For UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 2019, Welsh Mummy Blogs will be sharing perinatal mental health stories from Wales. I will be sharing the stories from the 29th April to 5th May 2019.
After a chat with members of the Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Board of Lived Experience and Sharon Fernandez ( National Clinical Lead for PMH), we have decided to share a broad range of perinatal mental health stories from Wales.
We hope that in doing this, we can highlight the need for a specialist mother and baby unit in Wales.
Mother and baby units (MBUs) provide inpatient psychiatric care for mothers and their infants up to a year after childbirth. In England and Scotland there are 17 specialist units and 0 in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mother and baby units provide vital care to those in need. MBUs specialise in treating severe mental health problems. These include Bipolar Affective Disorder, Schizophrenia, Postpartum Psychosis and other psychotic illnesses.
It is a often a misconception that only women suffering from severe mental illness are to be referred to a MBU. A mother can also be admitted for treatment of severe Depression or Anxiety Disorders, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
5 years after our campaign started, we still have no unit for vulnerable families in Wales. The stories I am sharing to support UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 2019 will also hopefully support our need for a unit in Wales.
Before I start sharing the stories for UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 2019, I would like to say a huge thank you to Mark Williams for starting the petition for a MBU in Wales and Laura of Picture the Positive for helping me with some editing. We had some fantastic stories sent in.
I would also like to say thank you to the brave mums who sent in their stories. Sharing a story about a dark time in life is very hard to do. Thank you again.
How you can get involved with UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 2019.
When is it?
29th April to 5th May 2019, organised by MMHA member the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP).
What is it?
A week-long campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness during pregnancy or after having a baby and signposting to support for all mums. The focus is on advocating for mums affected by maternal mental health and helping them to access the information and help they need to enable recovery.
This year’s theme for the third annual UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week is Mums Matter.
How to get involved
Highlight what your organisation does to support families affected by perinatal mental illness
Join in with the daily activities listed below
Use the #maternalmhmatters hashtag on social media when referring to the week
Monday 29th April – What is Perinatal Mental Health?
An overview of different perinatal mental illnesses.
Tuesday 30th April – What good support looks like
Support can be wide ranging from advice and help from health care professionals, medication, therapy and safe peer support to name a few.
PMHP are encouraging charities, local peer support groups and services to share their details on social media so families know what support is available across the UK.
Wednesday 1st May – World Maternal Mental Health Day – ‘The Village’
Focusing on how we work together to remove barriers to services so all mums who need support can access them.
Thursday 2nd May – Recovery
The message of hope that recovery is possible, how this can begin and how it can look different for different people.
Friday 3rd May – ‘Positivity Pot’
Publishing and sharing articles and blogs about recovery, looking ahead to the future and self-care.
What do PMHP have planned?
Every night at 8pm, run by Rosey from PNDandMe and PMHP.
29th April, 10-11am – Peer Support with Juno Perinatal Mental Health Support
Juno will focus on peer support, outlining their work and how powerful safe peer support can be to help recovery.
30th April 11am-12pm – Engaging with Health Care Professionals and accessing peer support with The Smile Group
The SMILE Group will be challenging the stereotypical views of what a peer support group is like, provide an overview of what is involved and talk through the appointment checklist and how it came about.
30th April 8-9pm – Breastfeeding and Antidepressants with Wendy Jones MBE
Pharmacist Wendy Jones will be sharing information on how to access support to help with recovery and answer specific concerns about antidepressant use while breastfeeding.
1st May – Life after Postpartum Psychosis with Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP)
APP will be talking about life after Postpartum Psychosis, building confidence and planning further pregnancies. This will include information about what parents need to know and how to talk to older children about the risks of becoming unwell again.
The timing of this session will be released soon.
2nd May 11am-12pm – The influence of BAME Maternal community groups and mental well-being with The Motherhood Group
The Motherhood Group Founder Sandra Igwe will be leading the chat about how difficult it can be to discuss mental health issues in the black community, drawing on her own experience of postnatal anxiety.
3rd May 4.30-5.30pm – Recovery and looking ahead with Eve Canavan BEM
PMHP member Eve had Postpartum Psychosis 9 years ago after the birth of her son and was treated in a mother and baby unit. In this session Eve will talk about recovery and the tools that can support it.
PMHP will also share:
a video about what happens when you are referred to a local Perinatal Mental Health team
a session for health care professionals on how to engage with and support mums
information for mums in the BAME community about help and support available
watch sessions via their Facebook page of previous Facebook Lives.