APP January newsletter

January 2024 newsletter

APP in 2024

APP’s Chief Executive, Dr Jess Heron, explains APP’s priorities for the coming year.

“Thank you from everyone at APP for your support in 2023. We have some exciting plans for 2024 - and we would love you to get involved.

I must warmly thank the University of Birmingham for hosting APP as a research network for more than 25 years, and as a charity for the past 13 years. We have achieved great change over this period and we are so thankful for the University’s support. APP is now an independent charity, but we’ll maintain links with The Institute of Mental Health at Birmingham University, The National Centre for Mental Health at Cardiff University and we’re developing new links with the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University.

In 2024, we’ll continue our focus on peer support, health professional training, awareness-raising, campaigning and research.

PEER SUPPORT: APP’s national peer support project has grown every year since its inception, supporting women, partners and grandparents throughout the UK, via: email, phone, video call, community forum, in person meet-ups, regional café groups, wellbeing and creative activities. In 2024, our new Muslim women’s café group will continue, and we will launch a new group for Black women. We will develop a new bereavement support online group. We’re also conducting work to understand the legal, rights-based and employment issues faced when recovering from PP, and developing web content on managing suicidal thoughts during recovery.

TRAINING: We’re working on our first two e-modules to extend the reach of our health professional training. These in-depth modules will complement our full day online and in-person courses for NHS teams, and our shorter lived experience talks. In October, the second annual Alex Baish memorial lecture will focus specifically on helping GPs to prevent maternal suicide.

CAMPAIGNING: We’ll continue our campaign to ensure that all women affected by PP have access to a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) and that policy-makers understand the value of these services. We’ll maintain pressure for the delivery of an MBU in Northern Ireland, working with our NI café group, storytellers and linking with journalists, MPs and third sector partners. Our lived experience engagement work with the new N Wales/Chester MBU will continue, and we’ll carry on supporting calls for an MBU in north Scotland. We’re assessing the impact of our campaign for all expectant parents to be given information about postpartum psychosis during pregnancy and continuing to share our antenatal education toolkit widely to midwives, health visitors, birth educators and GPs.

AWARENESS-RAISING: We’d love your help to share our BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal, which will be broadcast on 24th March. We’ll be in touch to ask you to make short clips on your phone about why APP is important to you and why you want people to support us. It is a fantastic opportunity to raise funds and awareness of PP and we are delighted to have been selected as one of this year’s charities. Our media team have a year-long programme of awareness-raising media and creative pieces, working with lived experience storytellers, to reduce stigma and promote hope for recovery.

RESEARCH: We are continuing our work with researchers at Cardiff University on clinical and genetic studies- look out for our webinar in March reporting findings from this collaboration. We’re working with sleep researchers and recovery researchers on new studies that we hope will receive funding.

We rely on your donations to do our work. To make a one off or regular donation, visit: or to become a fundraiser or hold a fundraising event, get in touch. We’re always looking for more people to get involved. To find out more about training as a peer supporter, storyteller or lived experience speaker, email us.

Thank you for everything you do to support us – and I look forward to seeing you during the year.”

Café groups

APP runs monthly peer support social/café groups, which are informal friendly spaces to share experiences and meet others who have also had psychosis in the perinatal period.

Most of our groups meet both in-person and on Zoom. We have regional groups for London, Sussex and Hampshire, Wales, Scotland, NI, Yorkshire, North East/Newcastle, Birmingham, Black Country, Lancashire and South Cumbria, and Manchester.

We also have a group that meets every other month on Zoom which is for anyone who lives in the UK. The next meeting for this group will be on Thursday 8th February, 7.30pm - 9pm and you can sign up on Eventbrite here.

Our group for Muslim women who have experienced psychosis in the perinatal period will next meet up on 8th February, at 12.30pm - 2pm. You can sign up on Eventbrite.

Information about all our peer support, including upcoming café group dates, details of our regular groups for dads/co-parents and grandparents and how to join, is on our website.

BBC Appeal

We’re delighted that APP has been selected to feature as a BBC Radio 4 Charity appeal in March. Our broadcast will be presented by APP Ambassador, Laura Dockrill, on 24th March. This is an incredible opportunity for us to raise the profile of APP on a national scale, as well as really help to raise awareness of postpartum psychosis. We want to reach as many people as possible – and we’d love to get your input on the best ways for us to do this.

We’re holding two meetings on 7th February open to anyone interested in helping us make the most of this amazing opportunity. Join us at either 12.30pm, or 8pm for 45 minutes by booking a place on Eventbrite. Come along to one of them to find out more about what we have planned and how you can be part of it - feel free to pop along and listen in, no pressure to get involved - we just want you on board for this exciting journey!

