As part of some follow up activity for Priority 2 on parental mental health, we are launching Stories from the heart and mind: A collection of stories and key messages from parents with mental health difficulties. These stories have been collated to help publicise the Bexley.
Parentcare directory of services and to help parents understand they are not alone in what they might be experiencing and that ‘it is ok’ to ask for help.
The stories include the experiences of:
- Anjani – age 27, experiencing post-natal depression
- Kayleigh – age 17/18, depressed with alcohol misuse
- Anne – age 30 has Perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety/panic attacks
- Daz and Caz – both aged 35 – mum and dad, both clinically depressed
- Sandra – aged 36, post-partum psychosis due to abuse
- Dean – aged 30, father struggling to cope with how to best support his wife who is low in mood
We would also like to take this opportunity to re-publicise the Bexley Parentcare leaflet, designed to encourage parents who are feeling low in mood to access the directory of services which signposts parents to information on local services and resources that support the mental health and wellbeing of Bexley’s parents and carers. Despite COVID-19 many services are still running but may have moved their support online / via the telephone.
Some of the services included in the directory which we would like to highlight in particular are the following voluntary sector perinatal wellbeing support services:
- Cocoon Family Support offers free peer support groups and low-cost individual counselling for parents struggling with their mental health during pregnancy and early parenthood. They offer support to both mums and dads. Due to Covid-19 they have moved all their support online including their Bexley Perinatal Peer Support Group on a Monday 1-2pm. Further details of these and other services including training for professionals and peer support consultancy are available here.
- Mindful Mums and Being Dad are offering online support sessions for expectant / new mums & dads in Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich. Due to Covid-19 these are currently being offered via Zoom. Mindful Mums is on Wednesdays 11.30am–12.15pm and Fridays 1-1.45pm. Being Dad is on Tuesdays 8pm-9pm. For further information including details of how to join in, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We would also like to highlight:
- Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust Specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health Service for women in Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich. This service provides specialist assessment and intervention to women experiencing significant mental health difficulties in pregnancy and up to a year postnatal. Further information including how to refer can be found here.
Please do share the leaflets and information with the families you support, if you feel these would be of benefit to them.