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APP News December 2021: Merry Christmas from APP | Peer Support | 2021 Mother and Baby Unit survey | 10 years of APP  | Global poetry competition | Fabulous fundraisers | Dates for your diary | Events

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us all at APP!

A message from APP's Chief Executive, Dr Jessica Heron

"Twelve months ago, I, like everyone else, was hoping the new year would bring a return to normality after the difficult first months of the coronavirus pandemic. Continuing restrictions and uncertainties arising from new variants of the virus mean it has been a tough year yet again for all of us – but particularly for new mums and families.

As we at APP prepare for 2022, we’re making sure we continue to meet the demand for social connection and peer support within our community. We are continuing to build our peer support staff team, so that more women and families are able to access information, specialist support and the care that they need. We’re reaching people earlier in the illness with more embedded Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) projects; planning regular activities with partners and grandparents; and outreach activities to support more women from Black, Asian and other backgrounds. We are also able to support people for longer after postpartum psychosis (PP), via our expanding network of café groups, online activities, and our growing team of peer support volunteers able to support with: parenting after PP, planning pregnancies, managing bipolar, navigating menopause, and even becoming a grandparent after PP.

Our Mother and Baby Unit campaign will continue, in order to demonstrate to the country how important MBUs are to the women and families we support. We’re planning to recruit more volunteers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and North Wales to help with campaigning in these regions. We will continue to press for all UK units to be adequately resourced – including with access to specialist peer support.

We’ll keep delivering expert training to health professionals, and are intending to add e-modules to extend our reach. We are also planning a project to encourage the inclusion of information about PP in antenatal class education.

We will be taking on our first professional fundraiser next year, and work is planned for upgrades to our website and the methods we use to engage with our community. We’ll also be announcing some new research collaborations in the new year.

I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their dedication and hard work under difficult circumstances this year. I’m constantly amazed and moved by the passion with which our growing community supports each other.

At APP we are all too aware that, for some women and families, Christmas and New Year can be an incredibly difficult time. It’s a time when losses are felt more keenly, and for those with loved ones spending Christmas in an MBU or struggling with recovery, it can be a particularly hard time of year. Please know that you are not on your own. We are thinking of you and our peer supporters are available every day of the year on our

Wishing you, your family and friends a safe and happy festive period”. 


Peer Support Over the Christmas Period

Our Forum is manned every day over the Christmas period by staff and volunteers. If you would like to talk to others who have been there, please get in touch:

If you are emailing the APP office, or requesting one to one email or video call support over the festive period, please bear with us. It may take a few days for us to get back to you. 

APP's 2021 survey

Our survey into women’s experience of care for PP will remain open through the Christmas and New Year period for you to take part in if you haven’t done so already. We want to find out about the changes that have happened since our first survey of care for PP ten years ago.

We’re aiming to find out more about inequalities in access to Mother and Baby Units across the UK and the impact of this on recovery outcomes for women and families. The survey asks how many women were treated in MBUs and how far you had to travel. It also looks at the benefits of MBU care versus other forms of care. 

The survey takes around 30 minutes to fill in and will be so important in helping with our campaigning over the next 10 years. Follow this link to complete it before 6th January 2022. If you have received the survey through the post, please make sure you return it to us by the same date. 

If you would like help with any issues raised by this questionnaire, please get in touch with us via email or visit our community forum. Our Lived Experience Coordinators can talk to you about the support and information available from APP. 
10 years of APP
We are working on a report celebrating what APP has achieved in our first 10 years as a charity. As part of this we are gathering together images old and new to illustrate all we have been doing over the past decade. Do you have any images, photos or artwork that you would like to contribute? We would love to receive any images that haven't been given to us already that show different aspects of our work, events and activities over this time - whether taken 9 years ago or just this year. 

We are particularly looking for -

•    Photos of APP`s training courses and talks
•    Pics taken with NHS staff, and images in or of hospitals or Mother and Baby Units
•    Campaigning images
•    Photos of meet-ups, workshops, café groups and APP get-togethers
•    Volunteering images, including media volunteers being interviewed or filmed
•    Artworks that describe the experience PP, recovery, social connection, or relate to any part of our work.

We would also like any videos - perhaps you took some video at an event or have some of you on a fundraising run, swim or cycle? If these are large files, we can arrange a way you can send them to us. If you are currently taking part in or training for a fundraising event, maybe you could take a little bit of footage to share with us? A few things to bear in mind before sending your images -

•    We need to be able to check that the people in the photo are happy for us to use it (unless they are in a large crowd or in a public place).
•    We need to be able to check with the photographer that we can use the photo. If this happens to be a professional photographer we still need to be able to contact them to credit them (we can help with this).
•    The larger the resolution (file size) the better - so if you have the image saved in a small file size and in a larger file size, we would prefer the larger one as this allows us to reproduce it in the best quality.

