Suffolk Mind, an independent local charity affiliated with national Mind, aims to make Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health. Suffolk Mind recognise that all of us have mental health, just as we have physical health. When looking to support their own people, Suffolk Mind wanted to make sure they had access to the help they needed.
Suffolk Mind works across the Mental Health Continuum, from wellbeing to ‘severe and enduring’ mental ill-health, providing support and information for everyone including individual counselling and phoneline services, group sessions, supported housing and training for schools and workplaces.
“We first signed up with Equipsme during the pandemic” explains Head of Support Services, Linda Phelan. “People were struggling to get a doctor’s appointment and finding it hard to fit the appointments that were available into their working day. With the NHS continuing to be under such enormous pressure, that’s still an issue.”
“With Equipsme, our staff can make an appointment at any time, and talk to a doctor when it is convenient for them. That kind of back up is incredibly important.” Staff can choose to extend this service to family members at an extra cost.
Suffolk Mind chose the GP+ plan, and added dental and optical options. “The dental and optical add-on has been particularly popular,” explains Linda. “With the cost-of-living crisis we had people who weren’t going to the dentist because they didn’t want the expense. Now everyone enrolled in the plan has a £200 annual allowance to use at any dentist they choose, and when they upload their receipts into the Equipsme app, they get their money back straight away. What’s more, anyone else added to their plan, like spouses and children, has the same allowance.
“The feedback we’ve had has been incredibly positive. People really value the practical, everyday support, and we’ve had a really good experience so far. Equipsme have been so easy to work with. We’ve really liked the people we’ve dealt with, and appreciate how helpful they have been at every stage.”
Linda continues: “We have about 100 full time and part time staff. For us, it was really important to offer this cover to everyone. We want to help keep people well, and help keep people at work. Investing in their health just made sense.”
“As an accountant, I wasn’t sure Equipsme could be as good as it seemed. So I investigated several options – and Equipsme really was the one that suited us best. Every charity is different, and every budget is different, but for us Equipsme has definitely been a good choice. It adds to our benefits package, shows that we care, and hopefully helps with our retention and recruitment.”