Support group help for mums feeling strain in Portsmouth

Midwife Julie Whitehead has set up a support group for mothers in Portsmouth
Midwife Julie Whitehead has set up a support group for mothers in Portsmouth

Funding for treatment to ensure better care

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IT CAN sometimes be hard to cope with the pressures of having a child or expecting a baby.

Now it is something that has been recognised by midwife Julie Whitehead, who decided to set up a support group for mothers in Portsmouth.

She, along with Tamsin Rowe-Davison, a psychological wellbeing practitioner, and Ingrid Stratton, a cognitive behaviour therapist, both from Solent NHS Trust’s Talking Change service, have launched Respond Portsmouth.

It is aimed at women who are pregnant and mums with children up to one years old, who are suffering from mild to moderate pre and post-natal depression (PND) or anxiety and live in the PO1 to PO6 postcode area and are registered with a GP.

Julie said: ‘Portsmouth has areas of social deprivation and isolated mothers, particularly navy wives. This project is for mothers with mild to moderate PND.

‘Severe cases will be managed by mental health services and the GP.

‘One in 10 mothers suffers post-natal depression and they must not feel alone.

‘Mothers can refer themselves by going online and filling in their name and contact details. They will then be contacted and assessed or they can be referred by GPs and health professionals.

‘If the mums are suffering pre or post-natal illness, they will be offered a place on our eight-week course, which includes cognitive behaviour therapy, as well as chat, support and fun with other mothers.’

The service recieved a grant of almost £24,000 from the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The group starts in September, where vacancies are available.

Dr Jim Hogan, the CCG’s chief clinical officer, said: ‘Improving services for children and families is one of our priorities. As with all the grants, we only wish we had more funds available.’

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