January 2023 newsletter

New year challenges for APP

Are you looking for a challenge in 2023? There are so many ways you can support APP in this year – from skydives and bungee jumps to inflatable obstacle fun runs, marathons, duathlons, ultras, cycle rides and so much more!

You could get a group of friends, family or colleagues together and complete an event as a team or go solo and take on a personal challenge.

We now have access to hundreds of races, fun runs, jumps, rides and other events all over the country (and even overseas if you fancy it!)

Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking…

  • Winter Warmer runs – 5k, 10k and half marathon options taking place throughout February in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Richmond, Milton Keynes.
  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k or half marathon – 5th March - a road closed half marathon and 10k starts and finishes at the home of the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Colchester Zoo Stampede 10k – 14th May - a unique opportunity to run a 10k that starts in the heart of the Zoo - between the rhinos, elephants, giraffes and zebras!
  • Hull Half Marathon - 11th June - This new half marathon features a thrilling city centre start and finish and a largely flat course, offering great PB potential.
  • ASICS London 10k – 9th July - Dash past iconic central London sights Big Ben, the London Eye and the River Thames in a 10K race to remember.
  • Hillsborough Castle & Gardens Running Festival 5k and 10K – 24th July - one for our supporters in Northern Ireland, a closed roads event starting and finishing within the beautiful grounds of Hillsborough Castle.

These are just a few of the hundreds of races and activities we have access to – or of course you can come up with your own challenge as part of our Miles for Mums and Babies campaign.

  • Registration fees and fundraising targets vary depending on the event, so let us know if you’re interested in any of these and we’ll give you the full details.
  • Got an idea already, ready to sign up, or want us to inspire you? Contact fundraising@app-network.org – we’re here to support you through your training and to help you reach your fundraising goals.

A huge thank you to the fundraisers who have already got 2023 off to an amazing start - Rachel Evans has been running every single day this month, covering a total of 90miles; Hannah Galloway has cycled over 100km on her static bike and Lee Smith and his sister Donna completed 100,000 steps in 24 hours on 2nd Jan (just one of his amazing 12 challenges for APP!). A massive thank you to them and to everyone who has supported them in their challenges.

Health Professional Training

workforce training in postpartum psychosisBook now for APP’s one-day postpartum psychosis training and take advantage of our early-bird rate.

The online training is led by APP's expert trainers, including:

  • Professor Ian Jones (Professor of Psychiatry, world-leading academic in postpartum psychosis, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist);
  • Dr Sally Wilson (National Training Lead at Action on Postpartum Psychosis);
  • Dr Jessica Heron (APP Chief Executive and Senior Research Fellow in Perinatal Psychiatry at Birmingham University)

The workshop is suitable for any health professionals working with pregnant and postnatal women and families. It draws upon cutting-edge research into PP and bipolar disorder as well as the real experiences of women and families.

The course develops knowledge and confidence in identifying postpartum psychosis, managing risk, developing pregnancy and postnatal management plans and supporting women and families during recovery.

Dates: Wednesday 15th February or Monday 27th March 2023. Early bird rate: £165 until 1st February (normal price £195)

Find out more and book: https://bit.ly/APPTraining2023

Antenatal class campaign

APP National Training Coordinator, Sally Wilson, attended The International Journal of Birth and Parent Education Conference on 23rd January, hosted by the University of Worcester, to share information about our campaign: ‘Let's talk about postpartum psychosis in antenatal classes’.

A YouGov survey carried out by APP showed that only 6% of expectant parents were given information about postpartum psychosis at their antenatal classes. Suicide is the leading cause of maternal death in the UK. Rapid access to specialist perinatal treatment supports the best outcomes for mum, baby and family. We’re campaigning for information about PP to be shared at every antenatal class in the UK.

As well as highlighting APP’s campaign, Sally met lots of passionate antenatal education providers at the event and heard talks from Sally Hogg from the Parent-Infant Foundation, Dr Mary Nolan, Emerita Professor of Perinatal Education, and Lorna Philips, founder of Black Mamas Birth Village.

Email us to receive updates about our campaign, training and free resources:

Pamper Packs to Mother and Baby Units

APP’s team delivered 350 festive Pamper Packs to the UK’s 22 Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in December 2022.

The packs are the idea of APP volunteer Gemma and her husband Stephen and are designed to provide a small boost to mothers who are unwell and away from family over Christmas. Each bag contained items donated by Walgreen Boots Alliance as well as APP’s peer support information.

We’re very grateful to Boots for their support - and to our new staff member, Rachel, for her hard work in organising delivery of the packs.

Pictured above, APP’s Peer Support Facilitator Jocelyn and Louise Sargeson, Assistant Occupational Therapist, dropping off the packs at Ribblemere Mother and Baby Unit.

