All posts by Jessie Hunt

Action on Postpartum Psychosis launches nationwide awareness campaign with billboards across the UK

In a groundbreaking move to raise awareness about postpartum psychosis, the charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) is launching a powerful billboard campaign across the United Kingdom throughout March. The impactful initiative has been made possible through the support of the JCDecaux Community Channel and the creative design expertise of agency Mother.

Postpartum psychosis is a treatable medical emergency that affects new mothers, occurring within the first few weeks or months after childbirth. Raising awareness about this illness is crucial to ensure timely intervention and support for the mums and families affected.

The new billboard campaign aims to raise awareness about the condition and signpost to the resources and support APP offers. In addition, there will be a week of billboards promoting an appeal on behalf of the charity by author and APP ambassador Laura Dockrill which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 24th March.

The visually striking designs have been crafted with the pro-bono help of Mother, a renowned creative agency, and developed with leading academic experts as well as those with lived experience of postpartum psychosis. They seek to capture attention and prompt conversation on a scale that hasn’t been achieved before.

Working in partnership with the JCDecaux Community Channel, the campaign is running across digital billboards in major cities across the UK, amplifying the reach of APP's message. More than one million people a week are expected to see the billboards, which will be in high traffic areas.

Chris Dooley, Head of Social Impact at JCDecaux UK, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with APP to raise awareness around postpartum psychosis and the support the charity offers to all those affected. The JCDecaux Community Channel creates real value through the power of the public screen and aims to amplify Out-of-Home’s role as a force for good in the community.”

The campaign kicks off on Monday 4th March, coinciding with International Women’s Day (8th) and Mother’s Day (10th). APP’s appeal with author and APP ambassador Laura Dockrill will be on BBC Radio 4 on 24th March.

Action on Postpartum Psychosis would like to thank the JCDecaux Community Channel and Mother for their invaluable support.

As we embark on this impactful campaign, APP is encouraging people to join the conversation on social media. If you see one of the billboards (and it’s safe to do so) please take a picture or video and share, tagging @ActionOnPP.

You can find out more about help and support with postpartum psychosis here.

To donate to APP’s Radio 4 appeal during appeal week, starting 24th March, visit the Radio 4 Appeal webpage or search online for BBC Radio 4 Appeal.

There are lots of ways to support us and get involved with APP. We'd love you to join us. Sign up to our network here.

APP November newsletter

November 2023 newsletter

Northern Ireland Mother and Baby Unit news

We are delighted with the news this week that Belfast Trust has been chosen as the site of a Northern Ireland Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). APP would like to thank Oorlagh Quinn, our NI Regional Rep, and all the families who have bravely shared stories to show why an MBU is so important.

But we are not there yet – there has been no funding allocated, no timeline given and no plans for women who develop PP before an MBU is open. You can read APP's full statement here.  

APP staff and storytellers Laura, Tara, Liz and Ellie have been in the press raising awareness and responding to the announcement.

In October 2022 we worked with the Women's Resource and Development Agency to present an open letter to then Health Minister Robin Swann, signed by 40 mental health and parenting organisations, calling for an MBU, as well as a public petition with almost 7,000 signatures.


Café groups news 

The next UK-wide café group meeting will be on Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm. We have seen lots of interest in this group – thank you to everyone who has attended so far. To find out more or sign up, email

The next café group for Muslim women who have experienced PP will be on 5th December, starting at 12.30pm. To sign up email us:

Our 10 regional café groups continue to meet regularly, both virtually and face-to-face. The groups are attended both by those newly recovering from PP and those who have recovered many years ago. If you are interested in joining any of the groups – in Manchester, Wales, Sussex & Hampshire, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire, North East & North Cumbria, Lancashire & Cumbria, Birmingham and London - please email  

The dads and co-parents group meets on the third Wednesday of every month (apart from December) and is for people who have supported a partner through PP. Our grandparents group meets approximately six times a year. If you would like to be on the mailing list for either of these groups, please email

APP 2023 peer support survey 

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our 2023 peer support survey.

The results show APP’s peer support service continues to be life-saving and an essential ingredient in recovery.

Respondents accessed our peer support for a variety of reasons: 82% had experienced postpartum psychosis (PP), 16% were a partner or family member of someone who had experienced PP, 2% were at risk of PP or ‘other reason’.

The most common reasons for accessing APP’s peer support services were: looking for help and support (66%), wanting to connect with others with similar experiences (62%), and wanting to join a community of women and families with experience of PP (53%).

For respondents for whom the question was relevant, since finding APP:

  • 99% felt more supported
  • 96% felt less isolated
  • 97% felt more informed about PP
  • 87% felt less negative about PP
  • 94% felt more hopeful about the future and 97% felt that APP had helped, or was helping, them to recover.
  • 46% felt they ‘might not be alive if I had not found APP's peer support services’.

 “The support APP provides is life saving and life changing. APP’s service means community to me - from picnics, to fundraising events to cafe groups I’ve always felt included. All staff and volunteers inspire me every day - keep doing the amazing work you do APP!”

“As a partner, being able to utilise the forums and, in particular, use the virtual cafe to chat to other Dads has been brilliant and made me feel much happier and positive about the future. I think,
especially so far as mums are concerned, that sometimes there isn't anyone to turn to and having the option of a dedicated service for PPP where you can talk to people that have lived and breathed it could literally be a life saver during the recovery phase.”

