Autumn 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to this Autumn edition of the CPSL Mind e-bulletin – an opportunity for us to share our news and highlight the impact of our work across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire.

This edition is focused on the incredible contribution of individuals who support our work and embody our values in their communities – from a training participant who saved a life to a service user who is now volunteering with us shaping the future of our work. Our supporters are vital to achieving our aim of promoting positive mental health across our region.

We will also take a look at our new Blue Light Stress Support service, what we achieved on World Suicide Prevention Day and highlight an exciting new Trustee opportunity!

If you would like to know more about our work, to access our services or maybe get involved in some other way, please contact us on

Best wishes

Aly Anderson
Chief Executive Officer

Training Saves Lives

Mark Penfold
Mark Penfold

In 2017, Mark undertook Mental Health First Aid & Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) with our training team at CPSL Mind.

“The training gave me the skills to spot the signs of suicide and actively listen to somebody in crisis. My attitude before was to try and solve somebody’s problems for them but the answers are not in me – they’re inside them. Allowing them space to say what they need to say is key.”

Thanks to the training, when a member of his community was feeling suicidal, Mark was there to keep her safe.

“I spoke with a young girl who had been bullied at school for most of her life. She told me she was self-harming and I asked her directly about suicide to be clear about how she was feeling.”

By taking a direct approach, Mark, 37, enabled her to speak about her suicidal thoughts.

“We spoke about how she planned to take her life and worked together to keep her safe. I made sure she removed the means to complete suicide and involved her friend as part of an ongoing support network.”

“We can all play a role in preventing suicides. I would recommend for anyone to take some form of suicide prevention training.”

The Zero Suicide Alliance offers a free short 20-minute online training course which anybody can take.

If you’d like to enquire about more in-depth mental health & suicide prevention training, please visit our training webpage.

Volunteer Co-production: Simon’s story

simons storySimon has been on a really inspiring journey from using our services at CPSL Mind to recovery, volunteering, helping others and shaping the future of our work.

Simon’s first experience with us was accessing a range of our services to assist with his wellbeing. Simon found the support very positive and says “specifically the resilience workshops, really helped.”

After his mental wellbeing took another downturn, Simon was on a waiting list for a referral from the NHS. During this time he found himself accessing our services again to help support him through this difficult waiting period.

“If it wasn’t for CPSL Mind in that gap, whilst waiting for a referral, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Simon continued accessing support groups with us for Personality Disorder to improve his wellbeing and he says “CPSL Mind was just a real, real help”.

So where is Simon now?

Simon’s experience with us inspired him to want to help others and as part of his recovery he went on to complete a Peer Worker course. Simon now volunteers with us as part of the co-production team which helps inform our work.

“I just want to give back and share my experience to try and alleviate problems in any way I can by helping CPSL Mind and helping others. My confidence has risen by 1000%, I’m in a really good place now with a good sense of wellbeing.”

Would you like more information on how to volunteer with us? Email

Blue Light Stress Support

blue light“Stress is a natural part of life and each of us have their own ways to get us back to balance after something difficult happens. The emergency services staff and volunteers are extremely resilient individuals, who deal with people during the most stressful, often traumatic, moments of their lives.” says Magda Smereka, Blue Light Wellbeing Practitioner.

“The human nervous system is designed to cope with such high stress level only occasionally, not every day. That’s why we’re here to support the blue light workers at staying well or getting better.”

Our Blue Light Stress Support is a new bespoke service, which provides a range of interventions for individuals working in the emergency services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough such as Fire, Police, Ambulance and Search & Rescue services.

Together with Alex Cox, Changing Lives Project Manager, Magda leads the service by offering tiered support which includes:

•    Prompt first contact and assessment
•    Practical self-regulation techniques drop-in sessions available immediately after referral
•    Up to three recovery support sessions focused on regaining emotional balance followed, if necessary, by six sessions of short-term therapy related to a specific issue

Currently we also offer weekly Open Doors at: 

Cambridge CPSL Mind office:
Thursdays @ 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Peterborough CPSL Mind office:
Mondays @ 10am – 11am

If you have any questions about the Blue Light Stress Support, please contact Magda

Fundraise for us!

fundraiseFundraisers are really important to us. The funds we receive play a vital part in helping us to support local people with their mental health, tackle stigma and raise awareness.

Emma Tytherleigh, a local Cambridge Personal Trainer, organised a 20 mile charity walk in Norfolk and raised a remarkable £2,000.

It was a wonderful experience for the 13 women taking part and covered ground by the coast, woodland and countryside. The group found it challenging, and there were plenty of blisters and aching joints, but all completed the walk and felt an enormous sense of achievement afterwards.

fundraiseEmma said, “The inspiration for the 20 mile walk came following the loss of my aunt to suicide – a result of battling with depression for years. Many of us are affected by mental illness either directly or indirectly by watching family and friends suffer. I wanted to do something positive in memory of my aunt and also to help create awareness of mental illness.”

We were also delighted when Kings College Boat Club (KCBC) organised a 24 hour ergathon and raised an impressive £1,241.27 in donations from the passing public and from online giving.

They rowed on the front lawn of King’s College for 24 hours with different rowers taking on one hour shifts. It was a particularly hot day so they faced quite a challenge but they managed a combined distance of 740,034m.

Isabelle Read, KCBC News Editor said, “We chose to support CPSL Mind as we believe the work that mental health charities do is crucial to ensuring a better discussion of mental health issues and helping people get the support and advice that they need.”

If a sport or physical challenge isn’t your cup of tea why not fundraise for us by organising less demanding fun activities?

Tickell Arms pub in Whittlesford did just that and raised £300 by organising a coffee morning with lots of fresh, homemade cakes and an evening pub quiz which was very well attended.

Casey Mitchell, Tickell Arms said, “We are so pleased to be supporting CPSL Mind. Mental health is such a big issue and affects so many people. The work the charity does, providing direct support to local people is extremely important and we are delighted to lend our support.”

World Suicide Prevention Day

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September, we came together with several other organisations – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and the Zero Suicide Alliance – to support the zero suicide ambition for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

You can read more about the partnership and work being done across our region here.

In addition, our online STOP Suicide campaigning had over 40,000 impressions on Twitter and a reach of over 20,000 on Facebook and Instagram on the day.

We’re now preparing to raise further awareness on World Mental Health Day which takes place on Wednesday 10th October.

If you would like to get involved or let us know about your plans for World Mental Health Day please contact Rob Earl, our Campaigns and Communications Lead, at

Trustee Opportunity

Do you share our dream of positive mental health for all?

Do you have the drive, passion and experience to take us to the next level?

We are now seeking a Chair who can lead our multi-skilled Board of Trustees and maximise the opportunities for CPSL Mind to expand its reach and impact in line with an ambitious, co-produced three-year strategy.

Find out more details and apply here.