All posts by Molly Lyness

Join APP in getting involved in #MaternalSuicidePreventionWeek


#MaternalSuicidePreventionWeek, 7th-11th September 2020
Join Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) in getting involved in #MaternalSuicidePreventionWeek by helping to raise awareness of Postpartum Psychosis. 

Over the past 10 years, APP have been working to reduce the risk of maternal suicide, by training peer supporters, developing information, training health professionals and raising awareness of Postpartum Psychosis. So much has been achieved, but we are not there yet.

Please help by sharing APP’s #MumWatch campaign
For #MaternalSuicidePreventionWeek we’re talking about the signs of Postpartum Psychosis, so that we can all look out for them and take action to prevent suicide in new mums. Please help by sharing the following campaign text and image widely:

Feel like your partner or friend is not themselves?
Be the friend they need - help make an urgent appointment with their Doctor, Midwife or call 111. If you think there is imminent danger, call 999. With help they will recover.
#MumWatch #MaternalSuicidePreventionWeek @ActionOnPP

Please also follow and share APP’s social media posts throughout the week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you have been bereaved following Postpartum Psychosis
Our peer supporters can signpost to sources of information and support.
Please get in touch to find out how you can get involved with APP’s work by emailing app@app-network.org

Please donate to help support our life-saving work
1 in 3 people who use APP’s peer support say they might not be here today without it. Peer support can be life-saving.
Please donate to support our work >

Thank you to Mother London for supporting APP’s #MumWatch campaign.

Follow Simon & Jude's 2500 mile cycle!

Huge thanks to Simon and Jude Hill who are cycling 2500 miles to raise awareness of postpartum psychosis and funding for APP!

Simon and Jude said: "When our third daughter, Emily, suffered from postpartum psychosis after the birth of her daughter in 2018, we were so grateful for the support she received whilst in Leeds MBU. That support has continued to help her towards making a full recovery. Emily is an experienced mid-wife and after her maternity leave was able to return to work at a local birth centre.

Jude and I had been planning a long bike ride in the USA to raise funds for APP but that was shelved with the onset of the pandemic. We realised that whilst we have all been enduring the difficulties of lockdown, a small number of mothers, their partners and families have had to cope with the additional challenges brought on by PP. Raising money to facilitate the work of APP must not be delayed, to support future mothers who experience postpartum psychosis.

Starting on 21st August, 2020, we will be doing a UK based challenge by riding from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG), and back. Following mainly National Cycle Routes (SUSTRANS) to cover the 2500 miles, we will be camping whenever possible. Our hope is to be back at our home in Somerset by early October."

Join Simon and Jude by donating on their JustGiving page here, Pedalling for PP awareness

You can also click here to follow Simon and Jude on Instagram, “Pedalling for PP awareness”, or to keep up to date with their fantastic LEJOG journey, check out their itinerary plans here and their Strava journeys here!

Thank you Simon and Jude for your incredible efforts and support of APP! We wish you the best of luck.

Katrina's run to support APP!

A huge thank you to Katrina for organising and successfully completing her run on 18th July, with her friend Danielle!

Katrina & Danielle were running in support of APP and want to "break the stigma around mental health".

Thank you Katrina and Danielle and to everyone who donated via Katrina's JustGiving page here - Katrina's amazing fundraiser has raised a fantastic £397 for APP!

If you have been inspired by Katrina & Danielle and would like to run in aid of APP, email us at fundraising@app-network.org. We would love to support any event you chose!

Links and More Information

For a list of England’s community teams go to: https://nhswebbeds.co.uk/community-team/list

For a list of Mother & Baby Units go to: https://nhswebbeds.co.uk

APP offer support for those affected by postpartum psychosis (personally, or at risk of PP, due to bipolar disorder. For telephone, email or Facebook support for postnatal depression and anxiety, see: https://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/

For general advice about managing mental health, isolation and anxiety visit:

For advice specific to perinatal mental health during Coronavirus visit:

For more advice about Coronavirus:

 

Click here to return to the Covid-19 menu page

During Recovery from PP

You can find APP’s resources on recovery here.