 We added new questions this year about the symptoms people experienced in relation to their episode of PP.

  • Did you experience, or do you currently experience, any of the following in relation to your episode(s) of PP?
  • If yes, has APP’s peer support service helped with this symptom? (% responding Yes)
  • Anxiety
  • 98%
  • 96%
  • Depression
  • 90%
  • 98%
  • Further episode(s) of psychosis
  • 36%
  • 94%
  • Ongoing bipolar illness / symptoms
  • 37%
  • 94%
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • 71%
  • 84%
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • 51%
  • 83%

Additional questions were also included to find out more about difficulties people have with practical and legal issues because of PP. We will be working with a specialist to follow up these findings and explore the need for specialist support and advice around such issues.

Health professional training: book for 2024!

Book now for APP’s future health professional training days. Our workshops are highly rated by attendees, with 100% rating them as excellent/good and 100% saying they would recommend them to colleagues:

"Really brilliant session. Balanced, informed, inspiring, emotional. So raw and real and yet very professional and contained. Best training I've attended in a very long time.”

Supporting dads and co-parents affected by postpartum psychosis

This online workshop is informed by real life experiences of dads and co-parents whose partners have experienced postpartum psychosis. At the end of the workshop, you will be aware of the research on partners; have a deep understanding of the needs of dads and co-parents; and have considered strategies and interventions to improve support.

Friday 8th March 2024 / Zoom
 10am – 12.30pm BST
 Find out more & book.

Insider Guides translated into 5 languages 

All three APP Insider Guides – Recovery after PP; PP: a Guide for Partners; and Planning Pregnancy  after PP – are now available in Arabic, Bengali, Polish, Slovak and Urdu on our website

We’d like to thank Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust for funding the translation work.

APP is continually seeking ways to translate our guides into multiple languages to ensure the information in them is accessible to everyone who needs it. If you would like to help us, please get in touch

We are recruiting

APP is recruiting casual Peer Support Worker(s) to join our innovative collaborative project with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT).  

We’re looking for people with lived experience of postpartum psychosis to help support women, one-to-one and through small group activities, at the MBU. Peer Support Workers also spend time talking to partners and families, sharing information, giving hope and signposting to APP’s online support, community forum, and information. Part of the role will be spent helping to run monthly café groups in the region. You don’t need to have experience of peer supporting. Training will be provided.

Full details of how to apply for the role are on our website. The application deadline is midnight on 26th November 2023.

Thank you, volunteers

It’s International Volunteer Day on Tuesday 5th December and we would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who volunteers for APP. 

Our volunteers make a huge contribution to our work and we couldn’t do what we do without them. 

Peer Support volunteers connect with women and families throughout the UK via our forum; social media; one to one email, video call and telephone support; our NHS partnership projects and regional café groups.

Media volunteers help to raise awareness of postpartum psychosis, our charity and our campaigns by telling their stories in the press, on social media websites, television and radio.

Regional Reps connect with health professional teams locally, disseminating information, support patient involvement in developing NHS services and giving lived experience talks.

Fundraising volunteers plan events and come up with fundraising ideas to support our work. 

If you would like to learn more about volunteering for APP you can find out how to get involved here.


Thank you to everyone who donated as part of our Big Give campaign last month. We were delighted to reach our target of £5000 in just one week! This will go towards our work supporting women and families from diverse communities. Look out for more ‘double your donation’ opportunities in 2024.

Thank you, Laura! A massive thank you to Laura Walton from Darlington, who ran 50 miles during October, raising over £700 for APP! Laura also generously shared her own experiences of postpartum psychosis with us to help raise awareness. You can read more about her story here. Laura completed her amazing challenge with a fabulous purple party for family and friends! Thank you, Laura!

Time for a festive Big Bake?

Inspired by the amazing looking cakes at Laura’s party? Why not get your friends, family, or colleagues together this winter for a festive afternoon tea, a mince pie bake off or a Christmas Cake decorating competition? Get your FREE festive Big Bake pack (including the APP team's favourite recipes!) by emailing 
We can't wait to hear about what you have planned! 

Festive cards

If you're looking for Christmas or Hanukkah cards... Buy your cards this year from and APP will receive a donation with every purchase, plus each card helps raise awareness of PP. There are hundreds of designs to choose from, including these images exclusively designed for APP by our supporter Gillian Seale. You can add photos, personalised messages and even games. Choose individual cards, packs of cards or e-cards - and send them directly to the recipient or to yourself. Thank you!

Christmas shopping

Don’t forget to sign up to use easyfundraising when you do your Christmas online shopping this year. Over 7,500 brands including eBay, John Lewis & Partners, Argos and M&S will donate to APP for FREE when you use easyfundraising to shop with them. So you can raise donations for us when you buy anything from decorations and festive food shopping to gifts like toys, jewellery, tech, experiences and more! These donations really help us. It only takes a minute to sign up: 

Looking for a new challenge in 2024?

