Perinatal Community Support team
The Perinatal Community Support Service looks after mums to be, new mums and families who are likely to, or are experiencing, problems during the perinatal period – the time during pregnancy and the first year after a birth.
Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind has been working with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust Perinatal Mental Health Service since July 2016 to provide timely access to care and treatment for women experiencing severe mental illness during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth (the perinatal period).
In 2018, the Perinatal Community Support Service was presented with the Team of the Year award in recognition of their dedication and cross-sector, multi-agency work to support perinatal women in the Bromley Borough.
The team provides specialist support to avoid relapse and reduce admissions from women with a high risk of mental illness, including women with a previous post-partum psychosis or bipolar affective disorder as well as serious depressive illness.
The Perinatal Community Support Service, which is managed by Jackie Hufford, only accepts referrals from the Perinatal Team to work collaboratively with these women, their families and other professionals to offer:
- Advocacy or advice to women and their families relevant to their situation.
- Individual, person-centred planning to identify and achieve their personal goals.
- Support with resilience-building, so that women can manage their own mental health when feeling overwhelmed.
- Encouragement with engaging in the local community by attending groups through the children centres and other community-based services and resources.
- Signposting and referrals to other services and groups, including peer-run, mums’ support groups.
BLG Mind Perinatal Services lead, Jackie Hufford, said: “I am so proud to have been able to work with and support so many amazing women since this service started in 2016. Going on this incredible, if not emotional at times, rollercoaster journey to support women through some very difficult and tricky situations. Building trust and keeping faith in working towards wanting the best positive outcomes for women and their families.
“I really appreciate a number of mums who wanted to give back and have volunteered to run the café meet-up groups and to facilitate the mums’ support groups.”
"Jackie has been an incredible support to me and has helped me so much with my mental health, from the early days of my pregnancy to my son now reaching eight months. Without the support of Jackie, I would have really struggled on my new journey to motherhood."