Nicola's fantastic 1000k Challenge!

Nicola Ball is fundraising for APP by asking her friends and family to join her in a 1000K challenge during Maternal Mental Health Week, 4th-10th May. The challenge will raise money for APP and awareness that PP can happen as often as 1-2 in 1000, yet it’s still relatively unknown.

As a team they are asking people to pledge, donate and share their challenge on social media.

You can keep up to date with Nicola's 1000k Challenge, see more great pictures of their efforts and donate via her JustGiving page here!

Nicola's sister, Stephanie Fitzson, is also hosting a Facebook fundraiser to promote their 1000K Challenge in support of APP. If you would like to support Nicola and her team via Facebook, you can also donate here! 

This is a fantastic challenge that has already raised a huge amount in aid of APP - Thank You Nicola and Team!

Here are some pictures of their challenge so far...

 

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The doorstep photoshoot in aid of APP!

Huge thanks to Jo Bushell who is raising funds for APP by offering doorstep photoshoots to families along her daily exercise route.

Jo says: "Well, we had fun posing for our lockdown photograph! I do love an excuse to use a tripod 😀 Joggy bottoms have been my comfy clothing of choice since lockdown began so I didn't think dressing up in my finery would accurately reflect this period in time but it might be an excuse to get your glad rags on if you prefer!

If you live on or nearby Stewart Road/Hillside Grove in Chelmsford and would like to have a family photograph on your doorstep taken from a safe distance, that I can incorporate into my daily walk, please get in touch. I will be walking about 4pm today or next weekend. I will upload the photos onto my online gallery, where they can be downloaded for free."

Visit Jo's photography page here to donate, keep up to date with Jo's work or, if you live nearby, to arrange your own family doorstep photo with Jo!

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Gina & Rayan join the 2.6 Challenge!

A big Thank You to Gina and Rayan who successfully completed their 2.6 challenge on Thursday 30th April, in aid of APP!

Before their challenge Gina said: "Rayan & I will walk/run/cycle to our Scottish Grandparents house which is approximately 2.6 miles away. No doubt on the way, Rayan will want to stop here and there to explore and maybe ask to be carried, claiming he has no energy left. At which point I will have to complete the challenge carrying him & his bike. But the journey will be picturesque along Kirkcaldy Esplanade and the Fife coastal path to their house. Once we arrive, we will Surprise Grandad with a box of chocolates and a hello that we haven’t been able to do since before the lockdown. Just a shame there will be no hugs, as we follow Government advice on social distancing, but it will be worth it to see the look on Grandad Aund’s face and raise money for APP."

Huge thanks to everyone who donated and support Gina and Rayan's 2.6 challenge via their JustGiving page here - a total of £375 has been raised so far!

If you would like to do your own 2.6 challenge or take part in APP's Active May Challenge (click here), contact app@app-network.org for more information about how APP would love to support you! Remember to follow government guidelines.

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Darkness Into Light, the album raising funds for APP

"I wrote this album to try and help me to recover from severe post-natal depression and post-natal psychosis. It helped, along with medication, rest and loving support. This album documents my journey from mental illness to mental health, from deep sadness to overwhelming joy and gratitude, from intense darkness to light. For those suffering out there, I want you to know that you will get better, your child loves you, nothing is irredeemable, and what lies for you at the end of this tunnel (which you don’t ever believe will end) is more beautiful than you can ever imagine in your wildest dreams. Don’t give up. You and your child are connected by a love greater than you know and one day you will feel it in every part of your being."  Eleanor Dattani

If you would like to purchase or donate, visit:

iTunes (click here)

Bandcamp (click here)

Amazon (click here)

40% off all proceeds are being donated to the charity Acacia (Pre and postnatal depression support services) and Action for Postpartum Psychosis.

You can also listen to the full album on Spotify (click here) and Bandcamp (click here).

Click here to watch the music video for 'I've Learnt This Lesson Before', a song from the album.

