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APP News February 2022: APP joins the Institute for Mental Health | Challenge yourself for APP | Café groups update | Midlands news | Wales MBU petition | 'after birth' | Pamper Packs | Fabulous fundraisers | Diary dates, events & more
APP joins the Institute for Mental Health

Dr Jess Heron, APP’s Chief Executive writes … 

"I am delighted to announce that Action on Postpartum Psychosis will join Birmingham University’s new Institute for Mental Health (IMH) – an inter-disciplinary research hub. The Institute spans many different mental health issues, featuring input from colleagues across Psychology, Art, Geography, Philosophy, Health Economics, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Social Work and Anthropology. IMH have a core purpose: to relieve the impacts of mental health problems – in a diverse and collaborative way. 

Interdisciplinary collaboration and connection is at the heart of APP’s work. We have sought to bring together families with experience, academics and clinicians to improve PP journeys and outcomes. We work with third sector organisations, universities, funders, and across the NHS to improve understanding and to action change. We seek to cross traditional boundaries in order to better understand PP, supporting work into symptoms and impacts, psychological therapies, sleep, genetics, to identify new drugs, as well as art workshops, poetry, film, theatre and information development projects. 

APP grew from a research panel in Birmingham University’s Department of Psychiatry, and we have been hosted by the Birmingham Medical School for the past ten years. We would like to thank the Medical School hugely for their support and we are delighted to have the support of the new Institute."

Active challenges for APP

Are you looking for a challenge in 2022?

If you’re planning to do something active this year you could turn it into a fundraiser for APP:

•    Take part in our #milesformumsandbabies challenge. Walk, run or cycle 10 miles, 20 miles, 500 miles or choose a distance with special meaning for you. Each mile reflects the journey mums, babies, partners and families travel to be together, whilst mums receive care in Mother and Baby Units.

•    Organise a fundraising event in your local area - from Art sales to Zumba, every pound you raise helps us to help more people affected by PP.

•    Skydive for APP! Would you like to enjoy the exhilarating and unforgettable feeling of a skydive; flying through the clouds from over 10,000 ft at up to 120 mph?

•    Having a clear out? Sell your unwanted items via Ebay for Charity and donate part or all of the proceeds to APP.

•    Kiltwalk in Scotland! Take part in a fab walking event with three distances to choose from, suitable for walkers of all ages and experiences, in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. Kiltwalk 2022. Registration is now open - search for routes and mileage as well as sign up on the website

Find out more about the amazing runs, cycles and activities that you can sign up for during 2022 here.

Whatever you are planning, email to tell us about your challenge and we can send you APP t-shirts, vests, balloons and other fundraising materials.
We are recruiting

APP is recruiting an Office Administrator and Fundraising Assistant to help manage our busy virtual office. We’re looking for someone to be the first point of contact for many people getting in touch with us online and via telephone. Applicants will need to be warm, resourceful, and passionate about providing high quality support to women and families affected by postpartum psychosis.

The Office Administrator and Fundraising Assistant will work closely with the Senior Management Team, our Lived Experience National Project Coordinators and APP’s Finance Administrator. Tasks include: responding to enquiries by phone and email; cascading enquiries out to the wider team; managing APP’s office systems and procedures; maintaining stocks of fundraising materials and literature held by APP staff and in UK-wide Mother and Baby Units; updating website content; and managing schedules for calls, meetings and events. The post also includes working with our Fundraiser to help manage APP’s communications with supporters and fundraisers. 

For more information and details of how to apply see our website. The closing date is midnight on Sunday 27th February.
Café groups update

We’re delighted to be starting a new café group for women and families in Scotland affected by PP. The group will be a mixture of virtual meet-ups on Zoom and face-to-face get togethers. The first session will be on Thursday 17th March, 7.30pm - 9pm on Zoom. Please get in touch with Ellie if you have experienced PP, live in Scotland and are interested in joining the café group.

The Scotland group will take our number of regional café groups to 9. Others operate in South Wales, North Wales, Sussex and Hampshire, Yorkshire, North East, Lancashire and Cumbria, Birmingham and London. For the most up to date details on the groups go to our Facebook events page.

We also have regular group video calls for grandparents, as well as partners of women who have experienced PP. 