We have access to hundreds of running events from fun family friendly 5ks to full marathons here in the UK and even overseas! We already have people signed up for the London Landmarks, Brighton Marathon, Paris Half and of course the APP team taking part in the Manchester Colour Rush event… and we’d love for you to join our running team! Find out more here: 

Dates for your diary

APP London face to face café group meet up, Saturday 18th November: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Yorkshire face to face café group meet up in Leeds, Saturday 18th November: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Scotland virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 21st November: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Black Country face to face café group meet up in Walsall, Tuesday 28th November: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Sussex and Hampshire virtual café group meet up, Thursday 30th November: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Muslim women’s virtual café group meet up, Monday 4th December: APP regional café groups webpage

International Volunteer Day, Tuesday 5th December

APP UK-wide virtual café group meet up, Thursday 7th December: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Manchester face to face café group meet up, Friday 8th December: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Book Club virtual meeting, Wednesday 13th March 2024. Discussing Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood by Lucy Jones. Book your free place here

Northern Ireland Mother and Baby Unit news welcome, but we need funding, a timeline and interim measures to save lives

News today that Belfast Trust is the preferred site for Northern Ireland’s first Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) is welcome, but we need ring-fenced funding, a firm timeline, and interim measures to save lives and prevent life-long trauma, national charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) said.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without an MBU, a specialist inpatient mental health treatment centre where mothers can be admitted with their babies for care and treatment. Instead, mums are admitted to acute psychiatric wards for non-specialist treatment, separating them from their babies.

APP estimates that around 100 women a year will require hospital admission for severe mental illness in the year after birth, including about 30 with postpartum psychosis, a severe and life-threatening mental illness that can develop suddenly. Suicide is the leading cause of maternal death in Northern Ireland.

Dr Jess Heron, Chief Executive of Action on Postpartum Psychosis said:

“It’s been 15 years since Michelle O’Neil and the Stormont Health Committee agreed that Northern Ireland needs a Mother and Baby Unit. We are delighted that we are today seeing real plans for this to progress. However, with no Assembly sitting, we still have no guarantee of funding and there is no timeline.

“It’s incredibly good news that Belfast Trust has been chosen as the preferred site for an MBU - Belfast has well-developed perinatal mental health services, as well as excellent transport links. So we’re pleased their next step is to put together a business plan, but it still, in reality, could be many years until a facility opens. Years when women continue to be separated from their babies for treatment by non-specialists; where they don’t receive appropriate physical care in the weeks after giving birth; where they miss out on vital bonding with the baby; and where families struggle to provide care for babies. Years in which women continue to be traumatised or die by suicide because they aren’t getting the care and treatment they need.

“We’re cautious about calling for interim measures, as there is always a risk that what should be short-term solutions become long-term, or even permanent. But there needs to be a plan while we wait; we know there are women dying, and being needlessly traumatised, in non-specialist units.

“There are places such as Exeter where interim units have been just that – not ideal, but a safe and appropriate space where mums can be with their babies while they recover from severe postpartum mental illness while a permanent unit is built.

“We have cross-party agreement that an MBU is essential, but with no Stormont executive, there is little MLAs can do – we need dedicated funding and we need firm deadlines so that this facility in Belfast can be built and opened as soon as possible.”

NI women who have experienced postpartum psychosis and admission in general inpatient units have also welcomed the news, but say something has to be done immediately to stop mums being separated from their babies when they require admission.

Tara Maguire was admitted to the Bluestone acute psychiatric ward at Craigavon Area Hospital in 2021 when she developed postpartum psychosis after the birth of her daughter Maisie. Tara said:

‘‘For me, the hospital was awful. It was like a prison ward. There were bars on the windows and no bathroom doors, just shower curtains. I remember not being able to sleep, they wouldn’t let me have my phone to look at photos of Maisie, and there was no privacy. I didn’t know where I was so was very quick to try to express milk wherever I felt the need, including in public areas. It was all they had to offer me because being at home was too dangerous and there was no Mother and Baby Unit.

“I have to live with this for the rest of my life. If it was handled correctly, I could have gone to a Mother and Baby Unit. I’ve had quite a lot of therapy about it. I am a success story, but I have a lot of demons and a lot of trauma that could have been avoided.”

Action on Postpartum Psychosis has been campaigning with other charities and organisations for an MBU in Northern Ireland. In October 2022 we worked with the Maternal Advocacy Project (Mas) to present an open letter to then Health Minister Robin Swann, signed by 40 mental health and parenting organisations, calling for an MBU, as well as a public petition with almost 7,000 signatures.

Clare Anderson, Mas Project Coordinator said:

“This announcement is a positive development, but we need to know it’s going ahead. From speaking to women, we know of the damaging impact of separation of mum and baby in the perinatal period.

“We would be keen to hear more about the timescales and what is going to be put in place in the meantime for mums and babies as it is going to take a long- time for the completion of an MBU.”

For more information or to speak to a an APP representative, contact Liz Morrison on 07711 558 296,

Anyone affected by postpartum psychosis, now or many years ago, can access support from APP, including an NI Peer Support Group for mothers who have experienced it at any time. Email for more information. For more information on postpartum psychosis and support available go to


Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that doesn’t have a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU), which provides specialist inpatient care for mums experiencing severe postnatal illness and their babies. Instead, mothers are admitted to general acute psychiatric wards for non-specialist treatment, separating them from babies.

