Four million steps for Action on Postpartum Psychosis!

A huge thank you goes to Rachel Lucas and friends, who together as a team of 11, walked four million steps for APP during the month of November to raise awareness and money to support APP’s work. Rachel developed postpartum psychosis in the days following the birth of her daughter Evelyn and spent six weeks in Leeds Mother and Baby Unit (MBU).

Following her amazing efforts, Rachel said We were very pleased we beat our target for the steps and the fundraising! It was harder than we expected to keep up the minimum steps every day for a whole month. Especially on work days, with the weather being miserable a lot of the month and the fact we had a few members of the team in isolation at various times! But it was good to have something to get us through the lockdown. I’m glad to hear our fundraising efforts will make a big difference.’

Rachel has signed up to be one of our five runners in the London Landmarks Half Marathon (LLHM) which will take place on 23rd May 2021. We hope your training goes well and you are looking forward to the big day.

Rachel’s event has raised such incredible awareness and funds through her JustGiving page, which you can still visit and donate to here. Thank you Rachel and friends for your support of APP and to all who have donated!

- Rachel’s event has so far raised more than £1,500 for APP!

If you have been inspired by Rachel, APP would love to support any fundraising ideas you have. Get in touch here.

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Run for APP at the London Landmarks Half Marathon!

APP is looking for five enthusiastic runners to take part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday 23 May 2021, could it be you?!

About the event
The London Landmarks Half Marathon on 23 May 2021 takes in some of the capital's world-famous landmarks on closed roads in central London and is the only half marathon to go through both the City of London and City of Westminster.

While participants run past some of London’s most spectacular landmarks, the event will highlight how we are coming together as a nation during the Covid-19 pandemic. LLHM will be honouring the key workers, re-creating some of the fun moments of lockdown life, and remembering the kind actions of neighbours.

The race starts by The Strand, finishes by Downing Street and includes views of London’s most iconic landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye.


You can find out lots more about the event here > 

How to sign up
If you would like to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon and raise funds for Action on Postpartum Psychosis at the same time, please get in touch with Kelly via fundraising@app-network.org. Thank You!

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Simon & Jude's cycle to support APP!

A huge thank you goes to Simon and Jude Hill, who organised and cycled 2,255 miles from Lands End to John O’Goats, and back to support APP!

Starting on 21st August 2020, Simon and Jude finally finished their ride (over 47 days) by early October just in time for World Mental Health day and the birth of their latest grandchild.

At the beginning of the epic journey, the weather was against them, and Jude recalls cycling up and down relentless hills in rain and heavy wind. The couple had also decided to camp whenever possible to minimise the risk of contracting corona-virus. This meant their sleep and recovery often took place in a damp tent. As campsites began to close because of the virus, they often struggled to find a place to stay. As well as raising funds the couple have been doing all they can to raise awareness of the severe mental health illness by talking to people along the way.

Following their amazing efforts, Simon said: ‘Our aim was to raise awareness of postpartum psychosis and everyone that we met showed, interest, concern and compassion and promised to talk to others about the condition.‘

The Hills were inspired to fundraise for APP after one of their daughters suffered from Postpartum Psychosis after giving birth.  You can read an article about their story here.

Simon and Jude raised such incredible awareness and funds through their JustGiving page, which you can still visit and donate to here.

Thank you Simon and Jude for your incredible efforts and support of APP and to all who have donated!

- Simon and Jude’s amazing fundraiser has raised more than £5,500.00 for APP!

If you have been inspired by Simon and Jude, we'd love to support any fundraising ideas you have! Get in touch here.

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Please fill in our Peer Support survey

We need your help! If you have used APP's Forum, email service, video calls, café meet-up groups or had contact with an APP Volunteer in 2019 and 2020, please complete this short survey >

We would also like to hear from any of our volunteers who have delivered peer support during the same period.

Your views are so important because they will help us improve APP’s peer support, as well as report to our funders on the importance of our work. We would like as many people as possible to take part so that we can show how many people our project is reaching.

The survey can be completed anonymously and is confidential.  Any comments or quotes you may wish to add will also remain anonymous. It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

It's vital to everyone who works for APP that our peer support is as good as it possibly can be. So please, grab a cup of tea and let us know what you think, below!

