Launch of new helpline to support lockdown mums
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 befriending support helpline in response.
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.
Kate Blakemore, Founder of Motherwell Cheshire & Trainer, Counsellor & Speaker
I am Kate, a mum of 3 beautiful children, one daughter and two sons. I love being a mum and enjoy every minute of it! But I am aware of how difficult being a mum can be. I have suffered a birth trauma, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and also one of my sons was very poorly when he was born, leading to 6 weeks in Alder Hey hospital. I write this to hopefully show that I come with passion and experience when I set up Motherwell Cheshire.
I set up Motherwell Cheshire In 2015 and since then it has gone from strength to strength and proving to me that the services that we deliver is important and needed, not just in Cheshire but everywhere! I always wanted to create a community of women that support each other and Motherwell does just that with intergenerational support.
I am passionate about women’s mental help and particularly mums who have had children taken into care. I am the organiser of both Crewe Women’s Day and Winsford Women’s Day, celebrating international Women’s day each year a celebration of local women inspiring and showcasing their successes to inspire and motivate the younger generation, as well as sharing success with peers.
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 Bayliss has been working as counsellor for Motherwell for eight months 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: [email protected]