An MBU provides specialist care for both mum and baby. Mental health teams with specialist training are able to provide the best care, for example: prescribing drugs that are suitable for use in the perinatal period; supporting the mother-infant relationship and the development of parenting skills; providing adequate postpartum physical care and appropriate facilities (such as nappy changing, milk fridges, play areas, safe places for older siblings to visit).

One in 5 women will experience mental health problems during pregnancy or after birth. Around 1000 women each year in Northern Ireland will develop a severe postnatal illness. This can include postpartum psychosis, severe depression and anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Between 84 and 122 will need admission to hospital. Suicide is the leading cause of maternal death, but with the right care is almost always preventable.

Postpartum mental health problems, in particular postpartum psychosis, can come on and escalate very quickly. This is not rare. The charity, Action on Postpartum Psychosis, who have recently set up a peer support group for women in NI who have experienced PP, estimates that 35 women in NI will develop the illness each year. While women with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop postpartum psychosis, 50% of cases are ‘out of the blue’, to women who have experienced no previous mental health problems.

The risk was highlighted at the 2022 inquest into the tragic death of Orlaith Quinn, who took her own life on a maternity ward while experiencing postpartum psychosis. The Coroner called for an MBU in NI.

According to the Confidential ENquiries into Maternal Deaths, suicide was the leading cause of maternal death in the first year after birth in the UK.


APP’s NI MBU campaign is supported by a grant from Rosa’s Voices from the Frontline fund.

APP October 2023 newsletter

Free webinar: Essential knowledge for preventing maternal suicide

If you’re a GP, midwife, antenatal educator or other frontline health professional, book your place on APP’s free webinar – on Wednesday 18th October at 12pm - here

In this free webinar delivered by Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP), in collaboration with the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), General Practitioners Championing Perinatal Care (GPCPC), and Journal of Birth and Parent Education (IJBPE), will learn about the early symptoms of postpartum psychosis, and the actions you need to take to support and protect those who develop the condition. You will learn about the basic information all expectant families should know about PP, and about the information and support needs of those at higher risk. The webinar will include a Q&A session with clinical, academic, and lived experience experts.

Please share with your networks to let as many people who work with new mothers as possible know how to join us. 

Health professional training: new dates

Book now for APP’s health professional training days. Our training is highly rated by attendees, with 100% rating sessions as good or excellent and 100% saying they would recommend our training to colleagues:

"Really brilliant session. Balanced, informed, inspiring, emotional. So raw and real and yet very professional and contained. Best training I've attended in a very long time.”

Best practice care in postpartum psychosis

This one-day online training course draws upon cutting-edge research and is informed by the experiences of women and families. The course will develop knowledge, understanding, and confidence in managing severe postnatal mental illness.

Wednesday 15th November / Zoom
Full day training
Find out more & book:

Supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic families affected by postpartum psychosis

This new online session led by APP’s National Training Coordinator, Dr Sally Wilson, and APP’s Diverse Communities Outreach Team, will focus on supporting women and families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities who develop postpartum psychosis. By the end of the session, you will have knowledge of the support and information needs of women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities; and have considered strategies to remove barriers and improve care.

Thursday 16th November / Zoom
12 – 2.30pm BST
Find out more & book:

Supporting dads and co-parents affected by postpartum psychosis

This online workshop is informed by the experiences of dads and co-parents whose partners have experienced postpartum psychosis. At the end of the workshop, you will understand the research evidence; the experiences of dads and co-parents; and have explored strategies and interventions to improve support.

Friday 8th March 2024 / Zoom
10am – 12.30pm BST
Find out more & book:

Northern Ireland update

The government report on the need for a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) has been delayed and is due out in October. We campaigned hard last year for public, professional and government support for the unit. Even after this report, the MBU will need government minister sign-off and a business plan.

With no Government in Northern Ireland, and no Health Minister, change will be slow. But we’re not going to let an MBU fall off the agenda.

We’ve got three questions we need answered:

  • What’s the timeline for building and opening an MBU?
  • What’s the budget and where will the money come from?
  • What will be done for mums who need admission in the meantime?

To make our case, we need support from women and partners in Northern Ireland who’ve experienced postpartum psychosis. We know it’s much harder to ignore people who have real stories to tell, so we’re reaching out to anyone who is prepared to tell their story - even anonymously in the media - or to join us in meeting an MLA to talk about their experience. 

Please also get in touch with Ellie here if you used to live in Northern Ireland and had access to an MBU elsewhere in the UK that you wouldn’t have had at home - we’d love you to share your story and we’ll support you through the process.

New peer support project in Manchester 

(pictured above L-R Nicola Gardner, Jocelyn Ellams, Hannah Bissett, Alison Barrott, Rachel McVeigh)

APP’s new NHS partnership project in Manchester went live at the beginning of September. This is a partnership with Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust (GMMH) providing peer support to inpatients at Andersen Ward Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Wythenshawe. 

APP’s team of Alison Barrott, Nicola Gardner and Rachel McVeigh will be supporting women, one-to-one and through small group activities, at the MBU. They’ll also spend time talking to partners and families of women during the acute illness phase, sharing information, giving hope and signposting to APP’s support and other resources. 