Grandparents: Our group video calls are for any grandparents who are supporting, or have supported, their children through postpartum psychosis. We have new meetings scheduled for March and April. If you’d like to join, please email Ellie.

Partners: If you are a partner who has supported a mum during postpartum psychosis Simon and Chris, our Partner peer support facilitators, run a monthly zoom call. To sign up, email Simon
Sign up issues

We had a delivery problem with our website Sign-up Form for a few weeks in January. This meant that we didn’t receive new joiner requests. If you signed up to receive information from the APP Network using the web form during this time but have not heard from us - please fill in this form again. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.
North Wales Mother and Baby Unit petition

The petition for a Mother and Baby Unit for families in North Wales received almost 8,000 signatures and is likely to be debated this month by Senedd Cymru (Welsh Parliament). 

The petition was started by APP storyteller, Nia Foulkes, who shared her postpartum psychosis experience and why she began her campaign on ITV Wales and with North Wales Live

If you’d like to support the campaign, you can:
  • Join our Wales café group and tell us more about your story of gaining care for PP in Wales – email Ellie. We are so grateful for the support of APP’s South Wales café group in campaigning for Uned Gobaith (Unit of Hope). The group will continue to support our work linking closely with the unit.
  • Share our #keepmumsandbabiestogether social media posts leading up to the debate that might be held in Senedd. We will keep you posted when the date is confirmed. You might want to post on social media about why MBUs are important to you personally, and tag @actiononpp along with your Senedd Member. If you need any help with this, or any images or graphics, please do get in touch with Jessie via email. You can find your Senedd Member’s details here
  • Complete the survey below about your perinatal experience in Wales. This survey has been put together by The Women's Health Implementation Group (WHIG), the Perinatal Mental Health Network (PNMH) and Social Change UK. 
My Perinatal Experience survey in Welsh.
My Perinatal Experience survey in English.
  • Take part in a public consultation on inequalities in mental health care in Wales by 24th Feb. You can share your own experience of perinatal care in Wales by emailing – information on the consultation can be found here. APP will be writing a response as an organisation, outlining the inequalities that arise due to lack of a MBU in North Wales. To share your views with us, email Naomi
Women and bipolar survey

The Bipolar Commission has launched a new survey to find out more about how bipolar can affect women at different stages of life.

If you have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, we would be grateful if you could fill in the Bipolar-UK survey, which takes around 20 minutes. The findings will be used to advocate for better care for women who live with bipolar.

You can find out more and take the survey here.
Maternal Mental Health Alliance report

A new report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance shows that investing in training for midwives and health visitors, and recruiting more specialist perinatal mental health midwives and health visitors could save the NHS up to £52 million over the next ten years by ensuring that women receive timely support. This investment could also improve the quality of life for women and their families with an estimated £437 million saving more than ten years on costs to society such as loss of employment due to poor mental health.

Luciana Berger, Chair of the MMHA, says: "It is vital that we make it easier for pregnant women and new mums to access mental health support during routine contacts with their midwives and health visitors."

Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Centre for Mental Health, says: "Supporting midwives and health visitors with the training and time to meet women’s mental health needs is a sound investment that could make a difference to many thousands of women and their families.”

The role of midwives and health visitors is critical in identifying postpartum psychosis and ensuring that women receive the support they need.

APP has delivered lived experience talks and training to more than 13,500 midwives, health visitors and other health professionals, enabling them to have greater confidence in identifying and responding to postpartum psychosis. To find out more about our training programme, please email us.

APP fully supports the recommendation to invest in more midwives and health visitors, providing the time and funding they need to train in perinatal mental health.  

Read more about the report here.
Midlands callout

APP has projects to provide peer support in the Birmingham and Black Country areas, working in partnership with two NHS Trusts - Birmingham & Solihull and Black Country Healthcare. Peer Support Facilitators support women and families both in the Birmingham Mother and Baby Unit and community mental health teams.  

The café groups are open to anyone who has experienced PP, whether recently or longer ago. We'd love to hear from anyone who is interested in coming along and meeting others. We will also be planning more peer support volunteer training days later this year, to support these projects.  

