APP October 2023 newsletter

Free webinar: Essential knowledge for preventing maternal suicide

If you’re a GP, midwife, antenatal educator or other frontline health professional, book your place on APP’s free webinar – on Wednesday 18th October at 12pm - here

In this free webinar delivered by Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP), in collaboration with the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), General Practitioners Championing Perinatal Care (GPCPC), and Journal of Birth and Parent Education (IJBPE), will learn about the early symptoms of postpartum psychosis, and the actions you need to take to support and protect those who develop the condition. You will learn about the basic information all expectant families should know about PP, and about the information and support needs of those at higher risk. The webinar will include a Q&A session with clinical, academic, and lived experience experts.

Please share with your networks to let as many people who work with new mothers as possible know how to join us. 

Health professional training: new dates

Book now for APP’s health professional training days. Our training is highly rated by attendees, with 100% rating sessions as good or excellent and 100% saying they would recommend our training to colleagues:

"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.”

Best practice care in postpartum psychosis

This one-day online training course draws upon cutting-edge research and is informed by the experiences of women and families. The course will develop knowledge, understanding, and confidence in managing severe postnatal mental illness.

Wednesday 15th November / Zoom
Full day training
Find out more & book:

Supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic families affected by postpartum psychosis

This new online session led by APP’s National Training Coordinator, Dr Sally Wilson, and APP’s Diverse Communities Outreach Team, will focus on supporting women and families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities who develop postpartum psychosis. By the end of the session, you will have knowledge of the support and information needs of women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities; and have considered strategies to remove barriers and improve care.

Thursday 16th November / Zoom
12 – 2.30pm BST
Find out more & book:

Supporting dads and co-parents affected by postpartum psychosis

This online workshop is informed by the experiences of dads and co-parents whose partners have experienced postpartum psychosis. At the end of the workshop, you will understand the research evidence; the experiences of dads and co-parents; and have explored strategies and interventions to improve support.

Friday 8th March 2024 / Zoom
10am – 12.30pm BST
Find out more & book:

Northern Ireland update

The government report on the need for a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) has been delayed and is due out in October. We campaigned hard last year for public, professional and government support for the unit. Even after this report, the MBU will need government minister sign-off and a business plan.

With no Government in Northern Ireland, and no Health Minister, change will be slow. But we’re not going to let an MBU fall off the agenda.

We’ve got three questions we need answered:

  • What’s the timeline for building and opening an MBU?
  • What’s the budget and where will the money come from?
  • What will be done for mums who need admission in the meantime?

To make our case, we need support from women and partners in Northern Ireland who’ve experienced postpartum psychosis. We know it’s much harder to ignore people who have real stories to tell, so we’re reaching out to anyone who is prepared to tell their story - even anonymously in the media - or to join us in meeting an MLA to talk about their experience. 

Please also get in touch with Ellie here if you used to live in Northern Ireland and had access to an MBU elsewhere in the UK that you wouldn’t have had at home - we’d love you to share your story and we’ll support you through the process.

New peer support project in Manchester 

(pictured above L-R Nicola Gardner, Jocelyn Ellams, Hannah Bissett, Alison Barrott, Rachel McVeigh)

APP’s new NHS partnership project in Manchester went live at the beginning of September. This is a partnership with Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust (GMMH) providing peer support to inpatients at Andersen Ward Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Wythenshawe. 

APP’s team of Alison Barrott, Nicola Gardner and Rachel McVeigh will be supporting women, one-to-one and through small group activities, at the MBU. They’ll also spend time talking to partners and families of women during the acute illness phase, sharing information, giving hope and signposting to APP’s support and other resources. 

We’re delighted that the project will also include a new café group, with the first meeting planned for 13th October. If you live in the Manchester region and would like to meet other mums, parents and families affected by postpartum psychosis at the group, or become an APP volunteer, please email

To find out more about APP peer support within the NHS, visit:

Café groups

APP’s next UK-wide café group meeting will be held on Thursday 5th October. This friendly, informal meet-up on Zoom is for anyone who has experienced psychosis in the perinatal period, no matter where they live in the UK. To join, sign up on Eventbrite.

