21/03/23: Which district is the most mindful in Norfolk?

Breckland Council has announced that all five of the district's towns have now achieved 'Mindful Town' status, in recognition of the mental health support available within the local community.

It comes following an 18-month training project which has seen almost 300 volunteers, from over 100 community organisations and small businesses across Breckland, receive mental health education and training.

Breckland Council's Mindful Town project started in November 2021 in partnership with Norfolk and Waveney Mind, the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Wellbeing service, and agricultural charity YANA. This partnership has delivered a wide variety of free training courses within the community, including Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health in the Workplace, and Wellbeing Champion training. A total of 22 courses have now been delivered across the Breckland's five market towns of Attleborough, Dereham, Swaffham, Thetford, and Watton.

Cllr Alison Webb, Executive Member for Communities and Health at Breckland Council, explained: "We have developed a network of locally trained Mental Health Champions, who sit within a wide variety of community groups and organisations, from Parkruns to parish councils, that can safely hold sensitive conversations with anyone that might be in need of help or mental health support. These trained volunteers can direct people towards appropriate support with empathy and help people avoid a mental health crisis by accessing support sooner."

Pete Boczko, CEO, from Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said: "We are delighted to learn that all five of Breckland's market towns have achieved Mindful Towns status through our partnership programme with Breckland Council, bringing mental health awareness and training to the communities across the district. Through our education and awareness training we aim to empower local businesses and community volunteers to better understand mental health, how it can affect overall wellbeing, the potential triggers and signs of mental health issues, and how best to signpost residents to the range of support available."

In addition to the training and support, the Community Champions receive quarterly emails containing information about further training, access to toolkits and resources, and community enabler support from Breckland Communities team in bringing forward any community activity that looks to support vulnerable people.

The 2022/23 training program has just delivered its final sessions, but more training will be announced in May 2023. 

Last updated: 21/03/2023 17:40:51