A Cheshire charity for vulnerable women is warning that the mental health of new mothers is a major concern during lockdown and has started a unique new befriending support helpline.
The launch of Mums Uniting Mums (MUM) will coincide with Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (4-10 May) and is the brainchild of Motherwell – a mental health charity based in Crewe.
It offers vulnerable mothers and expectant women who are feeling isolated a dedicated befriender and will be accompanied by a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter (#mumstogether) to give help and guidance for those at risk of Post Natal Depression.
“The early days are such a crucial time for mums and can impact their whole experience of motherhood so we realised there’s an urgent need to help those feeling isolated and alone,” said CEO Kate Blakemore.
“Even if they seek help they’ll be placed on a waiting list in which time their mental health could well deteriorate. The support that’s usually offered from family and friends plays a vital part in settling into motherhood – someone offering a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on can make all the difference. I know it did for me.”
Mothers helped by MUM get a dedicated befriender with whom they can build a relationship.
The befriender will be a trained counsellor who will ring them frequently to discuss any concerns, link them to essential support services and can also help with practical support such as delivering food and medication if needed.
Dawn, has been working as counsellor for Motherwell for 9 years and says it’s crucial to offer the right support at the right time.
“The current climate is going to impact more people’s mental health than ever before so we’re trying to help prevent it reaching crisis point in new mums,” she said.
“With our help, they’re more likely to start the journey feeling calm and in control and remember the experience as a positive one.”
Those interested in a referral to MUM can email: firstname.lastname@example.org