We’re delighted that the project will also include a new café group, with the first meeting planned for 13th October. If you live in the Manchester region and would like to meet other mums, parents and families affected by postpartum psychosis at the group, or become an APP volunteer, please email

To find out more about APP peer support within the NHS, visit:

Café groups

APP’s next UK-wide café group meeting will be held on Thursday 5th October. This friendly, informal meet-up on Zoom is for anyone who has experienced psychosis in the perinatal period, no matter where they live in the UK. To join, sign up on Eventbrite.

With the launch of our new Manchester peer support project, we’ve increased the number of regional café groups around the UK to ten. They meet virtually and face-to-face monthly throughout the year. The groups are attended both by those recovering from PP and those who experienced PP many years ago. If you are interested in joining any of the groups – in Manchester, Wales, Sussex & Hampshire, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire, North East & North Cumbria, Lancashire & Cumbria, Birmingham and London - please email  

We also run a virtual peer support group for dads and co-parents. It meets on the third Wednesday of every month and is for people who have supported a partner through PP. Our grandparents group meets approximately six times a year. If you would like to be on the mailing list for either of these groups, please email


PeerFest is an annual event run by Mind. It brings people together to celebrate the importance, power, and diversity of community-led groups who come together for peer support.

This year’s PeerFest took place on Thursday 7th September at The Lowry theatre in Salford Quays, Manchester. A number of APP staff attended the event (pictured above), some meeting each other in person for the first time. 

PeerFest is a welcoming, inclusive, and inspirational event bringing people together to network, share knowledge and best practice through workshops, creative activities and debate. Activities included talks about the importance of peer support within in-patient settings and managing a social media presence, as well as some Bollywood dancing and singing!

Check out this Instagram reel by one of our APP staff members Zebi, who works on APP’s diverse communities outreach project. 

MBU sewing club

APP’s peer supporters are based within 3 UK MBUs and 8 perinatal community teams, providing peer support early in recovery to new mothers and their families.

A new sewing club has just been launched at the Chamomile Suite MBU in Birmingham. APP’s peer support facilitator, Soukaina Bennani is supporting these sessions, chatting to mums, sharing experiences and information whilst producing beautiful designs like the one pictured above.

Read more about APP’s peer support within NHS community teams and MBUs here.

Good Enough Mums Club

Not perfect? Join the club!

The Good Enough Mums Club, a poignant and funny musical based on women’s stories of motherhood, is beginning a tour of theatres.

Produced, written, directed and performed by mums, The Good Enough Mums Club shares the love and dispels the myths with enough wipes to mop the tears and clean away the snotty laughter. 

The musical was created by Emily Beecher following her experience with postpartum psychosis. At the prompting of her therapist, Emily began to journal her experiences while juggling the demands of a newborn. During 2014, a short community workshop version of The Good Enough Mums Club played to sold-out audiences. The team reworked the musical by meeting mothers from all over the country - from a mosque in Birmingham, to a pub in Leeds, to a school in the shadow of Grenfell - collecting stories to ensure the show represents a variety of experiences of motherhood. APP supported with research and development and Chief Executive, Dr Jess Heron, says: 

“Seeing experiences of PP brought to life on the stage in such a hopeful way, is invaluable in helping women and families to feel less isolated and more able to identify symptoms and ask for help.” 

The Autumn 2023 tour will play: Birmingham Hippodrome; Storyhouse, Chester; Norwich Theatre Playhouse; Lincoln Arts Centre; MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton; and The Lowry, Salford. For full details and to book tickets, go to:

Fundraising news

The Big Give

Our Big Give match funding campaign is back very soon! Between 11th-18th October, all donations made via this page will be doubled (up to the value of £5,000). So if you’ve been thinking about holding a Big Bake event, running a raffle or simply making a one off donation to us, pop a note in your diary and do consider doing it during that week – it means whatever you give will be worth twice as much and have twice the impact!

Chris Wasley

Chris wearing his purple APP football shirt standing outside Southampton Football Club stadium

Last Friday, one of our fantastic partner peer support volunteers, Chris Wasley, kicked off his latest challenge for APP.  Chris (pictured above) is already a seasoned fundraiser for us, having completed a 10K race and coastal walk.  But this time his focus is on raising awareness more than funds – he’s on a mission to visit the football ground closest to each MBU in the UK. He started in Southampton and has plans over the next few years to travel around the country, dropping in at MBUs where possible, meeting up with other families affected by PP, all while raising awareness. Find out more about his challenge here.

Challenge fundraisers

Thank you to Lee Smith and his fantastic team – Donna, Chris, Andrew and Phil (pictured above), who all completed the Great North Run for APP earlier this month. Together they raised more than £2,000 on a very memorable GNR day – boiling hot sun for the run, then torrential rain and flooding on the way home. We’re very proud of all of them for all they achieved.

If you’re looking for a new challenge to get you back into running, swimming or cycling, we have access to hundreds of events all over the UK (and beyond!) – from family friendly 5k Santa runs in December, to half and full marathons, bungee jumps and even sky dives – get in touch if you’d like some inspiration for your next adventure: 

Quiz Night

A fundraising quiz night in Oxfordshire on 16th September (pictured above) raised a fantastic £3305.96 for APP. Naomi, APP Campaigns & Policy Coordinator, spoke at the event - alongside talented quiz-master Richard Baish, who has done so much this year, fundraising and awareness-raising in memory of his wife Alex.

