APP May Newsletter

Thank you for supporting Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

Thank you to everyone who got involved in Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, 29th April to 5th May 2024, helping to raise awareness about postpartum psychosis (PP), and where to find help and support.

To support the week, which is organised each year by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, APP shared content each day and ran events. Highlights included:

  • A creative writing workshop (pictured below) for people with lived experience of PP, led by APP Ambassador and author Laura Dockrill.

  • The launch of a new APP guide “Being a Parent after PP”
  • A collaboration with NCT, who shared information about spotting the signs and symptoms of PP, as part of our Antenatal Education campaign.
  • A video highlighting APP’s free training toolkit for antenatal educators. ‘How To Talk To Expectant Parents About Postpartum Psychosis’ presented by Midwife Marley which has been viewed nearly 9,000 times already. You can watch the video here.
  • APP National Coordinator Ellie Ware in conversation with Aaisha Alvi, author of 'A Mom Like That: A Memoir of Postpartum Psychosis.'
  • An audience Q&A at The Bush Theatre in London by award winning director Bijan Sheibani, alongside APP’s Chief Executive, Dr Jess Heron, and Training Coordinator, Dr Sally Wilson.
  • Awareness-raising activities by many people including midwife Amy and the Welsh Perinatal Mental Health team’s stalls at Betsi Cadwaladr hospitals and APP’s Rachel Evans giving a talk to the North Sussex Perinatal Mental Health team.
  • The start of our 2024 Miles for Mums and Babies challenge on World Maternal Mental Health Day.

Thank you to everyone who shared our posts and interacted with us. Our social media activity reached more than 74,000 people during the week and posts were even reshared by Davina McCall and Denise Welch.

If you haven't already, don't forget to join the 'APP network' to connect with others, receive our newsletter, take part in research, and help to change things for the future.

It’s also not too late to join in with our #MilesForMumsAndBabies challenge - you can take on a challenge any time you want to! Get in touch if you'd like to sign up:

Download our new 'Being a parent after postpartum psychosis' guide

Well done to…everyone who put this together - it’s really useful and well written.

I couldn’t love a resource anymore. I would have given my eye teeth for this in 2010. Awesome doesn’t even come close.


Our new Insider Guide: ‘Being a parent after Postpartum Psychosis’ was launched during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and shares information and ideas from APP parents at children’s various ages and stages of development.

With warm thanks to Clare Foster who conducted a survey with APP parents, ran face to face workshops and managed an online working group to create the guide, working alongside APP’s staff and experts in child development and perinatal mental health. Clare says: “working with women and their partners to create the guide was vital. APP is really lucky to have such passionate, thoughtful and dedicated volunteers.”

You can read and download the new guide here.

Big Give - big thanks!

Thank you to everyone who supported our Big Give Kind2Mind match funding campaign. The money raised will go towards supporting dads and co-parents in families affected by postpartum psychosis. Look out for more ‘double your donation’ opportunities later this year.

Book your place on our health professional training day

Really brilliant session. Balanced, informed, inspiring, emotional. So raw and real and yet very professional and contained. Best training I've attended in a very long time.

Book now for APP's workforce training - best practice care in postpartum psychosis - on Wednesday 12th June.

This one-day online training is suitable for professionals working with pregnant and postnatal women and families. It draws upon cutting-edge research in postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder and the real experiences of women and families. It will develop confidence in identifying and managing risk, identifying early symptoms, and providing high quality support to women and families from preconception to recovery.

APP's workforce training is highly regarded: 100% of attendees say they would recommend it to other health professionals working in the perinatal period.

Tickets for Wednesday 12th June cost £195.

Awareness raising with midwives

APP took part in #MidwiferyHour on 15th May. Thank you to the Maternity and Midwifery Forum for inviting us.

The hour-long online programme, with a reach of thousands, featured APP’s National Training Coordinator Dr Sally Wilson and Peer Support Facilitator Shaheda Akhtar. It was hosted by Sue Macdonald, Midwifery Expert; Host and Curator, Maternity and Midwifery Festivals/Midwifery Hour, Editor, Mayes Midwifery. During the hour, we explored postpartum psychosis, the impact on families, and the role of the midwife.

The programme will be online soon to watch back. Follow The Maternity and Midwifery forum on social media for updates.

Volunteers’ Week 2024

On the 40th Anniversary of Volunteers’ Week (Monday 3 June – Sunday 9 June) we want to say a huge thank you to every volunteer from all of us at Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

Our volunteers are so important to our work. From providing peer support for mums and families, raising awareness and tackling stigma by sharing their postpartum psychosis stories, helping to train professionals, supporting patient involvement in developing services, to fundraising for APP’s work.

Every contribution is vital. Thank you for all that you do.

