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This week is the UK’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week! We spoke to Stephanie, who works as a Health Link Worker for our service Step Forward Tees Valley. She also founded Raindrops to Rainbows, a Teesside charity, supporting mums and mums-to-be who are struggling with a perinatal mental illness.

This year, Raindrops to Rainbows are bringing their UK-wide campaign back to the North East for the fourth year running. Raindrops to Rainbows have had to adapt their campaign this year, to provide much-needed content and support online to parents across the region.

Last year they launched their ‘Tea for Me’ event, which is going ahead but with a slight twist! To join in with this year’s event, all you have to do is take a photo of yourself talking to friends via video call or on the telephone, to help raise awareness of talking about perinatal mental health!

Whilst many of the local authorities across the Tees Valley have had to postpone the lighting up of buildings due to COVID-19 (an event that normally takes place during the week), Redcar & Cleveland Council have confirmed they will still be lighting up purple during the week in support of the campaign. Cleveland Police are including the campaign in their ‘Blue on the Loo’ initiative, raising awareness of Mind’s Blue Light Infoline, which offers confidential support for the 999 team.

Stephanie is also a founding member of the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, alongside nine other charity colleagues, professionals, and campaigners. The partnership was founded in 2015, and just two years later they launched the first UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week.

Stephanie got involved because she wanted to raise awareness of perinatal mental health, after struggling with a psychotic episode and postnatal depression after the birth of her second child. Not wanting anyone else to feel alone, Stephanie created Raindrops to Rainbows.

Talking to us about the campaign, Stephanie said:

“Initially, we were unsure whether it would be viable to run the awareness week this year. However, as a team we agreed it was vital to continue with the campaign week to ensure there is support out there for these parents who need it most, especially given the current situation, with many new parents being isolated from their support networks.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Stephanie and the team for all their hard work, in continuing to run a nationwide campaign alongside their key worker roles!

For more information on perinatal mental health support, email support@raindropstorainbows.co.uk or follow Raindrops to Rainbows on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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