With the launch of our new Manchester peer support project, we’ve increased the number of regional café groups around the UK to ten. They meet virtually and face-to-face monthly throughout the year. The groups are attended both by those recovering from PP and those who experienced PP many years ago. If you are interested in joining any of the groups – in Manchester, Wales, Sussex & Hampshire, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire, North East & North Cumbria, Lancashire & Cumbria, Birmingham and London - please email  

We also run a virtual peer support group for dads and co-parents. It meets on the third Wednesday of every month and is for people who have supported a partner through PP. Our grandparents group meets approximately six times a year. If you would like to be on the mailing list for either of these groups, please email


PeerFest is an annual event run by Mind. It brings people together to celebrate the importance, power, and diversity of community-led groups who come together for peer support.

This year’s PeerFest took place on Thursday 7th September at The Lowry theatre in Salford Quays, Manchester. A number of APP staff attended the event (pictured above), some meeting each other in person for the first time. 

PeerFest is a welcoming, inclusive, and inspirational event bringing people together to network, share knowledge and best practice through workshops, creative activities and debate. Activities included talks about the importance of peer support within in-patient settings and managing a social media presence, as well as some Bollywood dancing and singing!

Check out this Instagram reel by one of our APP staff members Zebi, who works on APP’s diverse communities outreach project. 

MBU sewing club

APP’s peer supporters are based within 3 UK MBUs and 8 perinatal community teams, providing peer support early in recovery to new mothers and their families.

A new sewing club has just been launched at the Chamomile Suite MBU in Birmingham. APP’s peer support facilitator, Soukaina Bennani is supporting these sessions, chatting to mums, sharing experiences and information whilst producing beautiful designs like the one pictured above.

Read more about APP’s peer support within NHS community teams and MBUs here.

Good Enough Mums Club

Not perfect? Join the club!

The Good Enough Mums Club, a poignant and funny musical based on women’s stories of motherhood, is beginning a tour of theatres.

Produced, written, directed and performed by mums, The Good Enough Mums Club shares the love and dispels the myths with enough wipes to mop the tears and clean away the snotty laughter. 

The musical was created by Emily Beecher following her experience with postpartum psychosis. At the prompting of her therapist, Emily began to journal her experiences while juggling the demands of a newborn. During 2014, a short community workshop version of The Good Enough Mums Club played to sold-out audiences. The team reworked the musical by meeting mothers from all over the country - from a mosque in Birmingham, to a pub in Leeds, to a school in the shadow of Grenfell - collecting stories to ensure the show represents a variety of experiences of motherhood. APP supported with research and development and Chief Executive, Dr Jess Heron, says: 

“Seeing experiences of PP brought to life on the stage in such a hopeful way, is invaluable in helping women and families to feel less isolated and more able to identify symptoms and ask for help.” 

The Autumn 2023 tour will play: Birmingham Hippodrome; Storyhouse, Chester; Norwich Theatre Playhouse; Lincoln Arts Centre; MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton; and The Lowry, Salford. For full details and to book tickets, go to:

Fundraising news

The Big Give

Our Big Give match funding campaign is back very soon! Between 11th-18th October, all donations made via this page will be doubled (up to the value of £5,000). So if you’ve been thinking about holding a Big Bake event, running a raffle or simply making a one off donation to us, pop a note in your diary and do consider doing it during that week – it means whatever you give will be worth twice as much and have twice the impact!

Chris Wasley

Chris wearing his purple APP football shirt standing outside Southampton Football Club stadium

Last Friday, one of our fantastic partner peer support volunteers, Chris Wasley, kicked off his latest challenge for APP.  Chris (pictured above) is already a seasoned fundraiser for us, having completed a 10K race and coastal walk.  But this time his focus is on raising awareness more than funds – he’s on a mission to visit the football ground closest to each MBU in the UK. He started in Southampton and has plans over the next few years to travel around the country, dropping in at MBUs where possible, meeting up with other families affected by PP, all while raising awareness. Find out more about his challenge here.

