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Special First Aid workshop to help boost wellbeing
21/08/2015

People from across Norfolk and Waveney are being given the opportunity to take part in a bespoke workshop, where they can learn more about common mental health issues, where to go for help and how to get the most from the treatments available.

Mind First Aid will launch on 1 September as part of a new-look Wellbeing service, which will be run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in partnership with Mind and Relate.

Spread across two days, it will give anyone who is experiencing problems with anxiety, stress, depression or other common mental health issues the chance to find out more about looking after their wellbeing, recovery and the treatment which is available.

The workshop aims to help people better understand their symptoms and get the most out of support offered by the service, which includes talking therapies and social interventions.

People who have been through similar experiences will also be on hand during the workshops to bring to life the ethos and theory and help participants develop plans for the next steps they will take.

Simon Barker, Mind First Aid Manager at Norwich Mind, said: “The aim of the two days is to give people the opportunity to learn about what’s going on for them, look at things from a different angle explore how they can take charge of their recovery.

“We have tried to make the workshop as relaxed and informal as possible; there are no icebreakers and people who don’t want to talk in front of others don’t have to.

“You are welcome to complete it at any time during your connection with Wellbeing; you may want to come along before beginning your counselling, for example, or you may prefer to wait until you have tried a few other group sessions – it’s up to you.

“Like everything on offer through the Wellbeing service, you pick and choose the bits that look interesting to you, Mind First Aid is one of many opportunities available.”

The new-look Wellbeing service will build on the work of the existing Norfolk and Great Yarmouth and Waveney services, extending to offer help to those with more complex levels of need as well as young people aged from 16 upwards.

It is hoped an additional 3,500 people every year will benefit, with the service aiming to treat patients as early as possible within GP practices or community settings before their problems become too great.

As well as courses and workshops, counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, the service will offer a range of social support to help people return to a productive life.

Nesta Reeve, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead from NSFT, said: “This bespoke course is open to anyone with mild or moderate difficulties who feels they may benefit from finding out more about common mental health problems and the treatments which are available.

“It has been designed to help people understand more about the range of help which the Wellbeing service offers and select which of those interventions may be beneficial to them. We’ll be holding the courses at a variety of community settings across Norfolk and Waveney to make them as easy as possible for people to access.

“Our aim is to make sure the help we offer is as flexible as possible so that it effectively meets the needs of each individual.”

For more details or to self-refer to a first aid course, visit the new Wellbeing service website at www.wellbeingnandw.co.uk or call 0300 123 1503.​