SAPPHIRE Stigma Summit

APP will have a promotional stall at a major mental health conference next week: the SAPPHIRE Stigma Summit (research programme on stigma and discrimination in mental health) held in London on Thursday, July 4th.

Health Minister Norman Lamb, Charles Walker MP and Frank Bruno are among the guest speakers at the summit, the theme of which is "Sharing Stories to Stop Stigma'.

Tickets are still available (only £10 for service users), see the website for details

Click to view & download event flyer>

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Can you help?

Royal College of General Practitioners
"Are you passionate about a particular aspect of clinical care that doesn't usually get a look in ? Do you want to help improve the quality of patient care in that area ? If so, CIRC (Clinical Innovation and Research Centre) wants to hear from you."

Each year the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) chooses four clinical areas and supports efforts to raise the profile and awareness of these areas both within general practice and across primary care as a whole. The RCGP also works in partnership with key decision-makers and opinion-formers in each area on projects that seek to improve both the quality of care provided and patient outcomes. Click here for further details

We're supporting a bid to the RCGP to get “Perinatal Mental Health” accepted as one of their clinical priorities for 2014-17.

For this we
 need to collect as many letters of support as possible from individuals and organisations explaining why important for GPs to receive specific training in perinatal mental health.

If you can help support this bid by writing a letter Click here to download the letter template

The application deadline is 31st May so we’d be very grateful for responses as soon as possible. Please email all completed letters to
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Perinatal Mental Health; The National Training Course 2013


Preventing suffering in this generation
& the next

20 and 21 June 2013

Winchester Cathedral, UK 

                • Carefully planned comprehensive course
                • national expert speakers
                • great networking opportunity
                • wonderful venue and location

For more details contact: Sue Wallis

Click here to download the full programme

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APP Nominated as Sotheby's 2013 Charity

Sotheby'sFrom Friday 26th July, 2013 Sotheby's staff are to hold their Annual Staff Exhibition where the public can view and buy artwork created by members of Sotheby’s staff. The exhibition will continue, thereafter for 2 weeks, Monday to Friday, 9am till 5pm, at Sotheby’s London address: New Bond St Galleries, 34 -35 New Bond St, London, W1A 2AA

We are delighted to announce that APP has been nominated as its 2013 charity. 

This wonderful support for APP is undertaken in memory of a well - loved colleague: Alice Montagu Douglas Scott (Alice Gibson-Watt) who, sadly, died recently. May we encourage you all to visit  this wonderful exhibition during the 2 weeks it is showing this summer? .... perhaps buy reasonably priced artwork ? ... or, if this is not possible, perhaps buy a beautifully produced 2013 Staff Exhibition sale catalogue from Sotheby’s, in which you will also find brief details of APP's work?

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Anti-stigma campaign shows drop in discrimination against people with mental health problems

A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has shown there has been an 11.5% reduction in average levels of discrimination.

Led by King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), the study of England’s Time to Change anti-stigma programme (run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness) provides the first evidence that it is possible to change the way the public treat people with mental health problems, but that a long term focus is needed to ensure that discrimination is removed from all areas of people’s lives. 

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Postpartum Depression: Surprising Rate of Women Depressed After Baby

A surprisingly high number of women have postpartum depressive symptoms, according to a new, large-scale study in the US.

This is the largest scale depression screening of postpartum women and the first time a full psychiatric assessment has been done in a study of postpartum women who screened positive for depression.

The study, which included a depression screening of 10,000 women who had recently delivered infants at single obstetrical hospital, revealed a large percentage of women who suffered recurrent episodes of major depression.

The study underscored the importance of prenatal as well as postpartum screening. Mothers' and infants' health and lives hang in the balance. The lives of several women who were suicidal when staff members called them for the screening were saved likely as a result of the study's screening and immediate intervention.

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New Funding for National Campaign Development

Action on Postpartum Psychosis on behalf of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance has recently been awarded funds by Comic Relief to employ a Campaign Development Manager. The Campaign Development Manager, Emily Slater, is compiling key research about the impact of antenatal and postnatal mental illness, as well as working with a number of Alliance members and key stakeholders to develop an effective strategy for a future campaign (being launched, funding permitting, in spring 2014). The campaign is likely to call for all women in Great Britain to have equal access to quality treatment in the event of developing an antenatal or postnatal mental illness (including postpartum psychosis). The work of Emily and others is helping to ensure that this campaign call can be communicated in the most effective way to those policy-makers with most influence. It is an extremely exciting piece of work and APP is grateful to Comic Relief for funding this crucial development work.



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Review of Maternity Services in the UK- Interview with Debra Bick

For the second article in APP’s review of maternity services in the UK, Clare Dolman speaks to Debra Bick, Professor of Evidence Based Midwifery Practice at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London, about how the services are working – or not working – for women with mental health problems.

