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Mindfulness Bus is just the ticket for rural locations
29/08/2014

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is taking to the road to meet people living in some of the most hard to reach areas.

During September, the Trust will be visiting 130 villages across both counties to meet service users, their carers, families and friends, as well as members of the public.

The 22-day road trip follows months of planning after the Trust joined forces with Norfolk County Council and Suffolk Library’s mobile bus service, parish councils and the Women’s Institute.

Trust staff will be on board one library bus a day, known as the ‘Mindfulness Bus’, to provide residents in each of the locations with as much information as they need on mental health issues including stress, anxiety, depression and dementia.

Gary Page, Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Many people living in rural communities face considerable challenges when accessing key services and amenities. Though there are many benefits to living in the country, a lack of transport can create real problems, particularly for the elderly.

“This exciting initiative enables us to meet not just those with mental health concerns, but anyone who would like to learn more about mental health, wellbeing, our services or those of our partners.”

The Mindfulness Bus takes to the road from September 1 to 30, which is also World Dementia Awareness Month. Full details of routes and locations are available at www.nsft.nhs.uk/mindfulnessbus

Local Women’s Institute groups and parish councils have been busy distributing posters to generate awareness.

Trust staff will be handing out leaflets and talking to people about any mental health issues or concerns. They can also refer people to organisations such as Age UK, Dementia Alliance, Alzheimer’s Society and Suffolk Family Carers.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of health and social care services, specialising in mental health and wellbeing. The Wellbeing Service will also be on hand to discuss its free service, including a range of new mindfulness ‘taster sessions’, as well as workshops and courses on subjects such as managing stress and relaxation.

For more information about the Wellbeing Service, please visit www.readytochange.org.uk  ​