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Who Are We?

SAGES is a new mental wellbeing resource provided by Suffolk Libraries, Suffolk Family Carers and Suffolk Mind. The partnership has been funded by the Mental Health Pooled Fund (Suffolk County Council and Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups) to provide Suffolk with advice, guidance and emotional support.

Our aim is to help you find the information you need, when you need it, to improve or maintain your mental wellbeing.

Our Partners

New Chapters is Suffolk Libraries’ mental health and wellbeing information service. It aims to provide good quality information across Suffolk and to support staff to signpost customers. It can also link people with many different groups, activities and services.

Suffolk Libraries have increased the mental health and wellbeing books and resources available across Suffolk. They are also rolling out wellbeing groups and activities, including Open Space. 

 

Suffolk Family Carers provide support, information and advice to carers and their families. This includes campaigning on issues which affect family carers to ensure their voices are heard and running information courses on many topics.

Two dedicated SAGES workers have been recruited who can provide one to one support for those caring for people living with a mental health illness.  They also facilitate Making Space groups in the community.

Suffolk Mind deliver services in Suffolk to support people’s needs and mental wellbeing and are affiliated to national Mind. They provide information and advice, supported housing, education and counselling amongst many other things.

Suffolk Mind have recruited Peer Mentor Volunteers across Suffolk to support SAGES, Open Space groups and peer support in the community.

As a partnership we are each responsible for delivering core parts of the service, but we are also dedicated to working together and with other organisations. SAGES have spent time talking to people and gathering feedback, including those with lived experience and professionals, to find out what people would like. We have built the service and this website based on this information.

What is Mental Health?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health and there are many things which can affect our mental wellbeing.

Currently, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem every year and it is estimated that 1 in 6 of us will have experienced common mental health issues in the past week, so it’s important we do what we can to understand and support our mental wellbeing.

Many professionals now agree that mental health is on a scale, with stress as an important factor. This means that if we are stressed for a long time, combined with our life experiences and lifestyles, it can lead to experiencing mental health difficulties or illnesses.

As human beings, we move up and down the scale every day and any number of life experiences can affect where we are.

Mental wellbeing

What is good mental wellbeing?

A good level of mental wellbeing can mean having good self-esteem, being content, feeling productive and able to cope with life's ups and downs.

It is important to remember that even when we have good mental wellbeing, we can all experience days in which we may feel low or worried.

No matter where we are on the scale, there is lots of information and support available for people to live fulfilling and able lives, including people who are experiencing long term illness.

More information on mental health issues and disorders can be found HERE

Mental health difficulties

What are mental health difficulties?

There are many different reasons and contributing factors to having mental health difficulties and some of them are beyond our control.

It could be a change in relationship, a physical illness, experiencing debt and housing issues or a bereavement.

Some of the symptoms you may experience could be low energy, difficulty in concentrating, insomnia, and physical symptoms such as digestive issues, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.

Prolonged periods of stress and poor mental wellbeing can lead to anxiety, depression and low mood.

Mental health illness

What is mental health illness?

Mental health illnesses can affect people for short periods of their life or can be lifelong.

They can be a result of trauma, experiencing mental health difficulties for long periods of time, substance misuse, your biological makeup and life experiences or a combination of many different things.

People with mental health illnesses can experience symptoms such as hearing voices, chronic anxiety and depression and difficulties in recognising reality.

What is mental health illness?

Mental health illnesses can affect people for short periods of their life or can be lifelong.

They can be a result of trauma, experiencing mental health difficulties for long periods of time, substance misuse, your biological makeup and life experiences or a combination of many different things.

People with mental health illnesses can experience symptoms such as hearing voices, chronic anxiety and depression and difficulties in recognising reality.

What are mental health difficulties?

There are many different reasons and contributing factors to having mental health difficulties and some of them are beyond our control.

It could be a change in relationship, a physical illness, experiencing debt and housing issues or a bereavement.

Some of the symptoms you may experience could be low energy, difficulty in concentrating, insomnia, and physical symptoms such as digestive issues, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.

Prolonged periods of stress and poor mental wellbeing can lead to anxiety, depression and low mood.

What is good mental wellbeing?

A good level of mental wellbeing can mean having good self-esteem, being content, feeling productive and able to cope with life's ups and downs.

It is important to remember that even when we have good mental wellbeing, we can all experience days in which we may feel low or worried.

No matter where we are on the scale, there is lots of information and support available for people to live fulfilling and able lives, including people who are experiencing long term illness.

More information on mental health issues and disorders can be found HERE