Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a severe perinatal mental illness affecting about 1-2 in 1,000 births in the UK each year. APP’s dads & co-parents project, part of our national peer support service, was set up to support & improve the mental health of women who experience PP and their family members.
For the partners of women who have had PP, the experience can be bewildering, frightening & often lonely, especially in the acute phase when a mother is hospitalised. Partners are left shocked by the sudden onset of a rarely discussed condition, having to manage concern for their loved one’s care, finances & older siblings, looking after a newborn if the mother is being cared for in a general psychiatric ward or separation from their partner and baby if care is received in a Mother & Baby Unit.
APP runs a dedicated group to provide peer support & information. Dads & co-parents are connected with trained volunteers who have ‘been there’, via 1:1 telephone, video call or email support from a trained partner. We run a monthly group video call for dads & co-parents, a supportive & informal meetup for partners to meet others, share what has helped them & their family through the experience & provide a friendly listening ear.