Aberlour Children’s Charity will use more than £400,000 to set up an initiative supporting vulnerable women in East Lothian with mental health issues surrounding childbirth
A grant from the Big Lottery Fund aims for the charity to tackle perinatal mental health concerns, these are issues arising during pregnancy and the first year after birth. They can include anxiety, depression and psychosis-related disorders.
It comes as the Royal College of Psychiatrists revealed that between 10 to 15 per cent of pregnant women develop “moderate anxiety and depressive illnesses”, a further 15 to 30 per cent of women will experience adjustment disorders and distress.
Worryingly, almost a third of mothers are described as having poor mental health at least once in their child’s first four years of life.
Aberlour’s Befriending and Understanding Mothers: Perinatal Support Service (BUMPS) bids to match mothers with volunteer befrienders, who are trained to provide emotional support and help drive a positive relationship between mother and baby.
Catherine Thomas, Head of Fundraising at Aberlour Children’s Charity, says a pilot scheme in Falkirk proved successful in tackling perinatal mental health illness and prompted the charity to extend it to East Lothian.
She said: “We are so grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for choosing us as recipients of the National Lottery Award. A grant like this is instrumental in enabling us to help pregnant women struggling with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
“We have already piloted the support service in Falkirk, so we know how important the initiative is to mothers and families. To be able to give this valuable training to our volunteers, equips them with the skills to make marked differences to the lives of those who they interact with and that’s something we are really thankful for.”
Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chairman, is hopeful the grant will prove beneficial to the East Lothian community.
She said: “I am delighted that Aberlour Children’s Charity has been successful in securing National Lottery funding.
"The award will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Aberlour Children’s Charity every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”
A pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned, can prove to be an emotional and stressful experience. For advice on how to support yours, or a loved one’s mental health, visit Counselling Directory.
For more information on Aberlour Children's Charity, click here.