Information, health and wellbeing support guide

Looking after ourselves and each other is really important right now. Physically, mentally and emotionally, we can do a lot to protect and support our own health. LifeLink has compiled this guide of great resources and virtual support out there.

Advice, support and guidance
Beware of scams - Suffolk Trading Standards
Citizens Advice West Suffolk - Adviceline 0808 278 7868 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm)
Suffolk Fire Service - fire safety at home
Volunteering for the NHS
West Suffolk Council Customer Services 01284 763233
Out of hours emergency service 01284 763252
Carers support
Suffolk Carers Matter - Advice line 01284 333035
Suffolk Family Carers - 01473 735477
Domestic abuse support
Anglia Care Trust - 08009 775 690
Bury St Edmunds Women's Aid Centre - 01284 753085

Domestic Abuse Outreach Service (Anglia Care Trust) - 0800 977 5690

Leeway Support - 0300 561 0077
Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care - Open as normal for referrals and providing telephone support, to anyone impacted by crime Monday to Friday between 8am-5pm phone 0300 303 3706. For support outside of these hours call the Victim Support 24 hour line on 0808 168 9111.
Suffolk Rape Crisis - provides support to women and girls aged 14 and above who have experienced any form of sexual violence, at any point in their lives.

Open for referrals, telephone support and online counselling being provided. Phone 0800 085 0520
The Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership have created a video is to raise awareness of safeguarding for children and adults at risk and tell members of the public what to do if they see something that doesn’t seem quite right. It is hard for children and adults who are already vulnerable to tell us what is happening to them. We are all responsible for safeguarding and it is important that we are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect. Please share this amongst your networks.
Drug and alcohol support
Turning Point - Offering support for clients over the phone and accepting new referrals over the phone 0300 123 0872

Domestic Abuse Outreach Service (Anglia Care Trust) - Drug and Alcohol Outreach Recovery Service support for those sleeping rough and using drugs or alcohol on the streets of Suffolk.

Go Get Sober is an online service helping people who have stopped drinking and want some motivation, support and guidance to stay sober. Membership is free during the coronavirus pandemic. Resources include a structured online coaching programme which shares techniques and tips to guide you through what to do and how to do it to maintain a happy and healthy sober lifestyle; a private online forum to help you feel connected and supported and where you can get all your questions answered; and hundreds of helpful blogs to help you stay positive and motivated. Contact or phone 07834 538838
Education and learning
Alison - IT skills courses - In this day and age, everything revolves around computers. With our Microsoft digital literacy classes, you will learn IT basics and how the Internet works as well as study productivity programs which will be very useful in developing your social and professional skills. We also offer training courses in digital lifestyles where you will look into useful technologies including MP3 players, digital cameras, smartphones, and more.
Moyse's Hall Museum - Facebook - activities and competitions
Online Centres Network is made up of over 5,000 grassroots organisations, all working to tackle digital and social exclusion by providing people with the skills and confidence they need to access digital technology.
Realise Futures - A company operating across Suffolk and Essex combining commercial trade of products and services alongside work placements, employment and training opportunities. The primary aim of the business is to improve and promote the economic and social wellbeing of those who are disadvantaged and/or disabled.
Suffolk Libraries:
  • Suffolk Libraries - What's On - Enjoy library events, including live streams, recorded events, book and film groups.
  • eLibrary - Free access to thousands of the latest eBooks, eAudio titles, magazines, newspapers, films, courses and streaming. For children and adults.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village Facebook - activities and competitions
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership - employment opportunities
The Money Advice Service - Coronavirus and your money
Money Saving Expert
Post Office Payout - A secure way of allowing someone to collect cash on your behalf
Universal Credit - Help to Claim 0800 144 8 444 (Freephone Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)
Health, wellbeing and fitness
Get urgent help if you are experiencing a mental health crisis

Mental health crisis means different things to different people:
  • you may be distressed and want to harm yourself, or someone else
  • you may be hearing unpleasant voices, feel that people are watching you or that you are in immediate danger
It could help to tell someone you trust, such as a family member or a friend who can then help you decide what to do. They can also contact services on your behalf.

