Do you know five parents? Chances are that one of them is struggling with a mental health issue. And the likelihood is that most of them struggled with loneliness as some point this week. PND, for example, affects up to 1 in 5 mums and 1 in 10 dads. It’s incredibly common, yet many of us don’t realise.
Help is available. You are not alone.
We have pulled together this resource page to sign-post to anyone struggling (or supporting anyone struggling) where find help and PND support.
If You Need Urgent Help:
- Talk to your GP, midwife or health visitor
- Head to A&E or call 999
- Chat to the Samaritans: 116 123 (for free and won’t appear on your phone bill)
- Chat to Mind: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm)
- Contact PANDAS: 0808 196 1776 (11am-10pm, specifically for post-natal mental health)
Why Is Mental Health Support Important To Us?
We know, first hand, what it’s like to struggle as a new parent. And that’s why ensuring every parent gets the support they need is at the heart of all we do here at Happity.
Both our co-founders, Sara and Emily, found early motherhood hard. Sara experienced a traumatic first birth and flashbacks. Emily struggled with post-natal depression and anxiety after the birth of her son.
Their experiences led Sara and Emily to create Happity and to campaign for greater awareness, so that others don’t have to feel alone like they did.
PND support and help is out there. And we want to make it as easy as possible for every parent who needs it to find it.
Find Help And Support For PND And Maternal Mental Health:
In the first instance it is always a good idea to talk to your GP or health visitor. They can listen to how you are feeling and the symptoms you are experiencing and can discuss treatments and support. This might include talking therapy or medication.
We are aware that mental health services are in high demand and are underfunded and that you might need to wait to start any therapy. Which is hard. When you need help for PND or another maternal mental health issue you need it now.
If you have to wait to start counselling or to access therapy then there are loads of great charities and support groups that you can contact. So that you can get the help and PND support you need quickly.
The NHS has some guidelines on Post Natal Depression including symptoms and how to get help.
The PANDAS Foundation helps, supports advises any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness. They also inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering. They have a free helpline, available 7 days a week from 11am to 10pm – 0808 1961 776. You can also access free & anonymous text support. Text the word ‘PANDAS’ to 85258. You can also contact the by email. There are PND support groups too and plenty of further advice on their website.
The APNI (The Association For Postnatal Illness) helpline is available for anyone affected by Postnatal Illness, new parents finding things tough and in need of advice, support or just some reassurance and a confidential chat about what is going on for you, available Mon-Fri 10am-2pm. Tel : 0207 386 0868. Or Chat live via on www.apni.org
Naytal provide provide one-to-one pregnancy & postnatal counselling. They have a selection of dedicated pregnancy and postnatal services to find find the right specialist to support your needs. They provide instant online therapy and counselling to support you through any emotional challenges you are facing.
House of Light offer support and counselling for antenatal/postnatal depression and anxiety. You can phone their helpline (open Monday – Friday 9am -5pm) 0800 043 2031. Or email them [email protected]
The Hub of Hope is the UK’s leading mental health support database. They bring local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS mental health support and services together in one place. You can put in your postcode and be directed to mental health support near you.
APP offer support for mothers suffering with Postpartum Psychosis, which is a severe mental illness that appears suddenly after childbirth. Symptoms often include hallucinations, confusion, mania, delusions and depression. It affects over 1400 women each year. Experiencing postpartum psychosis can be extremely frightening and distressing. APP offer a peer support service, including online forums, social groups and creative workshops. You can contact them on 020 33229900.
A charity that supports women who have suffered birth trauma. They have a team of peer supporters as well as a supportive Facebook group. You can contact them by email [email protected]
This website, blog and movement is dedicated to raising awareness of Perinatal Mental illness. It provides hope and help for struggling families, and campaigns for better services and support for all.
Further help and support for new mums
It’s not just mental health that parents can struggle with. Many parents struggle to connect with their baby after the birth. Babies1st offers Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) to help parents to bond with their baby.
By building on positive moments, VIG helps parents become more confident, attentive and attuned. This results in happier parents and happier babies. To find out more head to Www.Babies1st.net
What it feels like to have PND
Mental health struggles can be different for everyone. Emily created this video, with the help of her (as was MummyLinks) community, to help everyone understand what struggling with PND can be like:
And this video provides some insight from those working to help parents struggling:
Blogs about PND
Emily has written a number of blogs during her MummyLinks days on mental health, and we’ve had some great contributors too. Find some useful blogs below: