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During pregnancy and after, mothers can sometimes experience feelings of exhaustion, loss of identity, loneliness, or isolation. It’s so important to know that these feelings aren’t uncommon.

If you live in the north east of Northumberland, you might have heard of, or maybe even received support from our pilot Maternal Mental Health Support Service (MMHSS).

Our Maternal Mental Health Link Workers give valuable, personalised support to mothers or birthing people who feel like they’re struggling with their mental health.

This support can include:

  • Practical support to manage panic or worry.
  • Support to connect with family and friends.
  • Help with attending appointments.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

Steffen, the service’s Team Manager, said:

“The Maternal Mental Health Support Service and its impact on the people we support has gone so far beyond our expectations. Our team is so proud to be part of this prototype, supporting these mums in what’s important to them.”

“Often, mothers come to us with the belief that they are a “bad” mum because they feel overwhelmed by expectations of what society believes to be a “good mum”.

“Our link works help mums to change their perspective and look at all their accomplishments, as well as explain that asking for help is not failure but rather that it is just a very human thing to do.”

“Standing in front of a mountain of tasks to solve can feel paralysing; our Link Works help mums break their tasks down, problem-solve, and regain their autonomy.”

In the last year, our team has:

Hearing the voices of the people we support is so important in developing services and delivering them in the way that works for people and communities.

Let’s hear from someone who has felt supported by the MMHSS:

“You don’t think how much having no hot water, or being late dropping your child off at school can really get on top of you, but it was all mounting up. I think just having somebody by your side saying yes, this must be difficult, makes you realise you’re not just pathetic. I think if I hadn’t addressed these things, everything would have gotten bigger, and it would get harder.”

“Helping me to nip things in the bud has made such an enormous difference. Mental health isn’t always about being rock bottom. It’s about stopping it from getting to that.’’

This service provides really important preventative support and reduces demand on the health and care system, by addressing health inequalities and social factors that impact people’s mental health.

Read more about the Maternal Mental Health Service Programme.

The delivery of this maternal mental health initiative was supported by transformational funding from the North East & North Cumbria Integrated Care System. Working with the North East and North Cumbria Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Network, with support from VONNE and Cumbria CVS, this project is helping to build capacity and integrate VCSE sector link work provision and peer support into maternal mental health service pathways.

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