If you are supported by one of NSFT’s services:

Check your care plan, and:
  • during office hours contact your care coordinator or the duty number for the team that is supporting you. If you don't have their details, visit NSFT’s service finder, or
  • call the urgent mental health helpline on 111 and select option 2.
If you need urgent help and you are not supported by NSFT’s services:

Call 111 and select option 2 to speak to the 24-hour urgent mental health helpline.

Please avoid visiting hospital A&E (Accident and Emergency) departments unless you have a life-threatening emergency. The number above can connect you to crisis services.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives.

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police.
Active Suffolk
Alzheimer's Association - 0300 222 11 22
Asthma UK - 0300 222 5800
Beat Eating Disorders - UK’s leading eating disorders charity. Helpline: 0808 801 0677, Youthline: 0808 081 0711
Big White Wall - An online service providing access to millions with anxiety, depression and other common mental health issues
British Heart Foundation - 0300 330 3311
Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) COVID-19 guidance for parents, children and families
Calm - Free calming, mindful exercises.
Child Bereavement UK - help for children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. They also provide training to professionals, equipping them to provide the best possible care to bereaved families.

Helpline: 0800 02 888 40 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except bank holidays), live chat via their website, or email
Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Hub (East and West Suffolk)

The Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides information, advice, and guidance to families and young people in East and West Suffolk, who are worried about the mental health of a child or young person aged 0-25 years, or if you're a young person experiencing emotional wellbeing difficulties.

You can make a referral to the Emotional Wellbeing Hub to access CAMHS (Children and Adolescence Mental Health Services).

Call the Emotional Wellbeing Hub helpline on 0345 600 2090& and press option 3 to make a referral to access specialist mental health support services or if you need an assessment.

For more information and to make an online referral go to the Emotional Wellbeing Hub page on the Emotional Wellbeing Gateway website
Cruse Bereavement Care Suffolk - supporting clients who are struggling with grief and bereavement.

Normally this is done via face to face meetings in client’s homes, but currently offering telephone support. If anyone is in emotional distress connected with bereavement, then Cruse offers free confidential support via trained volunteers and the website also contains a lot of information and advice. Cruse National Helpline 0808 808 1677
Diabetes UK - 0345 123 2399
EPIC Dad - Online and phone support just for dads and dads to be!
Every Mind Matters - A public health resource for everyone. A range of practical tips, apps and resources to help you look after your mental health. Expert advice on how to spot the signs of common mental health concerns. Connections to services and activities to improve your wellbeing. Information about helplines and charities if you need more support. 14 Apps that you can download and use also includes information on diet, alcohol, smoking and exercise, as well as mental health.
Healthy Suffolk - Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities COVID-19 Information Hub.
Keep Moving Suffolk - support and encouragement for local people to get active and stay active during the coronavirus outbreak. It communicates how important it is to be active or to remain active at the current time and provides hints, tips, advice and a trusted one-stop-shop full of local and national information and resources that have been developed specifically to make it easy for people to become or remain active at home.
Kids activities blog A whole range of options for parents who have kids at home including activities and educational resources.
Kooth offers children and young people across the whole of Suffolk access to moderated online forums and opportunities to read and contribute to self-help articles. Journals and goal trackers are available for young people to reflect their thoughts and feelings. They can access online help through qualified counsellors who are available from midday to 10pm every weekday and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends, 365 days a year. Young people can also drop in for one-to-one instant text-based chats or book a session in advance to seek support or advice on any topic they wish, from coping with exam stress or bullying, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts or sexual abuse.
Men’s Health Forum - 24 hours a day stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation - Information and advice.
Mind - Information and support - When you're living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information is vital.
NHS Advice for everyone - coronavirus (COVID-19)
NHS - Every mind matters - There are two 'quizzes' available, one for physical health and one for mental health, both are easy to complete and give advice and options for exercise, meal plans, sleep, wellbeing and so on.
NHS - Fitness studio Online fitness videos suitable for home workouts for all abilities.
Nextdoor - The easiest way to keep up with everything in your neighbourhood.
Feel Good Suffolk - Physical and mental well being support.
One You - includes digital advice for physical and mental wellbeing. This includes resources to help you reduce drinking, stop smoking, exercise, eat better, sleep better, and control stress. There are also apps to download.
Parks and open spaces - West Suffolk parks
Qwell - Online Mental Health Support.
Recovery College online - a range of online courses.
Rethink mental illness - Support and advice for people living with mental illness. Phone 0300 5000 927 (Mon – Fri 9am-5pm)
Samaritans - 116 123 (freephone 24hrs a day)
SENsational Families - a small charity based in Norfolk that provides a range of support services and training to parents who have a child with a special educational needs or a disability (SEND)
Sharing parenting - Online and phone support for parents.
Side by Side (formerly elefriends) Mind's online community where you can listen, share and be heard.

