People from across Suffolk will be able to get easier access to help for anxiety, stress and depression along with advice to safeguard their wellbeing when a new-look service launches next month.

Wellbeing Suffolk, which is being provided by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), will launch on 1 September to offer people accessible, responsive help before their problems become too great. It will expand and improve on NSFT’s existing Suffolk Wellbeing Service by offering help to children as well as adults and providing extended opening hours during the week.

The service will work proactively to support people to have a good life rather than responding if they become unwell. It will also offer talking therapies to a wider range of people, including some who would traditionally be referred to specialist mental health services.

Its aim is to reach as many patients as early as possible within GP practices or community settings, focusing on early intervention to help them recover more quickly.

To deliver the service, NSFT will sub-contract a wide variety of third sector organisations such as 4YP, Relate and Age UK Suffolk, to provide interventions to aid wellbeing, such as support for carers. As well as allowing the service to reach more people, this will also help build resilience within the community by boosting the funding available to the third sector.

Nesta Reeve, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead from NSFT said: “This new-look service will build on the success of the existing Suffolk Wellbeing Service, which has helped thousands of people lead fulfilling and productive lives since we first launched it more than four years ago.

“Innovative and creative, the service will see us work proactively with employers, councils, education providers, public health and the wider NHS to focus on what they can do to support people to have a good life, rather than waiting for them to become unwell then providing help.

“We will also be treating people holistically – if someone is depressed because of social isolation, for example, we will look at how they increase their connections and become more integrated, such as by starting an evening class or joining a club.

“From the start of the service, we will co-produce interventions with our service users so that we know they are what people want and need. By working with our stakeholders, evaluating our data, and reviewing outcomes, we will be able to make sure our service truly meets the needs of the people of Suffolk.”

NSFT was awarded the five-year contract to run the service earlier this spring following a competitive tendering process by West Suffolk and Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Patients aged 16 years and over will be able to self-refer as well as be referred via their GP. You can also follow the service on Twitter @Wellbeing_Suff and like its Facebook page by searching for Wellbeing Suffolk.

A brand new website, www.wellbeingsuffolk.co.uk, will launch on 1 September.

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