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Join the APP Team for an Active Challenge!

Challenge yourself and raise money to help Action on Postpartum Psychosis. Everyone is welcome and support and help is available at app@app-network.org

Here are APP’s Active Challenges to get involved in:
On Sunday 26 April, take part in the 2.6 Challenge.
Throughout the month of May, walk, cycle or run 25k, 50k, 100k or 200k and join the Virtual Runner May Challenge.
Or, dream up your own active challenge and fundraise in aid of APP. We’re here to support you.

Take part in the 2.6 Challenge

Do the #TwoPointSixChallenge on Sunday 26 April, in aid of APP!

The need for our work at Action on Postpartum Psychosis is greater than ever. We want to continue what we are doing to support women and families and we would like to do more. Like many smaller charities, we need funding. If you are able to, please help to support our work and join us in taking the 2.6 Challenge.

From Sunday 26 April, the day when the Virgin Money London Marathon would have taken place, join the rest of the UK for The 2.6 Challenge and help save the UK's charities. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events.

The 2.6 Challenge can be any activity you like – from running 2.6 miles to holding an online workout with 26 of your friends.

Here are 5 steps to getting involved:
Think of your 2.6 Challenge
Take Part
Fundraise for or donate to APP
Nominate
Share your photos with us and tag @ActionOnPP

Find out more and sign up here: https://bit.ly/TwoPointSixChallenge

Join the Virtual Runner May Challenge

We are thrilled that APP is the chosen charity for Virtual Runner's monthly challenge during May 2020. Challenge yourself to complete 25k, 50k, 100k or 200k distance throughout the month of May 2020.

Your challenge will be made up from multiple sessions to achieve your chosen distance but you can do it at your pace. You can choose to run, walk or cycle the distance you have signed up for between 1st – 31st May 2020 and you can mix and match any discipline to achieve your goal. Once completed, you just submit your results online and upload proof that you have completed the distance or challenge using app screenshots and they'll send you a medal!

Here are 5 steps to starting your challenge to walk, cycle or run 25k, 50k, 100k or 200k for Action on Postpartum Psychosis:

  1. Choose your distance and sign up to the Virtual Runner May challenge. It costs £8.50 and 20% is donated to APP.
  2. Contact us at app@app-network.org to let us know you are joining the APP Team.
  3. Join the 'APP Running, Walking & Cycling Club' Group on Facebook for inspiration and to share your updates.
  4. If you'd like to, share our fundraiser on Facebook with your family and friends.
  5. Happy exercising! Remember to follow government guidelines.

Find out more and sign up here for the Virtual Runner May challenge.

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APP joins with charities to call on Government support during Covid-19

Today we join with charities to call on Government to urgently support the wellbeing of babies, toddlers & their families during the Covid-19 crisis. Pregnant and perinatal women need support now more than ever.

Read the statement here: https://parentinfantfoundation.org.uk/our-call-on-government-to-keep-babies-safe/

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Postpartum Psychosis & Covid-19

This information has been updated, click here to read our latest information on Postpartum Psychosis and Covid-19

We know that pregnant women and new mothers have many questions about what will happen to their care and how they should access services during coronavirus outbreak. Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) is trying to compile up-to-date information for pregnant women at high risk of PP; women and families in crisis or who think they are developing symptoms of psychosis; and for those recovering from PP.

This is a fast-moving situation and health trusts across England, Wales and Scotland are continuing to make changes to their services. APP will update this guide as information becomes available.

Pregnant women

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

You can find APP’s general resources on this topic here & 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 they will be done by telephone or video conferencing. 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 most 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 women known to be at high risk can be made with perinatal psychiatrists in advance to ensure there is plenty of time to get prescriptions filled.
  • 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.
  • You can phone your GP prescriptions line / psychiatric services and they can send prescriptions directly to your local pharmacy for collection. We will add more information here as we know more.

