I am the Peer Support Facilitator with Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) working on Ribblemere, Mother and Baby Unit supporting women and families during admission.  I also work with the SPCMHT offering peer support for those affected by postpartum psychosis (PP) or other manic/ psychotic illness such as bipolar, both in pregnancy and after their baby is born.

EOCW Monday

While on the ward I support with activities such as baby photo shoots, craft activities, coffee mornings and relaxation sessions. The crafts allow the mums to create memories of the early days with their babies, which they might not otherwise do being poorly and in a hospital environment. It also creates a safe space for peer support to naturally happen, rather than feeling like an interrogation! The mutual peer support that occurs between the mums in these moments as well is so empowering to see.

In the community, I work closely with the teams and other peer support workers to offer peer support for those receiving care outside of the MBU, including after discharge.  Peer support can really help with feeling less alone and offering a listening ear.  I support women individually or to come to café groups for women who have experience of PP or other manic/ psychotic symptoms. These groups allow recently recovered mums and mums who experienced PP years and years ago to share experiences, hope, support and reduce stigma. We also offer virtual groups nationally for partners and grandparents too!

It such a great partnership between APP and the Trust, as APP complement the services provided by the amazing perinatal services to ensure that mums affected by PP, and their whole family, are supported throughout their recovery journey and beyond.

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Thank you Jocelyn for sharing your story.