Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. Perinatal Peer Supporters will be parents who have experienced their own struggles with mental health during pregnancy or in the first year after birth and who want to use that experience to support other parents going through similar situations.
Perinatal peer supporters may work formally as part of your local specialist perinatal mental health team, complementing the work of specialist services and can help parents to feel genuinely heard and understood. Since the launch of the perinatal peer support principles in 2019, peer support in NHS perinatal mental health services has continued to expand and develop.
Other peer support may be offered on a voluntary basis, in person or remotely via video calls, email, phone and online. Many parents find it helpful to share experiences and find support from other parents via online Forums and many of the national support organisations. Parents 1st is a national charity and online community that provides a free, dedicated space for anyone involved in developing, delivering or receiving perinatal peer support, with lots of resources, parent stories, blogs and chat rooms to connect.
Every Wednesday 8-9pm via @PNDandMe
Hosted by Rosey Adams, mum of 3, with lived experience of antenatal and postnatal depression, the #PNDHour peer support twitter chat is a community of like minded individuals who can offer hope, encouragement and friendship.
PANDAS have a variety of support services for mums and dads who may be experiencing perinatal mental illness, including peer support groups, closed Facebook groups and a zoom call on Thursdays 8-10pm for parents to talk, connect and get advice with other parents and trained volunteers.
Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) offer a range of peer support options including an online peer support forum or one-to-one support for anyone who has had postpartum psychosis (PP), or experienced high mood or mania after the birth of their child, or is a partner or family member of someone who experienced PP.