Claire Anderson, in the first instance by email Claire@suffolkuserforum.co.uk
Informal discussions welcomed, please contact SUF Company Secretary, Claire Anderson, in the first instance on telephone 01473 907087.
26th Feb 2016 Our joint report with 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Modern Matrons Mental Health Roadshow
Suffolk Modern Matrons Kris Panvalkar, Lianne Nunn and Tara Brown are holding a series
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
Connecting people with the experience of mental illness
to support a stronger user voice. Tel 01473 907087