APP Peer Supporter evening learning seminars

Dr Sue Pawlby led a seminar for 13 of APP’s peer supporters (both staff and volunteers) on 'Supporting mums with anxiety'. The session looked at how anxiety can manifest and how the APP team can best help reassure and support the mums we support.

Many women experience anxiety to varying degrees after PP, and it was extremely helpful to learn from Dr Pawlby’s knowledge and expertise, and to reflect on and share some of our own experiences. Feedback from the session has been very good and we are very grateful to Sue for volunteering her time to support us.

Dr Sue Pawlby is a retired Developmental Clinical Psychologist who worked for 20 years on the Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital. She trained as a child psychologist at Nottingham and has 40 years of experience working with mothers and babies both in clinical and research contexts. She pioneered the use of video feedback techniques in supporting the developing relationship between mothers with severe illness and their infants.

Diverse communities outreach project

This month, Shaheda Akhtar, APP’s Peer Support Facilitator for the Diverse Communities Outreach Project, gave a talk to a yoga class run by ACRE - Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality. We're delighted that ACRE will also share about the session and our information with their networks. Thank you, @acrereading!

APP’s Diverse Communities team and volunteers offer free talks and presentations to community groups and health professionals. We are keen to encourage more women from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities to access information about postpartum psychosis.

If you represent a community or faith group or you are a maternity/perinatal mental health professional and would like to arrange for a talk from APP please email:

PP in the media

APP Peer Support worker Eli shared her PP experience in a hard-hitting ITV news piece about maternal suicide. The piece was filmed at Ribblemere Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Chorley where APP works in partnership with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust providing face-to-face peer support and information to mums and their families. You can find out more about our NHS projects here.

Krystal shared her experience of PP on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour with Dr Abigail Easter from King’s College London talking about the ASPEN study into the causes of perinatal suicide.

Alex highlighted the campaign for a Mother and Baby Unit in Northern Ireland in the Belfast Telegraph and Belfast Live.

APP’s Ambassadors Catherine Cho and Laura Dockrill both shared their stories during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. Catherine highlighted the need to talk about postpartum psychosis in the Doing it Right podcast with Pandora Sykes and Laura was interviewed by the Daily Mail.

APP volunteer Ele shared her story in Women’s Health. Ailania spoke to Edinburgh Live about her experience and the importance of raising awareness of PP.

On 22nd April, APP’s Jessie Hunt joined a panel talk at Genesis Cinema in London for the first screening of “Wild Animal”, a short film to which APP inputted into the script development. Jessie was also interviewed for ‘An Open Conversation About Postpartum Psychosis’, published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.

Raising awareness of PP - could you join our volunteer team?

APP is lucky to have a large number of volunteers who work to raise awareness of PP.

They include Chris Wasley, who gave a talk to the University of Surrey Midwives Society on 21st May. Chris (pictured above) was invited to speak at the 'Unspoken Aspects of Maternity Conference', sharing his and his partner’s experience of PP.

Chris says:

It was really special. I decided to stay for the whole event and make the most of it. It was very emotional, but so many people said nice things after and I got a very nice applause! I am so glad I did it.

Ailania Fraser, who experienced PP after the birth of her first child, held an awareness and fundraising stand in Edinburgh’s Gyle Shopping Centre on 14th May (pictured below). Ailania raised £135 on the day, gave out information, and encouraged conversations between family and friends. The team at Gyle Shopping Centre thanked her on Facebook for the opportunity to learn more about PP.

Congratulations to Ruth Stacey on the publication of her book, ‘Everyone is Here to Help: A healing account of postpartum psychosis and recovery.’ Ruth’s memoir about her experience of PP is available to buy now with a small percentage of the sales being donated to APP. Dr Jess Heron, Chief Executive, Action on Postpartum Psychosis commented on Ruth's memoir:

A compelling, powerful and personal account of postpartum psychosis

You can follow Ruth on Instagram at @dichotomyofmepoetry.

We’re really grateful to Chris, Ruth and Ailania for supporting our work. If you think you would like to do something to raise awareness we can help by providing guidance on giving lived experience talks as well as literature, APP posters and resources. To find out more please email:

Fabulous fundraisers

Miles for Mums and Babies

Thank you so much to everyone who has been out and about running, cycling, walking, swimming and toddling this month as part of our Miles for Mums and Babies challenge - more than 50 supporters have taken part so far - including Lisa and friends who completed a five hour walk; Kayleigh and her husband who walked an epic 27 miles last weekend; Carly who’s completing 5 miles a day every day in May, and has roped in several friends to support her too; Sarah walking 300 miles in the month; Kate (pictured below) who has raised nearly £1,000 with her 100 mile walk and Karin who will be walking the 38 miles between her home and her nearest MBU.


Plus we have some fantastically dedicated teams taking part including the Humber Perinatal Mental Health Team, The Margaret Oates MBU in Nottingham, The Beeches MBU in Derby, The Andersen MBU in Manchester, the Suffolk Community Perinatal Mental Health and the North Wales Perinatal Mental Health Team.