1. How will I get medication? How will I be monitored and supported during recovery?

Urgent home visits will continue. Some routine appointments will happen via video call.

2. How can I manage my anxiety, depression, isolation during recovery while we are socially distancing?

UK wide, online resources and peer support will be incredibly important for recovering women. There is already a wide range of online resources and more are being produced each day. The links below contains further resources, recommended reading, recovery modules, and support.

APP provide support, information and a lived experience community for women & families recovering from PP. You can talk to others on our forum or get in touch to talk to a trained peer supporter via text or email. We have a variety of Facebook groups you can join and zoom activities you can get involved in.

NHS mental health services are open & here for you during this time. Contact them if you need extra help.

3. Social distancing and isolation mean my usual family support, and especially grandparents, are not available. Where can we find help?

NHS services will continue to provide outreach support during recovery via telephone, video and face to face as needed. Do ask for support if you need it.

The support that friends and family are able to provide will depend on your own situation and theirs. As someone recovering from a severe mental illness, a ‘carer’ in a non-vulnerable group can visit to provide support. Please check up-to-date guidelines here.

APP will continue our national peer support services throughout the outbreak. Our Forum is available for you to talk to other women and partners: www.app-network.org/peer-support/

We offer one to one peer support for anyone in the UK, where you are paired with an APP coordinator with lived experience, or a volunteer peer supporter. We can give this one to one peer support via messaging, email, or video call. APP also have trained partner and grandparent peer supporters. If you would like to access this support or join our lived experience community, email us here. We have a variety of Facebook groups and social media activities you can get involved in.

Resources for partners are available here, and you can join our partner’s Facebook page for more information, signposting and support.

 

Click here to return to the Covid-19 menu page

In Crisis or Developing Symptoms of PP

You can find APP’s general resources about symptoms of postpartum psychosis here and getting help here. You can find more information on common early symptoms here. You can find APP information guides about PP for women and partners here. If you are a partner, you can also join our Partner’s Facebook group for information, signposting and support from other partners who have ‘been there’.

1. If I develop symptoms of PP, how will assessment happen?

  • If you believe you are developing symptoms of postpartum psychosis (or your partner, family members is) you need to act urgently via the normal routes: telephone your GP, maternity services, or 111. If you believe you or someone in your household is in imminent danger, call 999. Services are still here for you. Urgent home visits are still being completed, but may also include phone & video call contact.
  • Every acute mental health trust in England has a 24/7 crisis line number who can direct you to appropriate services. You can find your local one here – input your postcode in the helplines section.
  • In Scotland, A&E mental health presentations are being diverted directly to mental health sites. Crisis/Out of Hours staff will work in assessment centres with extra resources, seeing people from A&E and other urgent referrals.

2. Are Mother & Baby Units staying open?

  • In England and Scotland MBUs will remain open and are doing an enormous amount of work to minimise any risk of infection on inpatient units. There are no units in Wales; women requiring MBU admission will be offered the opportunity of a bed in England. In Northern Ireland, postnatal women with PP are admitted to General Adult Psychiatric Units for care.

3. How are MBU’s managing coronavirus?

  • MBUs are following general NHS inpatient guidance on barrier nursing and staff will be using personal protection equipment (PPE) for patients with coronavirus symptoms. MBUs have set up isolation areas to care for women separately. To date there have been very few cases of coronavirus in MBUs.
  • Visitor advice varies between units. Some units have restricted visits to one named family member per patient, with specific time slots. Please contact the MBU for more specific advice. For a full list of MBUs in England click here  or here for all UK units.
  • NHS England guidance on visiting during the coronavirus crisis can be found here, and, for Scotland, here.
  • Patients will be supported to use FaceTime and telephone video calling more. Peer Support, including that delivered by APP, will be available via video call, and in some areas, peer supporters are still visiting the unit.

 

Click here to return to the Covid-19 menu page

Pregnant Women Concerned about PP

(i.e. those who have had a previous PP or who have a bipolar diagnosis):

You can find APP’s insider guide: ‘Planning pregnancy: a guide for women at high risk of Postpartum Psychosis’ here & APP’s resources on bipolar disorder and pregnancy here. You can take part in a trial of a new interactive workbook to support women through pregnancy by emailing us here.