Mums and mental health survey

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) and Action on Postpartum Psychosis are working together to understand more about the causes and triggers of severe mental illness during pregnancy and following childbirth. You are invited to take part in this research if you have experienced postpartum psychosis or other severe mental illness around childbirth. For more information and to sign up to participate, please click here.

Birth trauma: national inquiry

The Birth Trauma All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) has launched a new national inquiry to better understand the reasons for the prevalence of birth trauma in the UK.

The APPG is aiming to review the reasons for the prevalence of birth trauma and examine how best to support mothers. As part of the inquiry, parents and professionals affected by birth trauma are being invited to submit their stories.

If you would like to take part, you can find out more here. The closing date for submissions is 6th February.


Diving into the new year!
Friends Emily and Adam got 2024 off to a flying start for APP – with an amazing skydive from 14,000ft! Emily suffered with PP after the birth of her baby in 2020 and is passionate about raising awareness of the illness. Both Emily and Adam work at the Beeches Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Derbyshire, so they know first-hand the devastating impact it can have on women and families and wanted to do something to make a difference. Read more about their story here.

Take on a challenge in 2024

If your 2024 resolution is to do something new this year, we can help you with that! Whether you’re into running, swimming, cycling, walking or want to do something totally different – we can find the perfect challenge for you. We have options all over the country (and beyond) and there’s something for everyone! You’ll find loads of ideas here.

We are urgently looking to fill our final places in the Brighton Marathon and the London Landmarks Half, both taking place on 7th April. Both of these events are now totally sold out, the only way to get a place is through a charity like us! Get in touch if you’d like to fill our final spot in each event.

We also have places available in the amazing Great North Swim in Windermere in June and the iconic Great North Run on 8th September. Again, contact us for more info on these.

Are you a member of a running club? Would you be able to send an occasional update to your club with some of the running opportunities we have coming up in your area? We can offer low registration fees and guaranteed places in some of the biggest events in the country. Let our Fundraiser Fliss know if you could help with this.

APP’s Miles for Mums and Babies will be back this year – watch this space for more details coming soon, but it’s never too early to get planning – let us know if you have an idea for your own ‘Miles’ challenge this year.

Support APP for free

If you’re having a post-Christmas declutter, do consider whether anything could be recycled to raise funds for APP – our friends at Recycling for Good Causes will send you a sack for free, you simply fill it with old or broken electronics, jewellery, stamps and old currency, they’ll collect it for free and APP will receive a donation in return. Alternatively, you could sell items on eBay or Vinted, then donate some or all of what you make to us. For more info on recycling and lots of other ideas to raise funds for APP without it costing you anything at all, check out this page.

Dates for your diary

APP Scotland virtual café group meet up, Thursday 25th January

APP Manchester face to face café group meet up, Friday 26th January

APP Black Country face to face café group meet up in Walsall, Tuesday 30th January

APP Wales virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 30th January

APP Sussex and Hampshire virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 31st January

APP Muslim women’s virtual café group meet up, Thursday 8th February

APP UK-wide virtual café group meet up, Thursday 8th February

APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Blackburn, Friday 9th February

APP Lancashire and south Cumbria virtual café group meet up, Monday 12th February

APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Lancaster, Wednesday 14th February

APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Preston, Friday 16th February

APP dads and co-parents virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 21st February

APP Northern Ireland virtual café group meet up, Thursday 22nd February

APP Birmingham face to face café group meet up in Birmingham, Friday 23rd February

APP Manchester face to face café group meet up in Manchester, Friday 23rd February: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Yorkshire face to face café group meet up in Sheffield, Saturday 24th February

APP London face to face café group meet up, Saturday 24th February

APP Black Country face to face café group meet up in Walsall, Tuesday 27th February

APP Sussex and Hampshire virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 27th February

APP Scotland virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 28th February

Contact information for all APP café groups is available here.

APP Book Club virtual meeting, Wednesday 13th March 2024. Discussing Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood by Lucy Jones. Book your free place here.

Events and conferences

MBRRACE Conference: Saving Lives, Improving Mother’s Care, Thursday 1st February

The “MBRRACE-UK - Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care” report highlights suicide as a leading cause of maternal death. This online conference aims to share findings from the report and identify how individuals and agencies can work together to improve the care of women/birthing and save lives. Book here.

Black Maternal Health Conference UK, Monday 18th March

Organised by the Motherhood Group, this London conference features keynote speakers and panel discussions focusing on how health equity for Black mothers can be achieved. More details and ticket booking here.


If you would like to advertise your event here, please get in touch: