"Being able to share my experiences has really helped me. I felt so lost, isolated desperate and frightened but I don't feel like that anymore. Thank goodness for APP, I can't imagine what it must have been like for others who suffered before it and this forum was set up."

On this page

What is peer support?

APP’s peer support service connects you with people who have been there.

People often tell us they have never met or talked to anyone else who has experienced postpartum psychosis.

Myths and misunderstandings about the illness can make it harder to talk to wider family, friends or other new mums about what happened.

We can support you if you’ve had postpartum psychosis (PP), or experienced high mood or mania after the birth of your child, or if you are a partner or family member of someone who experienced PP.

You can talk to us, whether you are newly recovering, considering another baby, want to talk about parenting after PP, or even if you had PP many years ago and would just like to talk, ask questions, or meet others.

We can also provide peer support and information if you are at high risk of postpartum psychosis (PP) because you are pregnant and have bipolar disorder.

"It's just a very frightening thing to go through on your own. This community is a good & precious resource to all who have experienced or been affected by PP in some way."

Our trained peer support volunteers are mainly women who are recovered from PP, but we have partners, grandparents, and other family members too. They have been there and understand something of what you have been through.

There are different ways for you to get support, depending on what feels most comfortable for you. You don't have to choose just one.

Our online support

Our online peer support for postpartum psychosis connects you with people from all over the world. You might also find it helpful if you can't, or are not ready to, meet people in person.
  • On our online community forum, you can read other people’s posts or write your own for support from our community of members and volunteers.

"Reaching out to people on the forum was a lifeline – it was here that I found other women who had been through what I had. The first woman who responded to me really helped me and we are still in touch to this day."

  • We also offer a one-to-one email service. Women, partners and family members throughout the UK are matched with trained volunteers to receive support as long as they need it.

"When I confided my fears, her emails were strong, they were steady and they attested to a world that was real, steady and whole. A world that could hold me, my daughter and my partner."

  • As well as exchanging messages by email, support with a trained peer supporter can be offered via video call or phone call, if you prefer to chat.

We also offer online support for dads and co-parents.

Our face-to-face support

In some areas of the UK you can meet an APP volunteer face-to-face or join one of our café groupsWe also have peer supporters in some MBUs and community teams. 

"Being able to share my experiences has really helped me. I felt so lost, isolated desperate and frightened but I don't feel like that anymore. Thank goodness for APP, I can't imagine what it must have been like for others who suffered before it was set up."

Café groups

peer support cafe groupIn some areas of the country, we have lived experience café groups where women with PP, and their partners and family members, can meet together informally. There are currently groups across the UK, in Birmingham, Lancashire and South Cumbria, London, Manchester, North East, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sussex and Hampshire, Wales and Yorkshire. We also have groups for Dads and Co-Parents and Grandparents.

We also have a UK-wide café group, a Muslim women's café group and a Book Club group. Please see the details below.

Café groups meet both online on Zoom and in person, so if you can’t get to a real one, you can always join a group for a cuppa online.

UK

A UK-wide APP peer support social/café group.

Birmingham

Black Country

Lancashire and South Cumbria

London

Manchester

North East 

  • Next date coming soon.

Northern Ireland

  • Next date coming soon.

 

Scotland

Sussex and Hampshire

  • Next date coming soon.

Wales

  • Next date coming soon.

Yorkshire

  • Next date coming soon.

Dads and Co-parents peer support social / café group (virtual)

8-9pm, every 3rd Wednesday of the month (virtual).

  • Next date to be confirmed.

Zoom joining link: bit.ly/PARTNERMEET. Or, email Simon: simon@app-network.org

Grandparents peer support social / café group (virtual)

  • Next date to be confirmed.

Muslim women's peer support social / café group (virtual)

APP Book Club

  • The APP Book Club has a Facebook Group you can join here.
    New APP Book Club date to be announced soon.

To join a café group:

Complete this form, or email app@app-network.org for more information and to find out if there is a group in your area.

We are continuing to seek funding to make café groups available in even more regions.

Request peer support

If you would like to request 1:1 peer support or join a café group, please complete this form or email app@app-network.org to request further information. One of our peer support coordinators will be in touch with you about your request within 3 working days. If you have not heard anything in this time, please check your junk/spam folder and email app@app-network.org if you've not received anything.

“Peer Support has been life-changing for me. I don't feel isolated at all, if anything I feel proud to be part of this unique community of amazing, strong women and proud of everything we have been through. It has been so healing to give and receive support. It has helped me to recover more fully. I was well when I found APP, but to really fully come to terms with the experience, to deal with the grief, shame, sadness, trauma of the experience, Peer Support has been my main source of support and growth.” 

In crisis?

APP cannot provide crisis support. If you need help urgently, please contact your GP, midwife, mental health team, call 999, The Samaritans or NHS 111 Emergency and Urgent Care Services.

You can find further information about getting urgent help here. Our peer support service will be waiting to help as you begin to recover. We have all been where you are – you will get better.

Interested in becoming a peer supporter?

Have a look at our volunteer opportunities here.

Big Lottery Fund logo

We are extremely grateful to the Big Lottery who funded the Peer Support Project from 2012-2016, enabling us to set up our PP community and peer support services, and to the University of Birmingham and the University of Cardiff for hosting our project.