Colleagues, friends of the family and local people attended a fantastic quiz evening, disco and raffle. Local businesses donated gifts and vouchers for hampers and a quiz winner's prize of an amazing purple wheelbarrow full of wine, chocolates and more!

Claire Willis, event organiser, told APP: "When I was asking local business for prizes for the raffle one lady in her late 60’s started to cry and went on to tell me she had PP over 40 years ago but it wasn’t recognised, she explained to me what she went through and how the doctors thought she was crazy. This, to me, shows how important the work that you do is."

Thank you to Claire, Richard and all the volunteers who helped put on such a memorable evening.

Jojo Maman Bebe

A HUGE thank you to everyone who voted for us and shared our recent Jojo Maman Bebe Helping Hands Community Grants appeal – we’re delighted to say, thanks to all your votes, APP will receive a £10,000 grant from Jojo Maman Bebe. This will go a long way to helping us expand and develop our peer support service. 


Help us get October off to a great start for Action on Postpartum Psychosis by signing up to support us for FREE on #easyfundraising. You can raise donations whenever you shop online with over 7,500 brands including John Lewis & Partners, eBay, Argos, M&S and more. Plus, once you've raised your first £5, easyfundraising will double it! Sign up today - it will make a BIG difference to us during this busy shopping period:


You can help improve care for the future by supporting research. Please join our lived experience network, and then contact the researchers for information on each study.

The causes and triggers of postpartum psychosis

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) and Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) are working together to understand more about the genetic factors, and other causes and triggers of severe mental illness during pregnancy and following childbirth. 

Please take part in this research if you have experienced postpartum psychosis or other severe mental illness around childbirth. For more information and to sign up to participate, please visit this page

Experience of decision making after postpartum psychosis

Philippa Arkle, at the University of Hull, is running a study exploring how women experience making decisions about further pregnancies after an experience of ‘out of the blue’ or first-onset PP. The research involves an interview via videocall. For more information, email:

Find out about all our studies currently recruiting here. If you are a researcher and would like us to support your research, please get in touch at an early stage in planning:

Dates for your diary

APP UK-wide virtual café group meet up, Thursday 5th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Birmingham face to face café group meet up, Friday 6th October: APP regional café groups webpage

World Mental Health Day, Tuesday 10th October:

APP Grandparents virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 10th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Northern Ireland virtual café group meet up, Thursday 12th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Manchester face to face café group meet up, Friday 13th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP London virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 17th October: APP regional café groups webpage

 APP Dads and co-parents virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 18th October: APP regional café groups webpage

World Menopause Day, Wednesday 18th October:

Global Peer Support celebration day, Thursday 19th October:

APP Wales virtual café group meet up, Thursday 26th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Scotland virtual café group meet up, Thursday 2nd November: APP regional café groups webpage


It’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week – here’s how to get involved

2nd – 8th May marks Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and APP is keen to get as many people involved as possible!

Awareness weeks like this are a brilliant opportunity to get more people talking about postpartum psychosis (and the signs and symptoms to look out for), and to ensure that anyone affected doesn’t feel alone and knows where they can turn to for help and support.

As such, we’ll be sharing personal stories, signposting people to support, information and advice and launching our new antenatal education campaign. We’re also going to be expanding our café groups in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – so keep your eyes peeled for more on that too!

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

In addition to Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, organised by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, there will be a focused World Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day (Wed 4th May) and Pregnancy and Postpartum Psychosis Awareness Day (Fri 6th May).

How to get involved

During the week, there will be focused topic days and activities that you can get involved with by sharing our social media posts and web links to help reach more people. We’d also love to hear your stories and thoughts too – so please do tag us in anything you’re writing about online.

The theme for the full week is The Power of Connection – so we’re keen to hear about your experiences of peer support and how friends and family have helped you.

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week daily themes

Take part in free events

You can also take part in some FREE events that APP is proud to support including:

Understanding postpartum psychosis webinar

Thursday 5th May, 12pm: Understanding Psychosis

Join the National Centre for Mental Health in partnership with Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) and the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership to hear from researchers and the expert voices of those with lived experience of postpartum psychosis.

To book your free place, click here

Pregnancy and postpartum psychosis Awareness Day

Friday 6th May, 2pm BST: Author Panel

Join a conversation with authors with lived experience of postpartum psychosis. Hosted by Jessie Hunt, APP Marketing and Digital Communications Co-ordinator.

To book your free place, click here

Friday 6th May, 4pm BST: Pregnancy and Postpartum Psychosis Resources and Research Update

Learn about resources for women who are experiencing Pregnancy and Postpartum psychosis and their families. With guest speaker Dr Sally Wilson, APP Training and Research Co-ordinator.