1. What will happen to my antenatal psychiatric appointments or preconception advice appointments?

  • In England, Scotland & Wales, there are plans in place for routine home visits and out-patient appointments to continue, but some appointments will be done by telephone or video call. We will add information from Northern Ireland when we have it.
  • Perinatal Psychiatrists say that birth planning for women at high risk of PP will in some cases be offered remotely but will still be thorough and comprehensive.

2. How do I get medication during this crisis?

  • In England, Scotland and Wales, medication plans for pregnancy and the postnatal period should be made with perinatal psychiatrists in advance to ensure there is plenty of time to get prescriptions filled. Talk to your GP, Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team, or Perinatal Psychiatrist, to ensure plans are in place.
  • Women who are remaining on Lithium throughout pregnancy will continue to need the same degree of medical vigilance. Antenatal care is still “open for business” and obstetrics/ maternity and perinatal mental health will work collaboratively to ensure the safest possible antenatal care remains uninterrupted.
  • In Scotland, medication prescribing remains with GPs on recommendation of mental health services. We will add information from Northern Ireland when we have it.
  • You can phone your GP prescriptions line / psychiatric services and they can send prescriptions directly to your local pharmacy for collection. Some pharmacies are operating a delivery service for those who are shielding or self isolating.

3. What impact does Covid-19 have on pregnancy, foetal development or risk of postnatal illness?

  • Our best knowledge to date is that Covid-19 doesn’t seem to cause problems with pregnancy, and it is believed that having CV-19 is unlikely to impact on your baby’s development. Most pregnant women who develop the illness will experience mild or moderate cold or flu-like symptoms. Pregnant women with other health conditions (e.g heart disease, or if you usually are advised to have a flu jab) should be extra cautious as they may be more unwell than other women. It may be possible for you to pass coronavirus to your baby before they are born. But when this has happened, the babies have got better. There’s no evidence coronavirus causes miscarriage or affects how your baby develops in pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women have been placed in the ‘moderate risk group’ as a precautionary measure as not enough is yet known about the virus. This means you should follow guidance on hand-washing and social distancing. You can access up to date government guidance here.
  • You should still attend appointments and scans, unless advised not to.
  • You should still seek help if you are worried about your physical or mental health.
  • Maintaining contact with friends and family, and being active, can be very important to maintaining good mental health during pregnancy, so consider how to stay connected, and what you can do, within government guidelines.
  • The Royal College of Midwives and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have produced some excellent guidance for health professionals and women, which is being regularly updated here and here. You can access the Royal College of Psychiatrists advice here.
  • We do not yet know whether stresses related to the crisis will impact on women’s chance of developing maternal mental illness. We know that managing anxiety and stress in pregnancy and the postnatal period is important. You can find excellent advice from Mind about managing anxiety and isolation here and from the Mental Health Foundation here.

APP are here for you. If you are a pregnant women with previous experience of PP or bipolar, you can talk to an APP peer supporter by visiting our forum or registering for email or video support here. APP also has a number of Facebook groups (e.g. a book club, an activities & wellbeing group, various volunteer groups) you can join.

Click here to return to the Covid-19 menu page

Postpartum Psychosis & Covid-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we know that pregnant women and new mothers have questions about what will happen to their care and how they should access services.

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) has compiled information for: pregnant women with a history of postpartum psychosis / bipolar; women and families in crisis or who are developing psychosis; and for those recovering from PP at this time.

This is a fast-moving situation. Health trusts/boards across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are continuing to make changes to their services. We will update this guide as information becomes available.

Click the below images for specific information:

 

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

Connect with APP via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and follow the news on our website to find out more about what APP can offer.

Help with a research survey
We are working with colleagues at the National Centre for Mental Health to understand better the impact COVID-19 is having on people with mental health conditions. To find out more about how to participate in the NCMH COVID-19 survey click here

Join #thelippyrunner in her July campaign!

