Roundup of APP Summer 2015 News

From May to October here at APP we were busier than ever. In brief here are some highlights:

May:

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Three day residential PP Art Workshop, Devon. A group of 13 women with experience of PP travelled to the beautiful area of Dittisham to explore, through art, the experience of Postpartum Psychosis. This provided a great opportunity to meet each other, discuss their PP experiences and to translate memories and emotions into Art. Read more about the workshop and see the beautiful work produced and the wonderful feedback from those who attended here>

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Birmingham Mother & Baby Unit services annual review 2015

ncmhAPP attended the Birmingham Mother & Baby Unit annual review at the Barberry, Edgbaston, on 14th Oct to meet with recovered service users and to hear about the great work being done. The focus of the review was service development and to provide a format for service users to feedback ideas for taking things forward.

The day was hosted by Giles Berrisford (Chair of APP) and Catherine Beard (Friends of the Mother & Baby Service) with guest speakers including clinicians, professionals and service users talking about their personal experiences using the services. Throughout the day we heard interesting and thought-provoking presentations about a study of 'Men's experiences of Postpartum Psychosis requiring MBU admission' and ‘Perinatal services from both sides of the fence’ - a personal Postpartum Psychosis story by a trainee GP. After a light lunch with plenty of time for mingling, other sessions included ‘The voice of Dads’, ‘bonding Interventions’ and ‘Meet the Staff’.

It was a friendly, informative and constructive day and an excellent example of collaboration and engagement with service users to continue developing, improving and growing services.


 

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Roll-Royce Male Voice Choir Musical Evening

RR Choir

Join us on 27th November at The Pavillion, Derby, DE24 9HY for this wonderful charity fundraiser. For tickets Tel: 0844 477 0601 or email heather@app-network.org


 

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'Another Twinkle in the Eye' Book Launch & Conference

Elaine Hanzak ConferenceAPP attended The Perinatal Mental Illness Conference /Elaine Hanzak's Conference and book launch 'Another Twinkle in the Eye' -Considering a second pregnancy after Postnatal Illness, 23rd Sept, Manchester. There were around 150 delegates at the event, including Midwives, Health Visitors, Consultants and women who have recovered from severe PND and Postpartum Psychosis. 

Elaine Hanzak book launchIt was a very full day with moving talks from women and fathers sharing their personal experiences. APP Trustee, Niclola Muckelroy shared her story of PP and recovery.  Some of the topics covered were Perinatal Psychiatry, birth experience, communication, bonding &  attachment and creativity and included sessions by organisations such as Family Action, Smile, PSS?, The Marce Society, EFT.  It was an excellent and moving day with plenty of opportunity to network with other organisations and women who've experienced PP, many of which were keen to work more closely with APP and become APP Volunteers and Regional Representatives. 


 

 

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APP trustee shortlisted for Royal College of Psychiatrists' award

 RCPsych AwardsAPP trustee Clare Dolman has been shortlisted for the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Service User/Patient Contributor of the Year Award.

She is one of four nominees shortlisted and invited to attend the Royal College’s awards ceremony at their London headquarters on 10th November.

This award recognises the significant contribution service users make to developing and improving mental health services. The judges were looking for nominees who had made a positive impact on services by improving the perception of mental health issues; encouraging change in mental health policy; and contributing to the training of mental health professionals.

Clare DolmanClare comments, “I’m delighted to have been nominated for this award by members of the Royal College in recognition of my work with the wonderful charities Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) and Bipolar UK and my involvement in the Maternal Mental Health Alliance campaign to improve perinatal mental health services in the UK”. 

Read the full RCPsych Awards 2015 shortlists


 

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2nd place in Dublin 70.3 Ironman for Alex (age 66!)

Alex Dublin IronmanBack in September 2014 it felt like a good idea to try a 70.3 Ironman and take the opportunity to raise some more money for APP.

I injured my neck and shoulder in a race crash in Geneva and had made it worse by going into the ditch avoiding a tractor a week before Dublin.

If this report doesn't sound like I enjoyed most of the race then it's accurate – I'd been to a sports physio and an osteopath the week before but the level of pain I was getting from my neck and shoulder meant that at every stage of the race I was telling myself, “I'll just do this next bit and then drop out”.

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Lottery Good Causes Awards Update

Daisy BouquetWe would like to say a very big thank you for all the support we’ve received over the past month with our National Lottery Award campaigning.

Sadly, we came a very close 2nd to the winning project with just 106 votes between us. Despite this, we had an absolutely fantastic campaigning month and have reached a massive audience we wouldn't normally have had the opportunity to. The exposure given to Postpartum Psychosis among the general public, midwives, health visitors, GPs, psychiatrists worldwide and also on a more personal level among families has been an incredible success.

