Suffolk Parent Carer Forum

We are a group of parent carers who have come together to build the forum so that we can help shape the provisions and services our children and young people with special/additional needs and/or disabilities (including mental health) access. We do this through co-production, participation and consultation.

Our objectives and aims are:
● To be the strategic consultative body within Suffolk and represent the voices of
families with children and young people with special/additional needs and/or
disabilities (including mental health).
● Providing a liaison point for statutory and voluntary agencies within Suffolk, by
using Experts by Experience to work in co-production with local services.
● To consult with and inform our membership with a view to ensuring that all
children and young people in Suffolk meet their full potential and achieve the best possible outcomes.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

We are member of the Suffolk Suicide Prevention Steering Group as well as the Children and Young People Suicide Prevention Group. We have fed into the Suffolk Suicide Prevention Plan by sharing the lived experience of those with strategic partners.

What are your current priorities?

To increase awareness of the link between suicide and those with SEND.

To share the lived experience of those with mental health difficulties with services and providers as service user feedback.

To improve the lived experience by working with services so that children and young people are not seeing a decline in their mental health.

To signpost families to services who can support them.

What challenges are you currently facing?

The mental health of our children and young people is declining and the support from health services is not sufficient or available which is causing more people to be pushed to crisis situations.

There has been an increase in parents reporting self harm and how best to support their child.
Voluntary sector organisations are filling the gap to support families and they are reaching their capacity.