Suffolk Mind - Have split support into resources for adults and resources for families and children. It’s all accessible via a special section of their website. All services have moved into an online or telephone version.

Suffolk Wellbeing - Living Life to the Full - has web based cognitive behaviour courses (CBT) courses – Living Life To The Full which have now been adapted for coronavirus.
Suffolk Wellbeing Service - is still open for business, individuals can self-refer by accessing the website. the website also gives information and advice for self-help and webinars on topics relating to mental health and wellbeing during corona virus pandemic. Help line number 0300 123 1503 - lines open 9am-5pm.
The Source - Advice for young people in Suffolk. A very easily accessible site with links for both physical and mental health, along with advice on life suitable for all young people
Wednesday’s Child - has a new eating disorder helpline available to families and sufferers in Suffolk affected by an eating disorder. Call: 0800 844 5211
XenZone - Online mental health support for children.
Older people
The Voluntary Network - Operating their befriending service are making phone calls. Phone 01638 608048 or 608049
Alzheimer’s Society - Coronavirus: Information for people affected by dementia
Dementia Together Suffolk (Provided by Sue Ryder)
  • Free helpline: 08081 688 000 open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays 10am – 4pm
  • Dementia Together Navigators will also be able to complete a detailed assessment over the phone, or by video, offering support, education and a listening ear throughout this difficult time, they will not currently be visiting surgeries .
  • Also providing carers with information regarding a range of creative activities that they can engage in with people living with dementia; linking service users to local community networks, which are offering help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and welfare calls. Encouraging service users to look after their own emotional health and wellbeing at this time.
Dementia UK - Get support: information for families looking after someone with dementia.
The Silverline - A charity for the elderly who offer advice and phone befriending for free. The helpline is open 24 hours a day. Phone 0800 470 8090
Age UK - 0800 678 1602

Top 10 tips for looking after your wellbeing when self-isolating

  1. Make plans to phone, instant message or video chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person. Run out of things to talk about? Why not set up a virtual book or film club?
  2. If it’s possible try to think of this time as an opportunity to get something done. We often complain that we don’t have enough time to read, take a bath, focus on our hobbies and so on. Now is a great time to do all of those things.
  3. Try having a clear out. Sort through all of your cupboards and storage spaces and donate what you don’t need to charity or sell it online. Make that a digital clear out too! Delete any old files and apps you don’t use, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
  4. If you’re not sick, and you’re able to work from home, that can be really helpful. Try to keep a sense of normality as far as possible.
  5. Try to stick to your usual sleep patterns. It is easy to start going to bed later and then sleeping later but a regular sleep pattern is important for stress levels and physical health.
  6. Same with eating patterns. Be aware that insecurity about food can trigger disordered eating such as bingeing so ensure you have adequate food in and try not to worry, our food supplies will not run out.
  7. Just because you can’t make it to the gym or exercise class it doesn’t mean you can’t still be active. Exercise will reduce stress so try to keep active by trying one of the following: cleaning your home, dancing to music, going up and down stairs, seated exercises or online exercise workouts.
  8. Get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can. Spending time in your garden or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. Open the window to let in some fresh air. Take a seat next to the window and just look at out the trees, birds, flowers.
  9. You can find ways to comfort yourself if you’re feeling anxious. There are lots of different ways that you can relax including: Arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling. DIY, mindfulness, playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music, writing, Yoga and meditation.
  10. Never ignore your mental health. If your mental health is getting worse contact your GP, they should be able to offer you a telephone appointment to discuss ways to cope.