With warm thanks for your help,
The APP Team

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Morning Song: Bijan Sheibani’s short film on Film4

Bijan Sheibani’s short film ‘Morning Song’ is now available to watch on Film4. It follows the story of Yasmin, a mum with postpartum psychosis, on her journey for treatment in a Mother & Baby Unit.

Bijan Sheibani is best known as a theatre director, directing ‘Dance Nation’ by Clare Barron for the Almeida, ‘The Brothers Size’ by Tarell McCraney for the Young Vic, ‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ by Inua Ellams for the National Theatre, and writing and directing ‘The Arrival’ for the Bush Theatre.

Bijan’s mother suffered from postpartum psychosis after his birth. He worked closely with Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) as he researched his film, spending time with APP’s Director, meeting partners and women with lived experience. He visited both the Birmingham Mother & Baby Unit and the Exeter Mother & Baby Unit, while it was being built.

Speaking to Film4, Bijan said: “This film was very much about trying to get as close to someone’s experience as possible.” “My ideas can start quite vague and as something that I’m figuring out or thinking about... if an idea is really good, you’ll never figure it out. And that’s why it needs to be turned into a piece of art, so that everybody can look at it together and wonder.”

Director of Action on Postpartum Psychosis, Dr Jess Heron, reviews the film:

Bijan Sheibani's film ‘Morning Song’ is a 15 minute Short, but it is a case of ‘Multum in Parvo’ (much in little). In the film’s silences, in the withholding, in the lack of dialogue and intimate, raw close ups, Bijan captures the essence and enormity of the experience of postpartum psychosis. He has crystallised, in a masterful, quiet drama, something of the experience of all women and partners who suffer the desperation of this temporary postnatal illness. 

The film does not have answers, yet with the deftest of touches, through shots of slight smiles, the gentlest of baby sucklings, or the balm of water, he manages to convey hope and healing. Similarly, he shows the kindness and understanding of those charged with Yasmin’s care; the regenerative power of sleep and safety; and optimism, in the yearning gaze of the most perfect baby.

Bijan’s film is remarkable; many mothers (and their partners) who have been through postpartum psychosis will feel: this was my truth.”

Watch Director Bijan Sheibani’s short film Morning Song on Film4 >

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World Mental Health Day: Mental Health for Everyone - Saturday 10th October 2020

It's World Mental Health Day this Saturday and this year’s theme is Mental Health for Everyone. We'd love you to help us raise awareness of the importance of maternal mental health. We'd like to show funders and governments how much we value maternal mental health charities and maternal mental health services.

To support World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10th October 2020 you could share something of your story, explaining why you value maternal mental health charities or services, tagging in @ActiononPP and using the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthDay.
You could also tag in any other service or charity that you wish, plus your MP or a funder. For example, you could tag:

  • Your local MP. Find their Twitter account names here.
  • Nadine Dorries, MP, @NadineDorries: Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.
  • Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, MP, @DrRosena: Shadow Minister for Mental Health.
  • Luciana Berger, @lucianaberger: LibDem spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care and new Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
  • Vaughan Gething, @vaughangething: Welsh Minister for Health.
  • Joe FitzPatrick, @JoeFitzSNP: Scotland Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing.
  • Robin Swann, @RobinSwannMoH: Northern Ireland Minister for Health.
  • Comic Relief: @comicrelief.
  • The National Lottery Community Fund: @TNLComFund.

You can also help amplify our calls for maternal mental health services by re-sharing the messages posted by our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

World Mental Health Day: Do one thing for better mental health today 

The theme Mental Health for Everyone is especially important this year because of the huge impact the coronavirus pandemic has had, and continues to have, on perinatal mental health. This year we’re joining in with MIND’s campaign to Do one thing for better mental health. This could be for your own mental health; the mental health of a loved one; sharing a campaign message; donating to a mental health charity; or helping to raise awareness that mental health is a national priority.

