Hello everyone. My name’s Jason Joseph. Some of you may have seen me before, as I worked in mental health commissioning previously.
I’m the newest member of the mental health team, supporting mental health in Suffolk and north east Essex.
So, what’s been happening over the last 14 weeks during COVID? You remember before we started and got into the COVID period, we were working on an emergency phone line to support people with mental health in the community. Well, we needed to move quickly. And we did that. So, we set up the first response line in April. It supports people 24/7 in Suffolk and in Norfolk with their mental health issues. And it goes directly to a mental health professional within NSFT.
Now, some of you might recall that we thought about using NHS 111 and option 2, as has happened in lots of other areas of the country. Now, because we had to move quickly, we weren’t able to do that. But it’s still our committed plan to move towards that NHS 111 option 2 in the foreseeable future.
What else have we been doing? Across the last 14 weeks we’ve recruited teams within the community and the crisis department within NSFT. And looked at enhancing our patient [psychiatric] liaison service to make it 24/7 and enhancing the support to children, families and young people.
We continue to work on the community and crisis models with our partners. We are so committed to keep on with the work with the voluntary sector and other system partners within Suffolk and north east Essex.
You all know that we’re already working with organisations like Suffolk Parent Carer Network, Suffolk User Forum, Suffolk Mind and Suffolk Family Carers. But we don’t want it to stop there. We want to work with as many different voluntary and community sector organisations in supporting people with mental health in Suffolk and north east Essex as possible.
There’s going to be more work around recovery on COVID over the forthcoming weeks. We are committed to continue to work in co-production with our voluntary sector partners to get the best system response in Suffolk as possible. We know there could be another surge of COVID at some point and we understand the implications for people’s lives and livelihoods in Suffolk and north east Essex in that period. We’re concerned about people having higher levels of anxiety and depression, we’re concerned about people possibly losing their jobs. There’s never been a more important time to work together to ensure we’ve got a good system that can support people as well as possible.
Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you, not only for the work that’s happened over the last two to three years, in terms of co-production, to design the services we need for our families, our young people and older people in Suffolk, but a huge thank you for the work you’ve done over the last 14 weeks in responding to our needs. And I really want to highlight a couple of projects. So the Suffolk Connect project in West Suffolk, that Suffolk Mind have run and delivered that supports over 500 people with their mental health needs, and the Suffolk User Forum project in Ipswich – linked to one of our GP surgeries, that’s keeping people who are shielded away from their anxious thoughts and keeping them occupied and supporting them with managing their depression and other mental health illnesses.
We’re excited about the future. And we hope you can keep working with us to make sure that we hear the user’s voice in Suffolk and we design services that really support people to keep well and stay well.
You can find more information on the #averydifferentconversation crisis page.