Suffolk Mind links up with Essex and Suffolk universities

  • Date

    Thu 26 Sep 19

EIRA logo

Suffolk Mind, the University of Suffolk and the University of Essex are joing forces to  create a new e-learning platform to improve people’s wellbeing.

The collaborative project been awarded an EIRA Research and Development Grant to allow the organisations to work together to develop, deploy and evaluate a new working prototype of an e-learning platform that supports the face-to-face training Suffolk Mind already delivers across the county.

Around 3,000 people a year attend Suffolk Mind’s ‘Suffolk’s Needs Met’ and ‘Your Needs Met’ training courses, which dispels some of the myths around mental health and raises awareness of emotional needs. The creation of a new digital platform will improve flexibility and increase engagement of Suffolk Mind delivering this course, significantly increasing the reach and impact of these services.

Suffolk Mind wants the public to learn more about their mental health and wellbeing. For many people who juggle work, home life and other responsibilities, being able to access learning and support in a simple and effective way online will be easier and more efficient than attending face-to-face training, particularly for those less mobile or people living in rural areas.

Kobe Borich, Service Development Manager at Suffolk Mind says: “We are really excited to be working alongside the University of Suffolk and the University of Essex in creating this e-learning platform. The final product will increase the reach and impact of Suffolk Mind’s work, helping more people to learn about what their emotional needs are and how to get them met in order to improve their wellbeing.”

Vanessa Cuthill, Director of the Research and Enterprise Office at the University of Essex says: “With people living longer than ever before, it is imperative that we seek solutions that help us all thrive at home and in the workplace. Innovation, research and development of new products is essential in order to achieve this. The University of Essex is delighted to be working on this project with Suffolk Mind and in partnership with the University of Suffolk to create a new e-learning platform for wellbeing. This platform will be an important resource for Suffolk Mind and will increase engagement with key mental health services for many more people in our region.”

Jenni Carberry, Knowledge Exchange and Business Engagement Manager for the University of Suffolk says: “We are delighted to be working with Suffolk Mind and the University of Essex on this project. Health and wellbeing is one of the University of Suffolk’s areas of distinctiveness and we actively promote a healthy work/life balance and good mental health.”

Both Universities are excited about working together on a research-led project for Suffolk Mind. Whilst the University of Suffolk will be leading on managing and developing the front-end and back-end of the platform, the University of Essex will be focused on researching and monitoring the user experience, ensuring the e-learning platform delivers a simple to use, effective and well-designed interface for users to engage with Suffolk Mind’s self-help methodology and content. The successful delivery of the project will provide a strong foundation on which to develop the charity’s income generating elements in the future.