The co-produced Suffolk Mental Health Friends programme aims to encourage people to openly talk about the health of our minds.

We help to share an understanding about what mental health is and how we may look after our own and other people's mental health, with kindness.

Suffolk Mental Health Friends is helping in three ways;

  • Visiting and talking together with local people in groups countywide (free) 

  • Filming conversations with Services about support and sharing those films

  • Providing 'Happy to Chat' bench signs which help address social isolation

Visiting and talking together with local people in groups countywide (free)


We welcome opportunities to visit any group countywide, to talk together about mental health and wellbeing.

We illustrate the conversation using film clips, we bring a compact projector and sound.

We've shared a conversation with groups on more than 30 occasions, receiving very positive feedback (an evaluation of feedback is available).

The offer is to visit anywhere in Suffolk, on any day of the week, at anytime of day... to share a Suffolk Mental Health Friends session, for which we make no charge.

Filming conversations with Services about their support for mental health for people in Suffolk, and sharing those films...


Simon is filming conversations with people from supportive services, talking together about their area of specialism and the help they're offering people in Suffolk. 

These films are being shared by those Services, by the Suffolk VASP and by Healthwatch Suffolk.

All the films are available online, on the Healthwatch Suffolk Youtube channel. 

Film - In conversation with Claire Taylor-Haigh, co-founder of Women-Like-Me... 9th July 2020

Claire and Simon met at the Women-Like-Me wellbeing allotment in Beccles to talk together about the support Women-Like-Me offers, helping to support women's mental health. Including by offering three welcoming wellbeing allotments in Waveney for women, and through their Garden Angels scheme...


Film - In conversation with Hannah Aria, artist and facilitator of Creative Change workshops... 23rd July 2020

Hannah and Simon, together with Pete a member of the Creative Change workshops group, met by Framlingham Castle. Talking together about the ways in which art and craft can be helpful to mental health and the support the Creative Change workshops, a fun and friendly art group, has provided during the first Lockdown of 2020.


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Film - In conversation with Debbie Watson, founder of Wednesday's Child, which helps people with an eating disorder and their families... 17th September 2020

Debbie and Simon met beside the river Deben in Woodbridge to talk together about the challenge of living with an eating disorder and the different kinds of support being offered by Wednesday's Child. 


Providing 'Happy to Chat' bench signs which can help with social isolation


  • Offering to provide the 'Happy to Chat Bench' sign, co-designed with local people, to help address social isolation. 

  • The sign is for securing to a bench in a community space, and invites people to sit there if they don't mind someone stopping to say hello...

  • The sign is A5 in size, with a very friendly and colourful design, it's also weatherproof and can be easily secured using zip ties, which can be provided. 

To discuss any aspect of Suffolk Mental Health Friends please contact Simon, co-ordinator for the SMHF programme, and for the Suffolk VASP...


To subscribe to the VASP's circulation list:

if you're not already participating in the Suffolk VASP and receiving news from us, you're welcome to subscribe (free) here...


Alternatively, to subscribe (free), or to unsubscribe, please e-mail Simon King, the Suffolk VASP's Co-ordinator. To be included on the circulation list we need your; 1) name 2) e-mail address 3) name of your organisation (if applicable) 4) to know which is your nearest local VASP group? either... Ipswich, Haverhill, Waveney, Sudbury, Bury & Forest Heath, Coastal, Mid-Suffolk or Lowestoft and Waveney. Alternatively, if you have a countywide role please let us know and we'll include you in the Strategic VASP. 

Your contact details are used to share information about locality VASP meetings, and about local relevant news and events relating to mental health and wellbeing. 

For the Suffolk VASP's Privacy Statement, please click on the Privacy heading on the Home page.



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