Thank you! You are all incredible!

These are just a few of the amazing Miles for Mums and Babies fundraisers in action at the moment - a huge thank you to every single one of you and to all those supporting you.

Do get in touch if you’d like to take part in our Miles for Mums and Babies challenge - even though loads of people are doing their events this month, you can complete your challenge whenever you want to, we’d love to hear from you!

Thank you to our NW fundraisers - in 2023 a team took part in a Colour Obstacle Rush in Manchester, and we had planned a repeat of this but sadly the event has been cancelled.  The team wasn’t put off though, and they still donned their APP tops, purple tutus and glitter to take on their own 5K around Alexandra Park. Add your support for their challenge here.

A huge well done and thank you to our recent runners - dads Steve and Mark (pictured below, right) took on the Hackney Half on a very hot day, raising more than £1,300 for APP, while Saffa (pictured below, left) ran a PB in the Bristol 10k on the same (hot!) day, sharing her own story to raise awareness and raising more than £500 from her supporters and with match funding from her employer.

Feeling inspired to take on your own challenge? We’ve updated our challenge page with new events including Hillsborough Castle Running Festival, Northern Ireland, Cardiff Half Marathon, The Great South Run, Run Alton Towers - Half, 10k & 5k and London Landmarks half 2025, plus many more. We have low registration fees, provide lots of encouragement with training and fundraising, and we’ll provide you with an APP branded top for the big day and a medal to wear proudly afterwards! Check out the challenge page here, or email Fliss for more info or suggestions.

Thank you also to APP supporter Cee Jae who is currently raising awareness and funds via live streaming their Xbox games on Twitch! Cee Jae is passionate about raising awareness of PP and APP. They say: "I received some very meaningful support from APP on recovering from PP myself a few years ago, so this cause is crucial to me."

You can follow Cee Jae on their Twitch channel (username mush_roomgoblin) and  Discord server.  You can also add your support via JustGiving.

Burford Golf Club Charity Auction

We’re delighted to be working with Burford Golf Club this year as their Ladies Captain Carole Harris chose APP as her charity of the year. The club have already raised a great deal for APP, and more events are planned, including an auction for a ‘money can’t buy’ prize - An Airbus A330 Flight Simulator Experience for four people. Anyone is welcome to bid for this exclusive prize - more details about the experience and how to bid can be found here.

If you or anyone you know are part of a golf club, we’d love to hear from you to chat about any opportunities to work together to raise funds and awareness.

Dates for your diary

  • Global Day of Parents, Sunday 1st June
  • Volunteers' Week 3rd - 9th June: 
  • APP Yorkshire virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 4th June
  • APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Blackburn, Friday 7th June
  • APP Sussex and Hampshire face to face café group meet up, Saturday 8th June
  • APP Lancashire and south Cumbria virtual café group meet up, Monday 10th June
  • APP Northern Ireland virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 11th June
  • APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Lancaster, Wednesday 12th June
  • APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Blackpool, Friday 14th June
  • Father’s Day, Sunday 16th June
  • APP dads and co-parents virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 19th June
  • APP London virtual café group meet up, Thursday 20th June
  • APP Birmingham face to face café group meet up, Friday 21st June 
  • APP Lancashire and south Cumbria face to face café group meet up in Preston, Friday 21st June
  • APP Manchester face to face café group meet up in Manchester, Friday 21st June
  • International Father’s Mental Health Day, Friday 21st June 
  • APP Black Country face to face café group meet up in Walsall, Tuesday 25th June
  • APP Scotland virtual café group meet up in Walsall, Tuesday 25th June
  • APP UK-wide virtual café group meet up in Walsall, Thursday 27th June
  • Contact information for all APP café groups is available here.

Events and conferences

Perinatal and parent infant mental health lecture series, from 18th June

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is holding a new monthly lecture series to share experience and research in perinatal and parent infant mental health. Lectures will be held on the third Tuesday of the month. More information here

Becoming a parent whilst healing from complex trauma webinar, Wednesday 12th June, 12pm

Open to would-be parents, new parents and professionals supporting new parents with complex trauma. Delivered by clinical psychologist, Dr Adele Greaves. More information and ticket booking here

Perinatal Peer Support - lunchtime seminar, Monday 24th June

Second in a series of lunchtime seminars run by Lifeboat Perinatal Mental Health CIC. This 12.30 - 1.30pm session focuses on: ‘Anxiety management for perinatal mental health peer support. Tickets are £10. Book here.  

Perinatal Peer Support - lunchtime seminar, Tuesday 16th July

Third in a series of lunchtime seminars run by Lifeboat Perinatal Mental Health CIC. This 12.30 - 1.30pm session focuses on: ‘Understanding medication for perinatal mental health.’ Tickets are £10. Book here

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