You can find café group dates on our Facebook events page and can also email or to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you. 
'after birth' tour

The play ‘after birth’ is returning to the stage for a UK tour. It is a dark comedy deeply rooted in the testimonials of women who have experienced postpartum psychosis and is set in a Mother and Baby Unit. The main character, Ann, has a bipolar diagnosis and is experiencing postpartum psychosis. 

Written by Zena Forster and directed by Grace Duggan, ‘after birth’ opens at London’s Omnibus Theatre this month before setting off on a tour that will take in venues in Norwich, Graves End, Wolverhampton, and Lyme Regis throughout March. 

APP is delighted to support the tour. Members of our staff team were impressed with its sensitive portrayal, authenticity and use of dark comedy to reach new audiences by both entertaining and informing. We’ll also be at some of the performances listed below – do come and say hello, meet a peer supporter and pick up some of our literature. 

You can see the play at:
LONDON, Omnibus Theatre: 22 - 26th February 2022

NORWICH, The Garage: 11th March 2022

LONDON, Omnibus Theatre: 15th March 2022. There will also be a panel discussion following this performance featuring APP National Coordinator Training and Research, Dr Sally Wilson.

GRAVESEND, The Woodville: 16th March 2022. Tickets are available here for this performance at the discounted rate of £10 for members of the APP Network using the code BIRTH10.

WOLVERHAMPTON, Arena Theatre: 18th March 2022

OXFORD, North Wall: 23rd March 2022. There will also be a panel discussion following this performance featuring APP Chief Executive, Dr Jess Heron.

LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre: 24th March 2022

To book tickets for the performances click here. Some venues are offering group rates. To find out more about group ticket offers, contact theatre box offices directly.
Shop - and support APP

APP is now registered with eBay for Charity.

You can support APP whenever you use the site to sell. When you list an item, just choose APP as the charity you want to support and the percentage you want to give. You can also add Gift Aid.

Amazon Smile and Give as you Live

You can also help to raise money for APP by signing up to Amazon Smile and Give As You Live.

Amazon Smile is operated by Amazon and features the same products. When you shop on Amazon Smile, 0.5% of the cost of products are donated to your chosen charity. Sign up to Amazon Smile here. If you’ve already got an Amazon account, log in as normal and search for Action on Postpartum Psychosis on the right-hand side of the screen. Click to accept us as your chosen charity and you’re ready to start shopping!  

Find out how to turn on Amazon Smile in the mobile app here. Amazon will automatically donate as you buy.

If you use the Chrome web browser you can make it even easier by using Smilematic, a free Chrome extension that will automatically turn your everyday Amazon purchases into AmazonSmile donations. You can download Smilematic here
Pamper Packs and spring bulb planting

A huge thank you to APP volunteer Gemma for organising Pamper Packs to be delivered to each of the UK’s 22 Mother and Baby Units (MBUs). Gemma delivered pamper packs to the Derby, Nottingham and Stafford MBUs in December, and APPs Black Country Peer Support Facilitator Jo Derry helped to send Pamper Packs to the other MBUs in January.

The packs included items donated by Boots UK and Soap & Glory alongside our peer support information.

Gemma says: “I suffered with postpartum psychosis in 2017. Through this I gained an understanding of severe anxiety and depression and I trained as a peer supporter in 2018 to support others through their recovery journey. I also support the Birmingham project through attending the café group and really enjoy making a positive impact on others’ recovery. At Christmas 2019, I returned to my own MBU in Stafford and was able to thank staff and deliver Pamper Packs to the mums there. At Christmas 2020, and again in 2021/22 we managed to reach every MBU in the UK. I feel this is important for mums not only to promote relaxation and self-care, but to raise awareness of APP, the support available and the ways in which they can get in touch.”

We have received lovely feedback from MBUs across the UK.

Spring bulbs: Gemma (pictured above, centre) has also been sourcing donations of garden bulbs to give to the UK’s 22 MBUs to help brighten up their grounds.  

Gemma teamed up with APP’s Peer Support Facilitators Natalie Thompson and Joanne Derry (pictured above, left) in January to plant bulbs donated by J. Parker's Dutch Bulbs in the ward gardens at Derby MBU.


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 9th October in London. The 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.