A huge thank you to Sian, #thelippyrunner, who is raising awareness of PP and supporting APP through her July fundraiser! Why not join Sian and #getlippy this July?!

Sian says: My story starts with a nomination to do the NHS 5k. So on the 19th of April in lockdown I decided to put on some lipstick for empowerment and to feel half human and to have a go. I did it and I haven't looked back since. I have run pretty much every day since. And every day the lipstick goes on. #thelippyrunner (follow me and my journey on Instagram) I was NOT a runner but have found a love for it that I don't want to give up. I wanted to find something for my mental health in lockdown and be more than mother, wife and teacher. I think a lot of women feel like that. This was something for me.

I've had messages off women saying how they don't have the confidence to get out there but that this has inspired them to. This is amazing and makes me feel so proud. Anyone can. Support each other and we all can.

I found Action on Postpartum Psychosis as I wanted to raise money for women's postnatal mental health and this is only one area but a very important area that isn't spoken about. We need to #getlippy and change the stigma. This is not embarrassing. We need to talk, help and support one another and this amazing charity does that. I'm so passionate about it.

PLEASE PLEASE GET INVOLVED.

I would really like anyone to join in. This is a July fundraiser. Please follow the steps below.

PUT YOUR LIPSTICK ON 💋

DO A RUN (however long or short)

DONATE HERE(as much or as little as you can)

SHARE YOUR END PHOTO (upload your photo to Instagram and Facebook and #thelippyrunner and #getlippy)

TAG SOMEONE (tag someone you know to get this message out and raise awareness about this unspoken subject)

SHARE THE FUNDRAISING PAGE WHEN TAGGING (so the next person knows what they need to do)

You are also going to be put into a draw to win some amazing Body Shop lipsticks after you donate (please put your full name on your donation and you can be put into the draw)

This isn't just for women. Men come and support your wives, partners, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunties and nieces. Support your daughters for what they might go through.

At various points throughout I will share when I will be running so people can join in and run with me. I want to encourage people to get running and not feel self conscious. I will also be doing a final run on 31st July and I will invite anyone to come and join.

I will be running most days too and you can continue to follow my running journey on Instagram #thelippyrunner

I'm so thankful to be doing this so PLEASE support me and this amazing charity!!

Love from Sian Purdy Marr 💋
I am #thelippyrunner

Sian's amazing fundraiser, #getlippy, has been a huge success and had raised over £900 in aid of APP! A huge thank you to #thelippyrunner and to all who donated to support Sian's efforts!

If you have been inspired by Sian's fundraiser and want to start your own, contact fundraising@app-network.org - we would love to support your event!

Karen's 60th Birthday Triumph!

Huge thanks to Karen Savage who raised incredible funds for APP through her 60th birthday fundraiser!

Karen said: "We all may have a different story to tell but those suffering from Postpartum Psychosis have one thing in common is how very frightening this illness is and the speed that it can manifest itself! When I had my baby, APP was not as we know it today and there was no care network and I only wish I had the benefit of their peer support.

I suffered from Postpartum Psychosis (PP), which I can now freely talk about without the stigma attached that prevented me from disclosing what a nightmare this rare illness was for me and my family back in 1985! The time which should have been the happiest of my life, ended up with me on a psychiatric ward, separated from my baby. Had I not agreed to go in voluntarily I would have been sectioned. I was severely unwell, and it was only at this point I understood that something was very wrong but didn’t know what.

I had always intended to ask my friends and family who wished to buy me a present to celebrate my 60th birthday. To raise money for APP would be the greatest gift anyone could give me, I wanted to raise as much money as possible. Never did I imagine that I would be celebrating my 60th during a Pandemic and that my husband’s gift of travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer would have to be put on hold and that I wouldn’t be getting the kisses and cuddles from my granddaughter. Now more than ever charities are desperate for funds that would normally arise from fund raising events that have had to be cancelled or postponed!"

Thank you Karen and to everyone who donated via Karen's JustGiving page here, Karen's birthday fundraiser has raised an incredible total of £2225!!

If your birthday is approaching and you would like to set up your own birthday fundraiser, contact app@app-network.org - we would love to support you and celebrate together!