Information for Health Professionals
As part of our #MumsTogther project, funded by Comic Relief, we are working to build relationships with local health and social care professionals in order to support women to access our free services.
We are very happy to attend team meetings and other events to tell you more about Happy Mums and our project. Call 01228 592301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you offer as part of the #HappyMumbria project?
Our project is all about providing peer-led support to women in Carlisle and North Cumbria who are experiencing - or at risk of - perinatal mental health problems.
We do this by offering weekly support groups facilitated by trained peer leaders.
You can find out more about these services on our #HappyMumbria Project page.
Who is this for?
We work with women who are pregnant, or have given birth in the last two years. These are the boundaries of our project as set out in our project plan, but where the woman feels that the primary issue is related to her perinatal mental health we can make an exception.
Women do not need a formal diagnosis of a perinatal mental health problem. If a woman feels that our services will be beneficial for her perinatal mental health we are happy to welcome her.
Women who develop mental health problems for the first time during pregnancy, or post-natally, are encouraged to access our support. They may have approached their Midwife, Health Visitor or GP, although this is not necessary.
We also accept women who have an existing or recurrent mental health problem who are planning to become pregnant, who are already pregnant or have given birth in the last two years.
Although we promote our services towards prevention, and mild/moderate perinatal mental health problems, we have worked with women whose experiences are more severe and complex. We will discuss with the individual on a case by case basis, whether we are the most appropriate place to meet her needs.
We currently promote our services to women living in the Carlisle district (including Brampton, Longtown, Dalston) but we are increasingly working with women from further to the west of the county, including Wigton. We aim to be offering groups in Penrith and West Cumbria by 2021.
There may be factors that would indicate she would receive more appropriate support from another organisation (eg. where the primary issue is bereavement, domestic abuse, or drug & alcohol abuse) but this will be agreed together.
We don't accept formal referrals
If you are working with a women who you feel may benefit from our peer-support services, please encourage her to contact us.
How you do ensure your services are safe?
The safety of our service users is very important to us, as everyone who is part of the Happy Mums team has had some form of lived-experience of perinatal mental health problems.
There are several ways that we make sure that we are able to keep everyone safe, including:
Training (Safeguarding training relating to both adults and children (mandatory); training in the facilitation of peer support groups (mandatory); Suicide Awareness training (optional); First Aid (optional); Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse training (optional);
Regular supervision of staff and volunteers with a BACP Accredited Supervisor, and ongoing support ;
Enhanced DBS checks for staff and volunteers;
Support Group Facilitators working in pairs;
Being clear on our remit as 'peer-supporters' - we are not here to replace clinical involvement, but to complement it;
Safeguarding policy and procedures, and Designated Safeguarding Lead;
Appropriate and up to date insurance.
How effective are your peer support services in prevention and recovery from perinatal mental illness?
Each woman who enrols on the #MumsTogether project completes a mood survey when she first accesses our services and at regular intervals thereafter. We use the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). We combine the results of these scales to track changes in mood.
Our latest report shows that 73.3% of our service users showed an improvement in their mood. There was an improvement rate of between 16% and 88%.
We also gather qualitative data to support the assessment of the impact of our services. In a recent questionnaire of our service users, 100% reported that being involved in the project had had a positive effect on their mental health (85% reported a very positive effect).