I had a lovely phone call about 6 weeks ago informing me that I was being awarded the Prime Minister’s ‘Points of Light’ award for exceptional volunteers. Well, I’ve never been called exceptional before (blush!) but it was a wonderful surprise and I’m very proud that what started as a small personal recovery project is now a small *award winning* mental health charity.
I started the charity after my own experience of being admitted to an NHS Mother and Baby Unit after the birth of my 3rd child in 2016. Although grim at the time, I’m able to look back on the treatment I received with much relief and gratitude. I unfortunately went on to have a much less positive experience under the local mental health team I was referred on to. I often mention this- not to dwell on it- but because it made me realise:
1. How vital specialist perinatal MH services are
2. How receiving compassion, care and genuine kindness can completely make or break us.
So self-care matters as a charity sends free self-care boxes to women in NHS Mother and Baby Units. Women suffering from severe PND, postpartum psychosis, perinatal OCD, bipolar disorder, complex trauma, etc. The idea is that they are a free gift with no hidden agenda; a small way to offer connection and hope, at a time when it’s felt all hope is lost.
I had to wait a while but my certificate and letter from the Prime Minister arrived this week on my birthday.