Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Child Health Promotion Programme

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sheila Shribman on Wednesday at Whitehall - thank you for your valuable time. She is the National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity Services. We discussed the new Child Health Promotion Programme which is hot off the press!

I am particularly impressed and pleased that one of the core elements of this concerns
'a holistic and systematic process to assess the individual child's and family's needs'. Of course part of this includes maternal mental health. I am continually made aware of the huge affects that poor maternal mental health can have on the child so am delighted that real efforts are being made to help.

I shall continue to do my 'bit' to ensure this happens. It is a well presented document and worth a read. Let's work together to put it into action!


Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Happy Birthday PaNDa!

I had the pleasure on Tuesday of spending the morning at PaNDa to celebrate their third birthday.
We had a feet pampering session!
In addition it was great for me to be on the 'listening' side as one of their members told of her decline and recovery of postnatal illness. It was very clear of the extremely positive effects of enabling mothers to get together to share their experiences and feelings as they go through this awful illness.

My time at PaNDa always inspires me to help get more support groups off the ground! Watch this space!

Many congratulations to the team at PaNDa - you have worked wonders and saved lives - long may you thrive!

Love to all,


Monday, 21 April 2008

Equality issues

I began this week with a lively review of the newspapers on Radio Merseyside Breakfast Show with Tony Snell.

Then I met up with a lovely lady called Christine Burns who has a consultancy called Just Plain Sense. One of her many strengths concerns equality issues. Have a look at

She interviewed me whilst we were sitting in a hotel! So if you would like to hear a summary of my story please follow this link -

Amazingly by that evening Christine told me that people had listened to it from Sri Lanka and the USA!

I then went onto speak to third year mental health students at Salford University. I used a couple of props for the first time after listening to my magician friend John Howtowka -

If you were there, what did you think?

Best wishes,


Thursday, 10 April 2008

Need some funding?

In my passionate quest to attend the Marce Society in Sydney next September I have been asking if anyone knows of any grants, etc. Wendly Pedley suggested The Nightingale Trust - thank you so much but sadly not for me!
However, that lead me to which is part of the National Institute for Health Research.

Quite often I am asked if I know of where people in the health professions can look for grants and funding. This looks a good place!

I am trawling through the listed items .. fingers crossed.

I had a lovely afternoon today speaking to third year midwifery students at Chester University - after initial problems with technology! Thanks for sticking with me ladies and good luck with your final exam in early June. I do love talking to student midwives as it feels me with optimism for the future of midwifery!

Now back to that list .....


Wednesday, 9 April 2008

It's not just the mum!

I am increasingly aware of the ripple effects of postnatal illness affecting far more than just the mother. This is always a point I make at my presentations. The partner has a tough time; the baby can; other close family; friends; society ...

But has anyone ever really got an account from an older sibling? What was it like to have all the excitement of an eagerly awaited brother or sister and when they arrive 'it' turns your mum into a potential 'monster'?

I have been asked if anyone knows of anyone who would be willing to share this aspect - Is there anyone out there talking about what it is like as a child of a mum with post natal depression and having to learn how to thrive in chaos?

Or at least a written account? Please let me know.

I have just read Michael Lurie's book ' My journey to her world' about his wife's puerperal psychosis. It is very easy and quick to read and great to hear a description from the male perspective.

Have a look at

I felt rather down today as Nick and I had hoped to be accepted for a business loan to help us out at the moment - we got bad news on that score. However, a fellow sufferer contacted me tonight who was having a much worse time than us and she ended her email with a reminder to herself of my words - 'Remember ... one day you will feel better'!

It put everything into perspective for me! So I'll keep smiling and aim to get my diary with more bookings!


Friday, 4 April 2008

Spreading the Word!

I have had a good week in trying to get my message 'out there'.

I am in the May edition of SHE magazine as part of a feature on Inspiring Women.

Also there is an article about me on the Great Ormond Street informative website.

I am also pleased that the Association of Postnatal Illness have added my book and website to their recommended ones!

Today I chatted to Dr. Peter Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal College of Nursing. He has described my presentation as 'moving and inspiring' and will be recommending me to others!

In addition I have been inspired myself by readers and delegates who have contacted me to comment how useful my book/talks have been from both a sufferer and professional aspect.

I really do appreciate this feedback as it motivates me to keep on trying to make a difference out there.

One comment that inspired me read 'keep on changing attitudes and inspire the world' - will do!

Best wishes,