To book your free place, click here

Friday 6th May, 7.45-8.30pm BST: Free online yoga session with Jo

Enjoy a mindful yoga session with Jo, a qualified yoga teacher and APP volunteer. You will need a yoga mat or non-slippy floor to practise on.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 875 3790 1587
Passcode: 685471


Disclaimer from Jo: I believe that yoga is for everyone. However, when you’re practising via an online class, it is up to you to assess whether the class is suitable for you. If you’re injured, ill or have any long-term conditions you should always consult a doctor before you start practising yoga. Unfortunately, this class is not suitable if you are pregnant. It is up to you to gauge the safety of your practise and to never exceed your own limitations. I would ask you to practise slowly and in a considered way, and never rush into anything new - move mindfully and always listen to your body to take what you need from the practise. The practise might leave you feeling tired but you should never be in pain. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't, so please back out of the posture and take a break if you need to. By clicking on the link to join the Zoom class you hereby agree to irrevocably release and waive any claims that you have now, or hereafter may have, against Joanne Bushell, 'Yoga with Jo.'

Follow @ActionOnPP

Make sure you follow APP’s social media accounts throughout the week to get involved:

Twitter: @ActionOnPP

Instagram: @ActionOnPP

Facebook: Action on Postpartum Psychosis




Susan's poem: Into the Deep.


Susan experienced postpartum psychosis in 2006. Here she shares her poem, 16 years on.

Into the Deep

From a rush with euphoria
Feeling on top of the world
To the sensation of exhaustion
Fear of falling to the ground.

The shower in the morning
Helped to make me aware
To feed, bath and love my baby
With much loving care.

The following weeks I carried on
Getting dressed everyday
It makes you feel better
Or so they say

I continued to do everything
As I thought I should
Hanging out the washing
Feeling reenergised
Thinking I was doing good.

No groups to join,
few visits from friends
Only when my midwife visited
She noticed I was drained.

I was starting to spiral
in to the deep.
I was running on empty
Suddenly unable to sleep.

I thought I could accomplish
Anything when I became Mum,
Within a couple of months
I began to feel numb.

Forget previous feelings,
Natural instincts I had,
Could not remember anything
Feeling I was going mad.

This itself was frightening
Not knowing who I was anymore
If I would get back to where I was
And who I was before.

Lack of sleep and eats
Plummeted me into despair
Catatonic some days
Not knowing if I was there

Being told I was getting better
Feeling like shouting out I am getting worse
But could not get the words out
I am here, I am not right, am I cursed?

Lack of understanding from all of those around
Caused more distress and isolation
As I felt this was my life
And I was not to be found

Fearing institutions and staff
throwing away the key
Thinking everyone else
would be better off without me.

Soon I did discover
That help was there for me.
Experts in their fields providing
Care for baby and thee.

As treatment started to work
And I started recovery,
Looking after myself first,
Allows me to look after my family.

Look after yourself, be good and kind.
Having an insight helps to maintain a healthy mind.

Theatre: ‘after birth’ is returning to the stage for a UK tour


‘after birth’ is a dark comedy deeply rooted in the testimonials of women who have experienced postpartum psychosis. Read on for dates and a review.

"A powerhouse story told with clarity, wit and integrity"
Daily Information

"At the centre of my play is Ann – razor-witted and indomitable – her character is rooted in the funny, resilient women who fearlessly shared their recovery stories with me"
Zena Forster

Dates and tickets

LONDON, Omnibus Theatre 22 - 26 February 2022. Book tickets. 
NORWICH, The Garage - 11 March 2022. Book tickets.
GRAVESEND, The Woodville - 16 March 2022. Book tickets. 
WOLVERHAMPTON, Arena Theatre - 18 March 2022. Book tickets. 
LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre - 24 March 2022. Book tickets.

Please note, the performances on the 15th March 2022 and 23rd March 2022 are closed performances for invited guests.

Watch the trailer

‘after birth’ review

In June 2021, two members of the APP team, Ellie and Jessie, and one of APP’s volunteers, went to see ‘after birth’ at the North Wall theatre, Oxford. ‘After birth’ is set in a Mother and Baby Unit: the main character, Ann, has a bipolar diagnosis and is experiencing postpartum psychosis.

Ellie writes: "‘After birth’ has been written by Zena Forster who worked with APP as part of her research, speaking to several members of APP staff and volunteers with lived experience. The play follows Ann in her experience of postpartum psychosis, and the action we witness on stage is through her eyes, starting in the middle of her paranoid and scary psychotic episode. It depicts her slow journey to recovery, her growing trust of the professionals helping her, her relationships with her mother and partner, and the grief and trauma she experiences. The play also shows her relationship with another patient in the unit, showing the importance of the connection between the two women with lived experience.

As we all know, the impact of experiencing postpartum psychosis is wide reaching and complex and affects so many parts of a person’s life – their self-esteem and well-being, identity, creativity, relationships, relationship with their baby and feelings about becoming a mother. Zena managed to weave all of this complexity, and more, into the play, at the same time creating a believable, likeable, and rounded character at its heart, who we were rooting and feeling for. The fact the audience was with Ann throughout her whole experience of PP and seeing everything through her eyes, meant that the play was a powerful tool for helping the audience to really understand, connect and empathise with the experience of postpartum psychosis, and to truly feel and understand what women go through.

‘after birth’ will tour in 2022, and we highly recommend that you take the opportunity to go and see it when it does. We found it a powerful, accurate and stigma-busting portrayal of PP.”

'after birth' grew out of a collaboration between playwright Zena Forster and researchers at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit  (NPEU), Oxford University.

