Action on Postpartum Psychosis have been offering life-saving peer support to women and their families since 2012. Over the last ten years, I have delivered their peer supporter training sessions and created new resources for them.
Their peer support offering has gone from strength to strength. They now offer email and forum support, face-to-face meet-ups, cafe groups, and phone/video call options. We have trained women, grandparents and partners.
Most women had been discharged from their initial treatment before they sought peer support. They were at home with their baby, while dealing with medication and trying to make sense of their illness.
Over the last few years, APP has also been working with NHS Mother and Baby Units to offer peer support to women at an earlier stage in treatment. Early access to peer support for women, their partners and family can help improve outcomes for women with PP.
Peer support volunteers work in the units alongside NHS staff. APP asked me to write a leaflet to help NHS staff understand what peer supporters can and shouldn’t do in their role. This has recently been published. It is not currently online but I have included some excerpts here.