2022 virtual London Marathon. APP has three charity places in this year’s virtual TCS London Marathon which takes place on Sunday 2nd October. Participants will have 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles on the course of their choice. Please email if you are interested in being one of our three runners.

Miles for Mums and Babies Challenge. APP would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is supporting our #MilesForMumsAndBabies challenge. We’re aiming to raise more than £10,000 to support our work by asking people to walk, run or cycle 10 miles, 20 miles, 500 miles or even 1,000 miles! Each mile reflects the journey mums, babies, partners and families travel to be together, whilst mums receive care in Mother and Baby Units (MBUs). We’ve had a fantastic response to the challenge so far. And we’d like to thank the #MilesforMumsAndBabies fundraisers who have completed their challenges. They include;

Stephanie Fakharzadeh who received care in an adult psychiatric ward in the USA in 2020 after giving birth to her daughter. Covid-19 restrictions meant she wasn’t allowed to see her baby for five days. Stephanie has walked 100 miles during 2021 – the round-trip distance it would have taken for her to visit her daughter once a day during her hospital stay. She was joined by others on her fundraising walks to share postpartum and perinatal stories and to offer support. Stephanie has raised more than £1,070 for APP. You can still donate to her challenge here.

Debbie Sells, the Ward Manager on the MBU at Nottingham, who covered more than 1,000 miles during 2021 through a combination of walking and running. She has worked on the ward for 24 years, and the 1,000 miles represents the long distance many families travel to receive specialist inpatient care. Debbie says that APP provides vital support for women and families who experience maternal mental illness. Debbie has raised more than £980 for APP. You can still donate to her challenge here.

Mum Poet Club zine. The Mum Poet Club’s November zine was a special edition guest edited by APP ambassador Laura Dockrill. "And How Is Mum" features beautiful, illustrated poems on the theme of identity in motherhood, each poem selected by Laura. The Mum Poet Club donated all profits made from the zine to APP and has raised more than £1,000. We would like to say a huge thank you to The Mum Poet Club for supporting APP and to all who have bought copies of the zine. You can order your copy here.

No sugar January. APP Chief Executive, Jess, and her family were sponsored to go without cakes, chocolate, sweets, and biscuits in a ‘no-sugar January’ challenge raising more than £1,100 for APP.  

We welcome new Facebook Fundraisers each month, 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. 

Wellbeing boxes. Thank you to Rachel Lucas who is helping to raise money for APP with her wellbeing boxes, supporting women in pregnancy and postpartum. Rachel developed PP in the days following the birth of her daughter and spent six weeks in Leeds Mother and Baby Unit. She has now developed the ‘Blooming Mum to Be’ and ‘Brand New Mum’ boxes which she is selling via her website, donating some of the profits to APP and PANDAS Foundation.

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 Birmingham/Solihull face to face café group meet up, Wednesday 23rd February: APP Facebook events page

APP Grandparents virtual café group, Thursday 3rd March: APP Facebook events page

International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8th March

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

APP North East and Cumbria face to face café group meet up, Monday 14th March: APP Facebook events page

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

Comic Relief Red Nose Day, Friday 18th March

World Sleep Day, Friday 18th March

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

World Storytelling Day, Sunday 20th March

World Poetry Day, Monday 21st March 

Mother’s Day (UK), Sunday 27th March 2022

APP Sussex and Hampshire virtual café group meet up, Wednesday 30th March: APP Facebook events page

World Bipolar day, Wednesday 30th March http 
Upcoming conferences and events

From Harm to Hope: Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Conference, launch – Tuesday 1st March.
Online conference featuring pre-recorded sessions with speakers focusing on self harm prevention. Book tickets here

Saving Babies Lives: Reducing Stillbirth, Wednesday 27th April
Online conference looking at actions to achieve 50% reductions in stillbirth by 2025. The conference will also include updates on Saving Babies Lives during the Covid-19 Pandemic as well as sessions focusing on reducing inequality and improving care for mothers from diverse communities. Book tickets here

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Show, Tuesday 10th May
Day-long show at Cardiff City Hall with seminars focusing on topics including coping with mental illness, supporting others and promoting positive mental health. Book tickets here.

If you would like to advertise your event here, please get in touch:
Copyright © 2022 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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