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What is it?

Wellbeing Norfolk & Waveney and Wellbeing Suffolk offer help and support to improve wellbeing and manage stress, low mood and anxiety. The service aims to reduce the onset of mental ill health, prevent deterioration and promote recovery by offering a range of services tailored to specific needs.

Services provided in community settings throughout the region include a wide range of workshops and courses, talking therapies, including counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, and access to social networks. In Norfolk and Waveney peer supporters – known as Ambassadors – provide an important extension of the services, promoting wellbeing and helping others.

The Wellbeing service first opened its doors in and Waveney in 2015. A Wellbeing service for Suffolk was created in 2017.These relaunches saw both services offering an innovative biopsychosocial model of Primary Mental Health Care.

Living Well system features:

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Are accountable for people centred outcomes that promote choice, recovery and citizenship



Provide timely access
to support where it
is needed 



See people as citizens within communities, rather than ‘patients’ or ‘professionals’



Work collaboratively and flatten hierarchies

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Put the voice of lived experience at the centre of services and the system

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Work holistically,
building up and on
people’s strengths



Activate supportive
social networks

How does it work?

The Wellbeing service was created by a partnership of 5 CCGs across the Norfolk and Waveney area, a Mental Health Foundation trust, 3 local Minds and Relate. The Suffolk Wellbeing Service was commissioned by 2 CCGs across the area and in partnership with the Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Foundation Trust, Voiceability, Suffolk Family Carers, Shaw Trust, Mentis Tree, Relate and 4YP. The services are delivered through an IAPT contract and are innovatively designed to holistically support people’s resilience, prevent deterioration and promote recovery. 

The service has a 400+ strong staff team made up of mental health professionals, cognitive behavioural therapists (CBT), psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWP), counsellors, local associate coordinators/community development workers, peer support workers and employment advisors from both NHS and voluntary sector organisations. Its integrated management structure means that managers within the service can be drawn from any of the partner organisations.

People can self-refer to the service or be referred by a professional. Once a referral has been received, a Wellbeing Advice Session is booked. Wellbeing Advice Sessions are ordinarily carried out over the telephone and with a psychological wellbeing practitioner. The appointment will last up to 45 minutes and will identify with the person the best package of support on offer within the service, or alternative options, based on the client’s identified difficulties and goals.

The service offer follows the IAPT care model and is in line with NICE guidance.

It encompasses:

  • Guided self help with a PWP face to face, over the telephone or online

  • Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT)

  • A variety of face to face or online workshops/webinars covering topics such as stress control, positive wellbeing or mindfulness for wellbeing

  • Couple counselling for depression

  • Peer support

  • CBT

  • Counselling for depression

  • Interpersonal therapy

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy

  • Employment advice

  • One off workshops including Wellbeing in the workplace and Successful study

Dedicated Long Term Conditions clinicians are available to support people who have concurrent long term physical health conditions which are directly impacting on their mental health.

Conscious of the importance of social networks and people’s connections in their community, the Wellbeing Service directly organises social events and advertises activities led by other groups in the community through a newsletter it sends to its 6000+ ‘Associates’ – that is to say anyone who is, or has been, involved with the Service in some way and has opted in to receive information. Local Associate Coordinators/Community Development Workers help people connect with their communities so that, when their engagement with the service comes to an end, they have a stronger network around them and a greater chance of ongoing recovery.

The Wellbeing Service places a high value on lived experience. It employs over 27 peer support workers, whose involvement in service improvement is as crucial as their guidance and advice to people going through the service.

The difference it makes

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Client engangement

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Number of people achieving reliable improvement

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Client satisfaction

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Waiting times

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Number of people recovering

“Cognitive therapy has helped me to have techniques I can use myself to make me feel better, adapt my lifestyle and remind me of my values. My appointments were sometimes spaced due to work, but I had telephone support if I needed it." 

- Service user

From the evaluation

  • Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney delivers above target recovery rates (Suffolk 52.1% in May 2019, Norfolk 59.5% in May 2019) and reliable improvement rate (Suffolk 62.5% in May 2019, Norfolk 70.5% in May 2019)

  • Its waiting times are reduced by a successful triage and assessment strategy and by the diverse and stratified support offer available

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  • People using the service report high satisfaction with the holistic way in which the service understands their needs and works with them to identify the best support options available

  • Peer support workers and the lived experience they bring to the service are highly valued by clients. There is a growing number of ‘Associates’ who remain connected and engaged with the service after the end of their treatment

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Find out more

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