Awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and Winner of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Perinatal Peer Support Awardperinatal mental health support
Celebrating our Achievements: A Summary of Mothers for Mothers’ Impact in 2022-23
Mothers for Mothers collected feedback from mothers we’ve supported over the year from April 2022 to March 2023 and would like to share some of the highlights. The services we’ve provided this year include:
- Telephone support and helpline
- Home visiting
- Peer support groups
- Peer support on the New Horizons Mother and Baby Unit (MBU)
- Art therapy and counselling (at the MBU and in the community)
- Antenatal groups
- Peer support for mothers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
- Trips and events
Improved mental health
72% agreed or strongly agreed that their general mood has improved, and they have felt less depressed (up 5% from last year).
“I felt like my mental health was going downhill quickly but once I started attending the group sessions, it improved just as rapidly.”
81% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt less isolated or lonely.
“It’s the village you need to raise a baby and helps the isolation you face in motherhood”
95% agreed or strongly agreed that they feel more reassured about what they have been experiencing (up 5% from last year). For mothers attending an antenatal group, this increased to 100%.
“Without Mothers for Mothers’ support I would’ve not known that my feelings were ok to have, that they didn’t define who I was, or as being a mum.”
72% of mothers agreed or strongly agreed that they give more importance and time to selfcare. For mothers accessing art therapy in the community, this increased to 100%
“I am now able to recognise moments when fear has crept in. I am able to give myself space when that happens, to recognise and deal with it in a more rational approach and be kind to myself if I can’t.”
65% agreed or strongly agreed that the relationship or bond with their child has improved. For mothers receiving home visits, this increased to 85%. For those accessing peer support on the MBU, it was 100%.
““I am able to accept myself and my past, the trauma of my child’s birth, and to allow myself to connect with my baby more.”
78% agreed or strongly agreed that they feel more confident in parenting their child. For mothers accessing peer support on the MBU, this increased to 90%. For those receiving home visits, it was 93%. For those attending an antenatal group, it was 100%.
“The sessions have helped me become more confident as a parent. It’s helped me trust myself and capabilities more.”
84% of mothers accessing art therapy on the MBU said that they feel more able to explain the way they feel and why to family members. For those accessing art therapy in the community, this increased to 92%.
“All of my relationships are a lot more calm. I feel a lot more empathy with my mum. I feel a lot closer to my partner. I feel a lot more love for my children, especially my daughter. This service from Mothers for Mothers is extraordinary! It has actually changed my life.”
Mothers valued a sense of safety across all our services. They felt that vulnerable or painful feelings could be shared without judgement.
“Mothers for Mothers has been my safe place when I’m feeling vulnerable.”
The power of lived experience
We understand the value of speaking with someone who has ‘been there’. Shared lived experience helps mothers to feel understood, reduces stigma, and promotes hope.
“The lived experience aspect was very important because it felt as if I was speaking to someone who understood where I was at that point in time.”
Continuity of care
Consistent support from named individuals helps mothers using our services to build trusting therapeutic relationships.
“I met [the peer support worker] during my stay in the MBU. I feel like the continuity of meeting her during my stay and continuing to work with her on discharge to be the most beneficial in terms of my recovery.”
Our services are designed so that supporters can accommodate different mothers’ needs and situations.
“The most helpful thing is how personal it is to me and how flexible the service is.”
‘Whole person’ approach
Mothers valued being able to access more than one of our services at a time and felt that they were viewed as a whole person rather than just from a perspective of their mental health.
“I felt I could talk about anything, that nothing was off the table. Life is not neat, and there are all kinds of elements that contribute to a person’s mental health – I was able to talk about anything with them. Nothing was too much trouble.”
No mother left behind
We aim to make our support accessible to all mothers, whatever their background or experiences. There are no lengthy or complicated referral processes when accessing our services.
“Everything felt so out of reach, so to be able to talk to someone without a lengthy referral process or jumping through hoops was a welcome relief.”
While we work with other services, we keep ourselves separate from them and from other support such as friends and family. This means that mothers can speak openly, and that we can prioritise their needs at all times.
“It’s been nice to vent to someone you don’t speak to usually. Having that has helped me feel much more positive and has helped my week going forward.”
Skilled and caring
❖ 100% rated the support from their home visitor as ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’
❖ 100% rated the support received from their art therapist as ‘excellent’ or ‘good,’ both on the MBU and in the community.
❖ 100% rated the antenatal groups as ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’
❖ 100% accessing MBU peer support rated it as ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’
“From the first person I spoke with over email, right through to therapy, I felt heard, validated, and held the whole time. It has been an extremely positive experience.”