Suffolk User Forum (SUF) is a service user-led mental health charity.
We work with mental health service users, patients and family carers. We listen to and value peoples lived experience of services and support, anonymously sharing feedback to support commissioners and service providers, to make developments that enable positive change and improvements to emotional well-being, mental health services and support community resilience.
Where people are keen to be involved, we support them to work together with commissioners and providers to coproduce improved care pathways and community support.
Everyone has a story…
…share yours and together we can make a difference!
Current mental health developments that SUF is supporting and informing through sharing your lived experiences.
In partnership with the Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, GP’s, Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust, service users and family carers, SUF is supporting and informing the following work and developments;
- Improving Emergency and crisis support pathways for people in very high levels of emotional and mental distress.
- Improving referral pathways for mental health care assessment.
- Developing improved care pathways for community mental healthcare, which is currently provided by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trusts Integrated Delivery Teams.
- Developing a crisis cafe for people in Suffolk.
In partnership with Suffolk Public Health, voluntary sector partners and Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust, SUF is supporting and informing;
- The development and delivery of the Suffolk wide suicide prevention strategy called Suffolk Lives Matter.
- The development and project planning for the suicide strategy within Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust.
- The development of a more joined up care and treatment opportunities for people living personality disorders.
Support for you through Informal Mental Health Advocacy – working as a partner within Total Voice Suffolk, SUF is providing informal mental health Advocacy.
By providing information we enable service users and their family carers to know more about their rights and choices in mental health care and support.
James our Mental Health Advocate is providing weekly Advocacy Drop-in sessions on 2 acute inpatient units in Ipswich (Avocet & Poppy wards) and from 6th June 2017 in two acute wards in Bury St Edmunds.
Regular Advocacy drop ins are also now delivered at libraries across the County. Please look at our events page and calendar for more information and details.
Examples of the range of issues the SUF Informal Mental Health Advocate can support people with.
Under the new Advocacy contract the SUF Advocate is the first point of contact for people who wish to know their Statutory Rights as either a Voluntary or detained patient. Examples of Advocacy given about rights includes ensuring people know;
· Their rights as a Voluntary Patient
· Know their rights as a Detained Patient.
· Have information about how to Appeal against a Section.
2. Care Plans
Supporting people to know information about their care plan. This can include confirmation they have a care plan, confirmation that amendments have been made as requested. Confirmation and details about care plan reviews.
3. Issues regarding patient authorization for leave from the ward
Supporting people to have information about their request for authorised leave and confirmation that authorisation has been granted.
Supporting people to make complaints and where necessary referring onto to TVS partner for NHS Complaints.
5. Supporting people with care and treatment concerns
6. One to one time
Supporting people to understand more about their one to one time on the ward.
Evaluating risk and making Safeguarding referrals where appropriate.
6. Medication, test results and appointments
Supporting people to have information and advice about their medication and confirmation of appointments and the outcome of test results.
To other agencies and community resources for discharge planning, peer support or Local Area Coordination.
8. Relationships with other professionals
Supporting people to navigate for positive outcomes with other professionals, including care coordinators, support workers etc.
Supporting people to know their choices and options for planning to return to work, including re-gaining self-confidence and new skills.
10. Housing Support
Supporting people to know and understand their choices and options regarding a number of housing and housing related issues.
11. Referral on to other Total Voice Suffolk Partners for
For Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) and Independent Mental Health Capacity Act Advocacy (IMCA).
Total Voice Suffolk (TVS) Advocacy Partners include:
- Suffolk User Forum
- ACE Anglia
- Suffolk Family Carers
- Royal Deaf Association
- Suffolk Age UK
Please do share your feedback about mental healthcare so that together we can make a real difference in Suffolk.
You can share your feedback right now by phoning us on 01473 907087
Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Online through this website – contact us page.
Or write to us using our FREEPOST address;
RTHU-UJJS-XZCL The New Hollies
Grange Business Centre
Tommy Flowers Drive
Suffolk. IP5 2BY
Alternatively go to our Events Page to find dates when SUF is visiting in your area.
Individually Funded Projects
In addition to the core aims of SUF, we have individually funded projects.
“Behind the Curtains”
SUF’s DVD project called “Behind the Curtains” is the personal experiences of SUF members discussing how mental health problems have affected their lives and what they have been able to do to manage the effects on their wellbeing. The project consists of a two part DVD, a booklet of associated life stories with an introduction on ‘recovery’ and notes with suggestions on how the information can be used. It is relevant to service users, mental health professionals, and all organisations highlighting the importance of mental health and its relationship to a person’s wellbeing.
This project was funded by a grant from Awards for All (Big Lottery) and NSFT.
“Sticks and Stones”
SUF’s DVD “Sticks and Stones” is a recording of current mental health service users talking about everyday language, how it can hurt and impact on their wellbeing. This was first shown at the St Audrey’s project at East Anglian Museum of Daily Life.