People in Suffolk have the opportunity to improve their mental health and wellbeing

Mental ill health affects many people in our community. Mental ill health can negatively affect a young person’s education and an adult’s ability to work. It also affects their wider health and over a half of older people in acute hospitals for a physical problem also have a mental health condition.

Mental illness still has a stigma and is often not recognised. For example it is believed that a quarter of people over the age of 65 living in the community have symptoms of depression serious enough to warrant intervention, but only a third of them discuss it with their GPs, and only half of those get treatment. Research has identified that many vulnerable adults experience complex health and social problems, including mental health issues, and there is evidence of poor mental health as both consequence and cause of inequalities and exclusion. 

Evidence from the Suffolk Joint Strategic Needs Assessment also indicates: 

  • Physical and mental health are inextricably linked. Lifestyle, such as diet, alcohol consumption, employment status and exercise, affects mental health. 
  • The lives of people with severe mental illness are 15–20-years shorter than the rest of the population.
  • Emergency admissions for self-harm are significantly higher in Suffolk than England as a whole.

Priorities for action:

  • Ensure Suffolk residents have access to good quality, effective and equitable mental health services when they need them
  • Reduce the rate of suicide in Suffolk
  • Improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people in Suffolk