Dr Margaret Oates

The APP team was deeply saddened to hear of the death of the hugely inspirational Dr Margaret Oates who has done so much to improve care for women and families affected by postpartum psychosis in the UK.

Read more about our memories of Margaret Oates.

Media and books

APP National Coordinator Hannah Bissett and fundraiser Lee were on BBC Radio Newcastle on 9th January (listen here from 11.15). They talked about APP’s MBU and antenatal campaigns, as well as Lee’s year-long challenge to raise awareness of PP. Lee’s story also featured on Chronicle live.

APP Chief Executive, Dr Jess Heron talked to the Guardian on 15th January highlighting concern about a recent increase in bereaved family members contacting the charity following the death by suicide of a relative after postpartum psychosis.

APP also worked on a Guardian piece about the need for more Mother and Baby Units especially in underserved areas of the UK, featuring APP volunteer Toni and the family of Orlaith Quinn.

APP’s Media Consultant, Lucy Nichol, has published her new book. Snowflake: Breaking Through Mental Health Stereotypes and Stigma exposes harmful mental health stereotypes and includes a section on postpartum psychosis.

Book Club

APP’s next virtual book club meet-up will be on Tuesday 31st January, 8-9pm. We'll discuss Are You Really OK? Understanding Britain’s Mental Health Emergency by Stacey Dooley.

You can reserve a place here.

Research studies currently recruiting

Hallucinations in early motherhood study
Charlotte Close, a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at Coventry University, is looking for women who have experienced hallucinations in early motherhood to take part in her research. She would like to understand the impact of hallucinations on the experience of mothering. The study is open to women aged 18 or over, who had hallucinations in pregnancy or up to one year postnatally (in the past five years) and who have not had hallucinations in the last month. Contact Charlotte at: closec2@uni.coventry.ac.uk.

New psychological intervention to support women and families who have experienced postpartum psychosis
A research team at the University of East Anglia, led by Dr Jo Hodgekins, would like to talk to women and families to understand their experiences of recovery from PP. If you have lived experience of PP – or are a family member of someone who has – then you can take part. The research team is interested in learning more about what ‘recovery’ means to people with lived experience of psychosis and their families and the kinds of issues people would like additional support with, and what this support might look like. For more information email: j.hodgekins@uea.ac.uk.

Inpatient hospital stays for women with postpartum psychosis
Helen Allen, a PhD student at Bournemouth University, is planning research exploring the experiences of inpatient hospital stay during postpartum psychosis. She will be recruiting women with lived experience to help shape her research. For more information, including details of how to become involved, please email Helen at: helena@bournemouth.ac.uk.

If you are a researcher and would like us to support your research, please get in touch at an early stage in planning: research@app-network.org.

Dates for your diary

  • APP Book Club virtual meeting, Tuesday 31st January: Book here.
  • APP Black Country face-to-face café group meet up, Wednesday 1st February.
  • APP Lancashire & South Cumbria face-to-face café group meet up in Lancaster, Wednesday 8th February.
  • APP Yorkshire virtual café group meet up, Thursday 9th February
  • APP Lancashire & South Cumbria face-to-face café group meet up in Blackpool, Friday 10th February.
  • APP Lancashire & South Cumbria virtual café group meet up, Monday 13th February.
  • APP Dads and co-parents virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 15th February.
  • APP Lancashire & South Cumbria face-to-face café group meet up in Preston, Friday 17th February.
  • APP North East and Cumbria face-to-face café group meet up, Monday 27th February

To find out more visit our peer support page.

Upcoming conferences and events

Perinatal Mental Health Conference, Wednesday 1st March
The theme of this in-person conference is ‘breaking barriers’ and will highlight the perinatal mental health experiences of women and families from seldom-heard communities. Details of this Maternal Health Foundation event and the link to book tickets are here.

Meaningful Conversation - Telling stories: the brain, trauma and creativity, Wednesday 8th March
Free online event featuring experts on the brain, creativity and storytelling talking about the effects of telling stories and being creative on the brain and mental health. Register here.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Show, Thursday 11th May
More than 60 charities, organisations and companies will be promoting their resources, services and initiatives designed to support positive mental health and wellbeing at Cardiff City Hall. 50% discount with code MHWYear (before 31st January). Book tickets here.

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

Sign up to receive updates

Joining the APP Network is a brilliant way to…
  • Find out how you can help mums and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP)
  • Receive our newsletters with information about our projects and research into PP
  • Be a part of a national network of people who have been affected by PP
  • Hear about events, workshops, conferences and opportunities to take part in research studies
  • Help us to change things for the future
Click here to sign up to the APP Network