Mental health project to create living map of resources for those in south Norfolk

Deborah Klee, Michelle Savage and Kevin James, who are involved with the ABCD mapping project.

Deborah Klee, Michelle Savage and Kevin James, who are involved with the ABCD mapping project. - Credit: Archant

A mental health initiative asking what keeps people in south Norfolk well has compiled the answers to pull together a living map of resources.

The ABCD - asset-based community development - Project hopes to draw together and highlight statutory and community-based sources of support for those tackling mental health issues.

The team behind the nine-month scheme, which is funded by NHS East of England Strategic Clinical Network, have spent time in towns covered by the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ask: What keeps you well?

Visiting Christmas lights switch-ons and fireworks displays, project coordinator Michelle Savage said answers have ranged from hobbies and simple pleasures to invaluable community groups.

Now compiled, the responses will be mapped in time for a Wellbeing Festival in Attleborough at the end of January, which will mark the culmination of the project.

Mrs Savage said: 'It's about going back to the olden days where neighbours looked after each other and people were valued no matter how ill they are.

'It is such a desperate time for mental health services but it is really important to think what we can be doing. It doesn't replace the NHS services but it is important to also focus on the groups and organisations that are already out there doing a good job.'

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Initiatives include Dereham's Neatherd High School, praised for its inclusive approach to mental health, Thetford's community facility the Charles Burrell Centre and Attleborough's Sing Your Heart Out, a singing group for people who have experienced mental health issues.

At the festival, which will be held at Connaught Hall in Attleborough on Saturday, January 30, services listed will come together to create a living map, with printed maps also available to take home.

Mrs Savage said: 'It's a chance to bring everyone together and bring the map to life. Everything we have learnt will be brought together - there will be information stalls, interactive activities and workshops on promoting wellbeing.'

The one-off project, which South Norfolk CCG was awarded £32,000 to launch, was inspired similar ideas in Luton, on stress management, and Hertfordshire, on muscle wasting disease and will help the CCG commission services in the future.

It is a co-production scheme, which sees health care professional and service users working side by side. Partners include Together for Mental WellBeing, Healthwatch and Norfolk County Council.

The festival runs from 10am to 10pm. In the evening there will be musical performances - entry is free but tickets are required.

Meanwhile, on January 29, ABCD expert Cormac Russell will be hosting a masterclass at Mulbarton Scout Hut from 10am to 4pm. Tickets cost £95 per person.

For more information visit www.abcdproject.org.uk and for tickets email mail shell@abcdproject.org.uk

• Do you have a mental health story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk