On 4th March a group of APP representatives attended the East Midlands Mental Health Annual Conference. Nicola spoke about Patient Involvement in improving mental health care and had a fantastic response at the conference and on social media. It was interesting to hear about early intervention in psychosis and NHS England Strategy for Mental Health. Well done Nicola & team!
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Andrea Lambert, APP’s Peer Support Co-ordinator & Trustee, was delighted to be recognised in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Mental Health Hero Awards 2015.
The awards are part of the Deputy Prime Minister’s on-going work to bring awareness and treatment for of mental health in line with physical health.
The regional winners were chosen from 900 nominees by an expert panel who were looking for those who were leading the way in changing lives through one or more of the following:
- helping to break the stigma around mental health
- inspiring others in addressing or overcoming mental health problems
- making it easier for people to access mental health support and advice
- supporting people experiencing mental health problems to stay in or return to work
- pioneering new or innovative ways of supporting people with mental health problems and/or their families
Andrea collected her runner up certificate 'in recognition of exceptional work in the field of mental health' at a reception with the Deputy Prime Minister, Right Honourable Nick Clegg MP. The reception was held in Whitehall, London on Thursday 5 February to mark the launch of ‘Time to Talk Day’. The desire to bring mental health out of the shadows was the theme of the awards presentation reception.
Andrea commented, "I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of all APP staff & Volunteers, who are making a difference on a daily basis. I’m incredibly proud of the work being carried out and the considerable progress we’ve made. It means a great deal that Maternal Mental Health is recognised in this way and brought to the forefront.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the huge number of responses we’ve had for these awards and the incredible work going on to help other people in their darkest hours. Every single one of them is helping us win the fight to tackle the stigma and prejudice around mental health and build a fairer society where no one has to suffer in silence. In my eyes they are all winners.
Days like this are a reminder of the progress we have made in raising awareness of mental health, but we still have a long way to go. Today, we can all make a difference by giving just 5 minutes for Time to Talk Day and speaking out about mental health. It may be minutes to you but could make a world of difference for someone else.”
One of the nominations she received can be read here>>
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A warm thank you to all of our amazing supporters & volunteers for their work in 2014!
Although progress is never as fast as we’d like, we must remind ourselves that this year we have: trained another set of Peer Supporters to offer support to women and families on our community forum and via email; run an event for new potential volunteers to talk about the work APP does (the largest ever gathering in one place of women who’ve had PP); published a guide for women at risk of PP who are planning pregnancy; published a guide to support women’s partners; expanded our web information and personal stories; set up our network of Regional Representatives, coordinated by Nicola; and begun developing a handbook, powerpoint slides and a training podcast to support the work of our Regional reps.Read full news item
Charlotte Bevan's death and that of her newborn baby has deeply affected many of us. We feel desperately sad for Charlotte’s partner, family, friends and all those involved in her care. We do not yet know the circumstances of Charlotte’s death and therefore we cannot make assumptions about Charlotte's state of mind, but this is a call to arms.
As trustees of Action on Postpartum Psychosis, we feel we must speak out in general terms about the landscape of care for severe perinatal mental illness. Despite the hard work of this charity and of those allied with us (see Everyone's Business), misinformation, ignorance, and stigma surrounding perinatal mental health abounds.Read full news item
In November a talented artist, Alexis Stevens, designed and produced Christmas cards for the Chelsea & Yorkshire Building Societies with the aim of donating all of the sale proceeds to APP.
The eye catching result with its London dreamscape and pop- art style is already selling well in the societies' branches- especially in London.
We feel sure that APP Members and Friends or supporters of APP throughout the UK would enjoy sending the cards - either in a "corporate" capacity or as personal cards to friends - not only to support fundraising but also to raise awareness of our charity (whose details are writ large on the back of each card!)
We should like to offer the warmest of thanks to Alexis & to the Westminster branch of the Society and also to the production team behind the project including: Alan Bale who has been so very helpful in getting cards out to branches and also to Donna Dunston who has sorted out production.