Prof. Bick has long been interested in the particular needs of women with mental health problems during the perinatal period, and is outspoken about her concern that their needs are not sufficiently prioritized. When we meet at her London office, she cites the ‘Campaign for Normal Birth’ currently run by the Royal College of Midwives which is focusing on the promotion of normal births as an example of how postnatal  needs are sometimes overlooked.

‘In that campaign, the focus is labour and birth and nothing really before and certainly nothing beyond’, she says. It is preparation and provision for the longer-term picture which is of especial importance for women who suffer psychiatric illness.  Maternity services should promote a continuum of effective care through a woman’s pregnancy, birth and beyond. ‘We have these drivers in our delivery suites to make sure that 75% of women get one to one care in labour from a midwife, a target which means that managers will take midwives off the postnatal ward or from the community to achieve that, and so women don’t get the care when they’re going home and it’s quite dire actually’, she says.

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Response to Sunday Times article published 13/01/13

As Trustees of Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP), the national charity for severe postnatal mental illness in the UK, we would like to applaud the Sunday Times for publishing an article raising awareness of this little-known condition. We commend the bravery of each family who took part, and thank the Sunday Times for telling their stories in a compassionate and informative way.

The objective of APP is to ensure that high-quality information about Postpartum Psychosis is available to both professionals and members of the public. We feel it is important to make clear that infanticide is an extremely rare and tragic outcome of Postpartum Psychosis. Not all women with this diagnosis will experience thoughts or impulses of harming their baby. While understanding the need to emphasize the seriousness of this condition, we feel that the phrase "can turn mothers into murderers" is both misleading and stigmatizing.

Early warning signs of Postpartum Psychosis are often an inability to sleep, euphoria or high mood, or mixed episodes of both high and low (depressed) mood. It is incorrect to say that in most women the symptoms "pass within days or weeks". The condition often escalates rapidly, and as such must be taken seriously and treated as a psychiatric emergency.

The good news, as Jo Lyall's story illustrates, is that the majority of women who receive the right treatment do very well in their recovery and go on to bond with their babies and enjoy motherhood. The standard of treatment we believe should be available to all women is admission to a Mother & Baby Unit, and medication as well as psychological support.


Naomi Gilbert, Sarah Dearden, Clare Dolman, Andrea Lambert and Nicola Muckelroy - Trustees of APP with personal experience of Postpartum Psychosis

Sunday Times article (subscription needed)

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Life-saving mental health services may be cut as national charity faces funding crisis

The national charity dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by bipolar faces the threat of closing life-saving services as its income suffers in the economic downturn.

Although a small national charity, Bipolar UK’s reach and impact are vital – it supports more than 65,000 individuals every year.  The charity provides crucial services including information and advice, self help groups, a mentoring service, a youth service and a web-based discussion forum for those affected by this devastating and widely-misunderstood illness.  Bipolar causes severe mood swings from manic highs often involving hospitalisation and sectioning to suicidal lows.  The illness increases the risk of suicide by up to 20 times.

Suzanne Hudson, Bipolar UK’s Chief Executive, says “We desperately need to raise funds to enable us to meet the substantial increase in demand we are witnessing.”

With high profile names like Stephen Fry, Sinead O’Connor and Bipolar UK’s patrons Bill Oddie and Paul Abbott, openly talking about their own experiences, many people now have the confidence to seek support from Bipolar UK to change, and indeed save, lives.

Young mum of three Zoe, has successfully been helped by Bipolar UK, “The Link Mentoring service absolutely changed my life – I now have a life and I like who I am.  I’m not so afraid anymore.  I owe my new life to Bipolar UK.  They gave me and they gave my children a mummy.”  The continued support from Bipolar UK for Zoe not only turned her life around but also her family.

Suzanne Hudson continues  “The sad irony is that this funding crisis comes at a time when bipolar is beginning to be understood.  As a result more individuals and families are finding the courage to seek our support.  2012 was unprec

Bipolar UK Patron, Bill Oddie  “The public could be forgiven for thinking that bipolar only affects celebrities!  The truth is that this severe illness can and does affect anyone and everyone, but only the famous faces get the publicity.  If the services of Bipolar UK are diluted or lost, the consequences will literally be tragic."
edented in terms of the number of individuals contacting us for help and accessing our services.  It is increasingly the case that individuals’ first contact with us is at a time of crisis involving intervention with emergency services.”

Bipolar UK desperately needs to raise over £100,000 in the next few weeks to continue providing vital services including Self Help Groups and Information & Advice. To make a donation call Bipolar UK on 020 7931 6480, click below, or text BIPO33 £3 to 70070.  

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