Find out more and book tickets here:

Get in touch with APP

If you would like to talk to the APP team about ‘after birth’, please email 


New report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance

A new report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance shows that investing in training for midwives and health visitors, and recruiting more specialist perinatal mental health midwives and health visitors could save the NHS up to £52 million over the next 10 years by ensuring that women receive timely support. This investment could also improve the quality of life for women and their families with an estimated £437 million saving over 10 years on costs to society such as loss of employment due to poor mental health.

Luciana Berger, Chair of the MMHA, says: "It is vital that we make it easier for pregnant women and new mums to access mental health support during routine contacts with their midwives and health visitors."

Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Centre for Mental Health, says: "Supporting midwives and health visitors with the training and time to meet women’s mental health needs is a sound investment that could make a difference to many thousands of women and their families.”

At APP, we know how critical the role of midwives and health visitors can be in identifying postpartum psychosis and ensuring that women receive the support they need.

APP have delivered lived experience talks and training to over 13,500 midwives, health visitors and other health professionals, enabling them to have greater confidence in identifying and responding to postpartum psychosis.

APP fully support the recommendation to invest in more midwives and health visitors with specialist skills in perinatal mental health to improve access to timely support for women and families.

Read more about the report here >

Dellasposa Gallery silent art auction in support of APP

Dellasposa Gallery held a silent art auction in support of Action on Postpartum Psychosis on Thursday 4th November, in memory of Alice Gibson-Watt (née Montagu-Douglas-Scott), who passed away in 2012 due to complications resulting from postpartum psychosis. Alice is the cousin of Julian Phillimore, the Founder and Director of Dellasposa.

The silent auction was hosted by BBC Antiques Roadshow's Jonty Hearnden, with a brilliant selection of artworks by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Sir Peter Blake, Michael Craig Martin, Ben Eine, David Shrigley, Sara Pope, Quentin Blake, among many others.

To view the auction catalogue follow the link here.

We would like to say a huge thank you Dellasposa for supporting APP.


Dr Jessica Heron, Chief Executive of APP, says 'We have been so grateful for the support that Alice's friends, family, colleagues at Sotheby's and the Antiques Roadshow have given us over the past 10 years. Their support has made an enormous difference to the growth and reach of our charity, and meant that we have been able to provide life-saving support to women and families, train health professionals throughout the UK, and campaign for appropriate services for those who suffer postpartum psychosis. We are delighted that Jonty Hearnden will be the celebrity Auctioneer and for the impressive pieces being sold to support our charity.'

For further information on the silent auction and related exhibition, you can write to

Our 'Fabulous Four' who ran this year's Royal Parks Half Marathon

For this year's Royal Parks Half Marathon which took place on Sunday 10th October, APP had four amazing runners: Sally Hogg, Nicola Ball, Jeni Dibley-Rouse and Anneka Harry.The Half Marathon was held in central London, and took in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens - in all their autumnal glory.

Sally has worked on improving services for women with perinatal mental health problems and is an admirer of APP’s work, particularly the central role played by women with lived experience. Sally completed a skydive with team APP in 2018, and ran a virtual half marathon in her local area for APP in October 2020 after the Royal Parks ‘live’ event was postponed due to Covid-19. She also ran in this year’s live event.

Sally says: "Two of my friends have had postpartum psychosis (PP), and through my work I’ve met many other women who have suffered from PP. APP is a fantastic charity which provides information and support to women and their families, trains health professionals and facilitates research. The charity has been instrumental in campaigning for improvements to services for women with PP across the UK. Women who experience PP have a very difficult and unusual experience of early motherhood. In addition, the stigma associated with mental illness can make it hard for them to talk about their experience. APP’s peer support helps women and families affected by PP feel understood, supported and less isolated”

You can still visit and donate to Sally’s JustGiving page here.

Nicola says: “In 2016 I was diagnosed with PP after the birth of my daughter. A relatively unknown mental illness that affects 1-2 in 1,000 births. This year to raise money and just as importantly raise awareness I will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon with my amazing friend Jeni Dibley-Rouse who has been incredible."

You can still visit and donate to Nicola’s JustGiving page here.

Jeni says: “I am very proud to be running the Royal Parks half marathon for APP and supporting our friends Nicola and James. They have overcome PP with the support of this amazing charity. The work that APP completes is vital in supporting and raising awareness of the condition, please donate to help support the APP and help me through the last few weeks of training.”

You can still visit and donate to Jeni’s JustGiving page here.

Anneka chose to support APP after her friend, APP Ambassador Laura Dockrill, experienced PP. She says: “In 2018, postpartum psychosis tried to steal my friend Laura Dockrill from her son, her partner, her family and friends. From her very own life. When Laura was in the psychiatric hospital, I wrote her a poem to act as a mirror, to remind her why she is the best friend and human being. Laura not only survived but, as she says herself, she surTHRIVED. And she has come out the other side an EVEN BETTER version of the best friend and human being! APP is a small charity doing big work – promoting awareness, funding research and campaigning to help more women and families surthrive.”

You can still visit and donate to Anneka’s VirginMoneyGiving page here.

Our four runners have raised more than £3,900 for APP. We would like to thank Sally, Nicola, Jeni, and Anneka for supporting APP and everyone who has donated.

If you have been inspired by our runners, we would love to support any fundraising ideas you have. Get in touch here.