By seizing the initiative & supporting APP in this way, the Chelsea & Yorkshire team have shown just how flexible, caring, and energetically charitable such companies can be in support of those with serious perinatal mental illness . So if you are near the following branches in London, Chelsea, Ealing, Fulham, Kensington, City, West End or Westminster, why not pop in as our ambassadors , say "hello", and buy some of the societies' cards ? Branch finder>
Warm thanks & a Happy Xmas to Alexis Stevens and all those at the Chelsea & Yorkshire Building Societies , who are supporting APP this Xmas season.
From the APP fundraising team
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On Tuesday 21 October 2014 the MMHA’s report into “The costs of Perinatal Mental Health Problems” was launched in parliament.
Representatives of over 60 UK charities and health professional organisations met with MP’s from all parties, and people with lived experience, to highlight the unacceptable variation across the country in maternal mental health service provision and focus attention on the economic case for action.
Dr Dan Poulter MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Health, pledged commitment to implementing NICE guidelines across the country; highlighting the importance of specially trained Midwives and Health Visitors and the availability of Mother & Baby Units in all areas of the country, so that women do not have to travel great distances from their families to be admitted, or worse still, be separated from their baby on admission.
Perinatal mental health problems carry a total economic and social long-term cost to society of about £8.1 billion for each one-year cohort of births in the UK, according to a new report ‘The costs of perinatal mental health problems’ released today by the London School of Economics and Centre for Mental Health.
The report is part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s ‘Everyone’s Business’ campaign (www.everyonesbusiness.org.uk), which calls on national Government and local health commissioners to ensure that all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems, receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it.Read full news item
Our huge thanks go to Anna Jones who celebrated her 40th birthday by thinking of others. Anna persuaded her friends to join her in a recent charity London to Brighton bike-ride for APP. This really was no mean feat given that she managed to build a team of 34 women who trained for months to complete the ride. They all arrived in Brighton in a purple t-shirted haze of glory and raised the most magnificent sum of £11,598.82 to help us with our work. Again, we cannot thank team Anna Jones enough for what has proved to be a real highlight for APP.
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Our huge thanks go to Stephen and Kerstin Botham and to their friend Jen who successfully completed the recent North-West Triathlon Relay in aid of APP. The triathlon was the culmination of very many months of fundraising by team Botham on behalf of APP, in memory of their friend rosy who died after an episode of PP.
We cannot thank the Bothams' team enough for their months of arduous training and for the selfless giving of their time at the saddest of times for all concerned. Their efforts raised a huge sum for app of £4,325 which will be used to support and raise much needed awareness of PP so that other women might escape the tragedy which has faced Rosy's family and friends.
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Current and Past Presidents of the Royal College of Psychiatrists come together to highlight Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s Call to A.C.T. - call postcode lottery of services ‘a disgrace’.
The current and past Presidents of the Royal College of Psychiatrists today jointly welcomed the launch of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s Everyone’s Business campaign and their Call to A.C.T. Professor Sir Simon Wessely (President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) and Professor Dame Sue Bailey (Chair of the Children and Young Peoples Mental Health Coalition (CYPMHC) and Immediate Past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) said:
“It is a disgrace that although one in ten mothers will develop a mental illness either during or in the first year after pregnancy, half of the women in the UK do not have access to specialist community perinatal mental health services. The current postcode lottery of provision means women are left to suffer, families risk breakdown, children suffer and society suffers. It is frankly unacceptable that suicide is one of the leading causes of death for women during pregnancy and one year after birth.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s Everyone’s Business campaign which calls for Accountability for perinatal mental health care to be clearly set at a national level and complied with, for Community specialist perinatal mental health services meeting national quality standards to be available for women in every area of the UK and for Training in perinatal mental health to be delivered to all professionals involved in the care of women during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
“We are pleased that the RCPsych Faculty of Perinatal Psychiatry was able to assist the Alliance with its mapping of current services, and we will lend whatever advice or support is needed by those at the helm of health policy in the four nations for them to act to address this iniquitous and unjustifiable variability which penalises women – wives, partners, daughters and friends - at their most vulnerable. By improving the health (and there is no health without mental health) of any woman you improve the lives of their children, generations of children to come, and it leads to more flourishing communities.”
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