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National Lottery Awards Update - Weds 29th July

VOTING ENDS AT MIDNIGHT!

Well here it is – the final update.

Unsurprisingly it’s been the busiest week of the campaign. It’s also been the wettest. Volunteers braved the downpours and over 500 people voted for APP at the Sheldon Countryside Festival, where the team also received support from the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. 130 people voted at Sacred Heart and Holy Souls church and families also voted at holiday events organised by the Pavilion Church at Bournville and at indoor play centres Tiny Terrorz and Funatticz.

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our members we have had media coverage in the Londonist, the Yorkshire Post, the Birmingham Mail, and articles in the Exeter Express and Echo and the Sidmouth Herald (repeated in the Midweek Herald).

Social media has been remarkable. Just in the past week (to yesterday) our content has reached over 1.07 million individual Twitter accounts, with 2.7 million impressions (the total number of tweets that have appeared). The figures for the week before were 320k accounts and 642k impressions. The most retweeted was a tweet from the NSPCC and we’ve had more help from Denise Welch as well as tweets from Britmums and lots of Twitter activity around the Londonist piece.

Voting is open until midnight. Remember that everyone in your household can vote with their own email address or phone number.

We have done our very best and, win or lose, have made a massive step forward in raising awareness. When voting has finished and we’ve all had a chance to have a sit down and/or a meal without a laptop, phone, voting forms or leaflets in hand, we will be getting together to have a look over all that has been achieved in the past five weeks. Our task then will be to work out how best to build on the incredible work everyone has done. Thank you all.


 

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Tracey completes 10 mile walk for APP

charity-walk-tracey-RobinsonIn June 2015 my sister-in-law joined me in a 10 mile charity walk through the Kent countryside. It was an exhausting but rewarding day, with the added bonus of plenty of sunshine and beautiful views. I selected APP as my chosen charity as the work they do for women and their families is so important. When I suffered postpartum psychosis myself 11 years ago there was very little user-friendly reliable information, and no access to peer support. It was a lonely and terrifying place to be, and the stigma surrounding mental illness really hindered me in properly engaging in the treatment and support that I was offered. I count myself very lucky to have achieved a good recovery.  The information produced by APP, their anti-stigma work and online peer support forum provides amazing support for women who experience this distressing and dangerous illness. I hope that the £180 I raised will be a really worthwhile contribution to their work.

Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Tracey for completing the walk and raising funds too!


 

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National Lottery Awards Update - Weds 22nd July

IT’S THE LAST WEEK OF VOTING!

We’ve come a long way but we really need a final push. APP’s volunteers, supporters and friends have been doing an amazing job. We’re tired, our fridges are empty and our laundry baskets are full, but we know that we’re making a difference, not just by getting votes but by reaching large numbers of people who’d never heard about PP before and increasing the understanding of maternal mental health issues.

On TV we’ve seen postpartum psychosis feature on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC Two on Monday, on Channel 4 news also on Monday and on ITV news on Tuesday (the news pieces in response to Healthwatch England’s report on unsafe discharge from hospital).

It’s been a busy week on Twitter - the NSPCC mentioned us to their 167k Twitter followers and we’ve had tweets and retweets from the Heart of England NHS Trust, Prof Louis Appleby, MGC Hayles, Mental Healthy, Mental Elf, and Love Brum. Many of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance organisations have also tweeted. Our first 50 tweets this week are at 48075 impressions, and still counting (as it goes Friday to Friday). Our #endPPmyths video was the main story in the Postpartum Post. Organisations who’ve supported us include the Institute of Health Visitors, PIP UK, PSI, Praeclarus Press, PNP Support New Zealand, National Centre for Mental Health and APPAH.

We’ve also been going out and about. We got a really positive response at the Good Hope Hospital Community Fete on Saturday. And a supporter simply knocked on doors around his local area and asked people to vote – and collected 250 votes! Amazing!

With a week to go please think what else you can do to help. Please share the message with friends, contacts, and colleagues and please email, tweet large organisations and post the link to vote on large and influential Facebook groups. Check your friends HAVE actually voted (not just said they WOULD!). Take a few paper voting forms and drum up face to face votes at whatever you’re going to – big family BBQ, village fete, car boot… We can send you forms (and official APP T shirts to wear!). We will be at Sheldon Countryside Festival on Sunday so come and say hello if you are there.

A week today will be the final campaign update. We need a sprint to the finish line – and to know we have done all we can.

A few words from women who have experienced Postpartum Psychosis

 

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