Challenge fundraisers

Thank you to Lee Smith and his fantastic team – Donna, Chris, Andrew and Phil (pictured above), who all completed the Great North Run for APP earlier this month. Together they raised more than £2,000 on a very memorable GNR day – boiling hot sun for the run, then torrential rain and flooding on the way home. We’re very proud of all of them for all they achieved.

If you’re looking for a new challenge to get you back into running, swimming or cycling, we have access to hundreds of events all over the UK (and beyond!) – from family friendly 5k Santa runs in December, to half and full marathons, bungee jumps and even sky dives – get in touch if you’d like some inspiration for your next adventure: 

Quiz Night

A fundraising quiz night in Oxfordshire on 16th September (pictured above) raised a fantastic £3305.96 for APP. Naomi, APP Campaigns & Policy Coordinator, spoke at the event - alongside talented quiz-master Richard Baish, who has done so much this year, fundraising and awareness-raising in memory of his wife Alex.

Colleagues, friends of the family and local people attended a fantastic quiz evening, disco and raffle. Local businesses donated gifts and vouchers for hampers and a quiz winner's prize of an amazing purple wheelbarrow full of wine, chocolates and more!

Claire Willis, event organiser, told APP: "When I was asking local business for prizes for the raffle one lady in her late 60’s started to cry and went on to tell me she had PP over 40 years ago but it wasn’t recognised, she explained to me what she went through and how the doctors thought she was crazy. This, to me, shows how important the work that you do is."

Thank you to Claire, Richard and all the volunteers who helped put on such a memorable evening.

Jojo Maman Bebe

A HUGE thank you to everyone who voted for us and shared our recent Jojo Maman Bebe Helping Hands Community Grants appeal – we’re delighted to say, thanks to all your votes, APP will receive a £10,000 grant from Jojo Maman Bebe. This will go a long way to helping us expand and develop our peer support service. 


Help us get October off to a great start for Action on Postpartum Psychosis by signing up to support us for FREE on #easyfundraising. You can raise donations whenever you shop online with over 7,500 brands including John Lewis & Partners, eBay, Argos, M&S and more. Plus, once you've raised your first £5, easyfundraising will double it! Sign up today - it will make a BIG difference to us during this busy shopping period:


You can help improve care for the future by supporting research. Please join our lived experience network, and then contact the researchers for information on each study.

The causes and triggers of postpartum psychosis

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) and Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) are working together to understand more about the genetic factors, and other causes and triggers of severe mental illness during pregnancy and following childbirth. 

Please 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 visit this page

Experience of decision making after postpartum psychosis

Philippa Arkle, at the University of Hull, is running a study exploring how women experience making decisions about further pregnancies after an experience of ‘out of the blue’ or first-onset PP. The research involves an interview via videocall. For more information, email:

Find out about all our studies currently recruiting here. If you are a researcher and would like us to support your research, please get in touch at an early stage in planning:

Dates for your diary

APP UK-wide virtual café group meet up, Thursday 5th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Birmingham face to face café group meet up, Friday 6th October: APP regional café groups webpage

World Mental Health Day, Tuesday 10th October:

APP Grandparents virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 10th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Northern Ireland virtual café group meet up, Thursday 12th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Manchester face to face café group meet up, Friday 13th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP London virtual café group meet up, Tuesday 17th October: APP regional café groups webpage

 APP Dads and co-parents virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 18th October: APP regional café groups webpage

World Menopause Day, Wednesday 18th October:

Global Peer Support celebration day, Thursday 19th October:

APP Wales virtual café group meet up, Thursday 26th October: APP regional café groups webpage

APP Scotland virtual café group meet up, Thursday 2nd November: APP regional café groups webpage