Share your photos and consent via this form or email us. 

Thanks so much – we’re looking forward to seeing your photos and videos. 
Global poetry competition

People with lived experience of mental health problems are being invited to submit a poem to the Lancet Commission on Stigma and Experience in Mental Health.

The poems should be no more than 250 words and refer to experiences of mental health stigma or of how to reduce or overcome stigma.  One submission per author is allowed. 

The deadline for work to be considered for inclusion is 31st December 2021. We’d love poetry by APP members to be included. Poems should be sent to: 

We'd like to add your poetry to APP's creative webpages too. Please send your work to and we'll update the site in the new year.


We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of our fundraisers. We would like to thank everyone who has hosted an event in aid of APP, as well as those who have donated; your support really is appreciated.

2022 Royal Parks Half Marathon. We have two charity places in the 2022 Royal Parks Half marathon which will take place on Sunday 9 October in London. The stunning 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. Please email if you are interested in being one of our two runners.

Kiltwalk 2022. Registration is now open for next year’s five Kiltwalk events. If you’re able to take part to raise funds for APP you can search for routes and mileage as well as sign up on the website. All money raised will receive an extra 50% thanks to Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation.

There are lots more ideas here about fundraising for APP in 2022.

We would like to say a huge thank you to the #MilesforMumsAndBabies fundraisers who have completed their challenges:
As a team of 11, Rachel Lucas and her family and friends walked 1,400 miles for APP during November. Rachel experienced PP two years ago and spent six weeks in Leeds MBU. She is one of APP's trained Peer Support Volunteers and an APP fundraiser. Rachel and her team have raised more than £360 for APP and the donations will be matched by her employer. You can still donate to their challenge here. Rachel also sells ‘Blooming Mum to Be’ and ‘Brand New Mum’ boxes via her website, donating some of the profits to APP and PANDAS Foundation.

Facebook Fundraisers: Each month, we welcome new Facebook fundraisers, many of whom have supported APP and raised awareness of postpartum psychosis by holding a birthday fundraiser. It has been lovely to celebrate your special day with you. 

If you are a keen runner, walker or cyclist, please join our Active APP Facebook group. We are planning some exciting active challenges for 2021, and would love our cyclists and active supporters to join us for these fundraising and awareness raising challenges. 

If you have any fundraising ideas or would like to get involved, contact fundraising@app-network for more information. We would love to support you. To keep up to date and support our fundraisers click here.

Dates for your diary


APP North East and Cumbria face to face café group meet up, Monday 10th January 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Yorkshire virtual café group meet up, Thursday 13th January 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Partners virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 19th January 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP London virtual café group meet up, Thursday 20th January 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Birmingham/Solihull face to face café group meet up, Wednesday 26th January 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP London face to face café group meet up, Saturday 12th February 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Partners virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 16th February 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Birmingham/Solihull face to face café group meet up, Thursday 17th February 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Yorkshire virtual café group meet up, Thursday 17th February 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP North East and Cumbria face to face café group meet up, Monday 21st February 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP London virtual café group meet up, Thursday 10th March 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Partners virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 16th March 2022: APP Facebook events page

APP Yorkshire face to face café group meet up, Saturday 19th March 2022: APP Facebook events page
Upcoming conferences and events

London Maternity and Midwifery Festival, Tuesday 18th January 2022.
The first in the Maternity and Midwifery Forum’s 2022 series of regional and national festivals. Free of charge to all practising maternity and midwifery professionals and student midwives. Book tickets here

Perinatal Mental Health Services: Improving access and support, Wednesday 2nd February 2022
Virtual conference focusing on improving perinatal mental health services as well as access and support during and beyond Covid-19. Book tickets here. Members of the APP network will receive a 20% discount with code: hcuk20app.

If you would like to advertise your event here, please get in touch:
Copyright © 2021 Action on Postpartum Psychosis, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Action on Postpartum Psychosis
PO Box 137

T: 020 33229900

Action on Postpartum Psychosis is a Charity Registered in England and Wales (no. 1139925) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (no. 7466643). Registered address: Action on Postpartum Psychosis, International House, 12 Constance Street, London, E16 2DQ.

APP is a founder member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. You can find out more here.

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