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 or transmit to the foetus, so 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 should be extra cautious as they may be more unwell than other women. Pregnant women have been placed in the ‘vulnerable group’ as a precautionary measure as not enough is yet known about the virus. 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.
  • We do not yet know whether anxiety or stress due to the crisis will impact on rates of maternal mental illness. We know that managing 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, you can talk to an APP peer supporter by visiting our forum or registering for email or video support here. We are looking at other services we can provide for women and families with our network of peer supporters and clinical experts during this anxious time.

 

Women and families in crisis or developing symptoms

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.

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. In most areas, urgent home visits are still being completed, but initial contact may be via video call (particularly if the person also has a cough or high temperature).
  • 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. Glasgow is currently looking to complete urgent referrals, where the specific team has capacity, at the assessment centres which are more likely to be set up for assessment of patients who may already be infected. Other areas of Scotland are likely to be making similar arrangements.

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; Welsh admissions are normally transferred to MBUs in England.)

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.
  • As we write, MBU visiting is still in place. Traditional visiting hours are not being restricted in order to avoid peak numbers. However, visitor numbers are being limited for any individual, restricting visitors to close family and no children. Units will have different advice for this – some units will restrict visits to one named family member per patient. We believe this advice may change today, and visiting in-person may be restricted.
  • 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.
  • NHS guidance on visiting during the coronavirus crisis can be found here.

 

During recovery

You can find APP’s general resources on recovery here.

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

Urgent home visits will continue. Most route appointments will happen via video call. There is a possibility that other professionals will reduce their routine home visits but this is not entirely clear at the moment and this is an evolving situation.

2. How can I manage my anxiety, depression, isolation during recovery if home visits do not happen, and we are meant to be 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 and support and will be added to.

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

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 also 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 private messaging on the forum, or via video call. If you would like to access this support, email app@app-network.org.

 

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.

Links and more information/support:

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 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:

For advice specific to perinatal mental health during Coronavirus:

For more advice about Coronovirus:

 

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Louise & Alfie complete the 5k Mental Elf run!

A big Thank You to Louise and Alfie who successfully completed the 5K Mental Elf run in Blackburn on Sunday 1st December! Louise and Alfie were running in support of APP and Ribblemere Mother & Baby Unit.

Louise said: "I really enjoyed it and Alfie did amazingly well, he was my motivation. We raised £220 to split between APP and the MBU."

It looks like a very cold day, so huge thanks to them both and to everyone who supported and donated via Louise's JustGiving page!

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The Yellow Wallpaper concert - a great success!

Huge thanks to Anna McClure who hosted a fantastic concert on Friday 25th October at St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen, in aid of APP!

Developed by Aberdeen-based performance artist Angela Margaret and composer Anna McClure, the concert was partly based on the famous short story, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, which explores a woman’s struggle with Postpartum Psychosis. Anna composed a new and original piece for the concert, The Yellow Wallpaper for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano with a performance piece by artist, Angela Margaret. The concert also featured a short talk by APP's Sally Wilson!

Anna says: "The concert included a musical/ performance art version of 'The Yellow Wallpaper’ which was particularly powerful being preceded by a talk from Sally Wilson about her experience of PP, and the work that APP does.  We had a good sized audience for a lunchtime concert and hope to have raised awareness of PP and some money for APP to continue doing their excellent work. "

Huge thanks to Anna and to everyone involved!

 

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Jenn completes the York Gunpowder Plot 10k!

Huge congratulations to Jenn, who successfully completed the York Gunpowder Plot 10k on Sunday 3rd November, in aid of APP!

Jenn said "All done! Muddy but fun! I am delighted with the amount I’ve raised, it should now be around £1000 including gift aid. I am really grateful to everyone who donated and especially to Jonny for running it with me and chatting to me all the way round!"

It looks like Jenn had a fantastic time, and has raised a huge amount in aid of APP,  just amazing! You can still donate to Jenn's JustGiving page here.

 

Thank you so much to Jenn for all her hard work and to everyone who so generously donated as well - we couldn't do this without your support.

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