Our Peer Support network helps women and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP) feel understood, supported and less isolated. With the support of world-leading academic and clinical experts, an amazing, supportive, peer-led, lived experience community has been developed. The Peer Support community has been described as “life changing”, “lifting me from the shadows of a life half-lived” and a “good and precious resource to all who have been affected by PP”. Our evaluation shows that the service saves lives and improves recovery outcomes. It is the only PP support network in the UK, and the largest in the world with over 900 members.
Our workshops, conferences and arts events enable women to articulate their experience of PP and develop information to help other women and families. We facilitate ground-breaking research into the causes of PP at the universities of Birmingham and Cardiff and produce ‘Insider Guides’ and other expert literature to support affected families and health professionals caring for those with PP.
APP is a collaborative project run by women who have experienced PP, specialist health professionals and academic experts from Birmingham and Cardiff Universities. Our project is based within the Mood Disorders Research Group in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. We are very grateful for their support.
We thank The Big Lottery, Comic Relief and individual women and families for supporting our project.
- To provide up to date information to women who have experienced PP and their families
- To facilitate a peer support network for women and their families
- To increase awareness of PP, its symptoms, management and impact among health professionals and the general public
- To facilitate research into all aspects of PP
- To advocate for improved services for women and their families
- We develop leaflets and web resources for women, their families and health professionals
- We have an on-line peer support forum where women and their families can talk to others who have experienced PP
- We offer a one-to-one peer support service where women and their partners can contact others who have been through PP
- We run events and workshops
- We offer signposting to appropriate resources or sources of support
- We field requests for specialist advice to our panel of experts
- Our experts offer a free specialist second opinion psychiatry service at Cardiff University to women who require expert advice about treatment, recovery or managing further pregnancies
- We advertise opportunities to take part in research studies into PP
- We conduct research and talk to members about research areas of importance to them
- We report to members on the most recent research from around the world
- We provide advice and resources to members who would like to raise awareness or hold fundraising events in their local community
- We work with other organisations to help them provide accurate information about PP
- We respond to media requests and put journalists in touch with women who have experienced PP via our media panel
APP is funded by charitable donations and grants. We would like to thank the University of Birmingham for hosting our network. Thank you to Comic Relief and The Allen Lane Foundation for their support of our Peer Support Service in 2017.
Thank you to Rosa for their support of our Peer Support Service in 2018.
Our website, Peer Support Project, workshops and information resources were funded by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund between 2011-2016.
We would also like to thank: The Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, the Women’s Mental Health Trust, The Welcome Trust Arts Awards, All Saints Church in Fulham, Alex Heron, Clare Dolman, Andrea Lambert, Anna Jones, Mrs Mary Heron, Chapman’s Nursery, MothersVoice and NextOnline for their support.
The “Action on Puerperal Psychosis Corresponding Panel” (as APP was originally known) was set up in 1996 by Professor Ian Brockington, a world leading expert in PP, and Mrs Jackie Benjamin, a lawyer who had experienced PP after the birth of both of her sons. The panel helped facilitate research into PP and established a network of people who had experienced PP.
In 2011, under the leadership of Dr Jessica Heron and Professor Ian Jones, APP became a charity and was relaunched as Action on Postpartum Psychosis. We secured a Big Lottery grant which funded our work between 2012 and 2016. We now provide information, peer support, raise awareness, facilitate research and campaign for improved services. More about the team.
Professor Ian Brockington; Mrs Jackie Benjamin.