Here are some ideas for things you could do:

  • Consider what you can do today for your own mental health: connect with a friend, take an online class, do something relaxing, reach out for support or to meet and talk to others, for example via APP's peer support services.
  • Join one of APP’s virtual communities to support your wellbeing. In APP’s Running, Walking & Cycling Club members share details of the activities they are planning and offer inspiration and support for keeping fit and active. APP’s Book Club is a relaxed and friendly space open to all to chat about books on any topic. Join us for a virtual meet-up on Tuesday 3 November at 8pm where we’ll be discussing Laura Dockrill’s book ‘What Have I Done?’
  • Get in touch today to find out more about our regional online café groups or about joining a volunteer group (you could become an APP Regional Rep, Peer Support Volunteer, Storytelling Volunteer or Lived Experience speaker).
  • Take time to check on family and friends. It’s more important than ever to be kind to yourself and others. Grab a cup of tea, pick up the phone and ask ‘how are you?’. See some ideas for little treats for a new mum recovering from PP on our Facebook page.
  • Share APP's latest campaign messages: Re-post our #MumWatch graphic (pictured below) - raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis so that everyone knows how to seek urgent help if a new mum seems strange. During this time of increased isolation for new mums it is vital that partners and friends know how to identify symptoms.

  • Share our urgent call for Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in Wales and Northern Ireland, where there are none. Email app@app-network.org to get involved in our Wales campaign to support the development of an MBU and sign the petition by APP Rep, Oorlagh Quinn, for government commitment to an MBU in Northern Ireland.

  • Remind everyone on World Mental Health Day that postpartum psychosis (PP) is an illness affecting 140,000 women across the globe every year and that we won't stop until all women and families affected by PP receive the care and support they need.
  • Organise a fundraising event - it could be a Facebook Fundraiser, bake sale or sponsored run. Or you could set up a monthly donation as a gift to APP.

Need help on the day?

APP’s forum and peer supporters are here to help if you’re finding the day difficult: www.app-network.org/peer-support. You can access our web page about gaining care for postpartum psychosis during the coronavirus pandemic here.

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Sally runs a half marathon for APP!

A huge thank you goes to Sally Hogg, who a year after skydiving for APP, organised and ran a half marathon around her local area on 11th October to support APP.

Sally is a big supporter of APP, and has two friends who were affected by the illness, including one who spent two periods in Mother and Baby Units after the birth of her sons.  Sally also 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.

Following her amazing efforts, Sally said: 'The run was great, we had some lovely support from friends.  I am thrilled with the fundraising and hope to get some more when the Royal Parks happens too’

Sally was due to be running the Royal Parks half marathon for APP in October, which has sadly been postponed due to COVID-19. However, Sally is still looking forward to completing the Royal Parks race next year.

Sally raised such incredible awareness and funds through her JustGiving page, which you can still visit and donate to here.  Thank you Sally for your continued support of APP and to all who have donated!

- Sally’s fundraiser has raised a fantastic £919.00 for APP!

If you have been inspired by Sally and would like to run in aid of APP, email us here. We would love to support any event you choose!

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Emma & Laura's 100 Mile Challenge

A huge thank you to both Emma Watt and Laura Dockrill who organised and ran 100 miles to support APP and PANDAS!

Emma completed her 100 miles throughout the month of June 2020 and raised such incredible awareness and funds through her Virgin Money Giving page, which you can still visit and donate to here.

Following her amazing efforts and the support Emma received by every supporter, Emma said: 'I was overwhelmed by the love and support from everyone and this really spurred me on for the 100 miles. I couldn’t be prouder to hand over the baton to Laura Dockrill x'.

Despite an injury, Laura completed her 100 miles with the help of 33 friends who each ran 3 miles/5K on the same day on Saturday 22 August 2020.

The runners included @hugowhitenoise @daisymaydock @r_mcbean @hdurkle @sioby11 @robertemms @victoriabuzzington @el_matthews_ @ssoufian @annekaharry @jadeanouka @_gracesavage @thesabrinagrant @zeshaldinho @helen_kenny @victoria_cooper @gemagain @camtstagram @danusztan @db_personal_training @becki_haslam @torie_green @lindseyjrussell @waureng @peggysuekaty @jagjagomix @ezzamcp @jasonsales @samuelking @mkpyoungman @freddie_errington @johntrindle @thelippyrunner @maxulla and @secakery.

In a video shared with her Instagram followers on the day of the run, Laura said: 'The love and support has just been overwhelming, I had goosebumps the entire run. It's without a doubt, the easiest 5K I've ever done because the energy was just so amazing..'. You can watch Laura's full clip here and still donate here.

Thank you Emma and Laura for your fantastic efforts in support of APP and thank you to everyone who took part and to those who donated.

If you have been inspired by Emma & Laura's 100 mile challenge and would like to run in aid of APP, email us at fundraising@app-network.org. We would love to support you!

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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.

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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.

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