Friday, 17 August 2012

Hi Everyone

We hope that you are all refreshed after the summer holidays and have your sanity still in tact now that the kids have gone back to school.  Everyone at Maws headquarters have all been on holiday and entertaining the children but now its time to get back down to work! All work here and exploring options and possibilities for the future, of which there have been many.

Over the summer we have had many more opportunities sent our way and we are mulling over and deciding exactly what to do , going back to our roots and beliefs which helped us come together to start this project and generally taking our time to make sure that the decisions that are made, are in the best interests of us all.

We have a few meetings in the not too distant future and we have been asked from a project down South, about the subject of holistic therapies in treating Perinatal Mental Health, as well as different ways that we as survivors, feel that women would benefit from this approach. One of the Maws was actually about to start a course in holistic therapies this month but due to pregnancy, will have to put that on hold for a year. Its is something though which two of the Maws do/did use, either through massage and reiki and something which helped when experiencing PND.

This is a very short update about what is going on and we should have more info after the 20th of August :) Looking forward to writing more, please watch our Facebook page and twitter updates for more info and  topics of discussion.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Welcome to Maws Blog

Hi everyone and welcome to the new Maws blog which we will be using to update you all on all things MAWS. We hope to be able to update on things such as events which we will be attending, any work that we have carried out with the media, and with the NHS as well as articles of interest that we feel we would like to discuss.

One of the most important updates this week is that we are being hosted by the Mental Health Network in Glasgow, who have allowed us to use their offices when we need to come in and do admin duties and to also hold meetings in should we require to do so. This is a very exciting development for us all and we are looking forward to working with them int he future.

Another area of development is the new website which is being worked on by our tech MAW, she is putting her skills to good use, and has managed to completely re design things in a very user friendly fashion for those who will be looking to view the website in the not too distant future. She has been a very busy MAW, and we are excited to see what she comes up with next!

Last week saw two MAWS attend the BBC studios here in Glasgow to participate in the BBC’s “Listening Project” which Becky Duff from the “See Me” Campaign, put us in touch with. It was a very liberating experience , we were made to feel at ease by the lovely Victoria who met up and explained what we were there to do.  It will be archived in the British Library as well as being available on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 4, and also on our own website once it has been edited and sent to us.

As you can see, we have been busy behind the scenes, and we have quite a few exciting opportunities coming up which we will continue to update via the blog, twitter, and our facebook page.

Possibilities Are Endless

We had a meeting with Heather Sloane and Ruth Donnelly about the direction  that we wanted to take with Maws and what we saw as the future of the group which has grown from strength to strength since our meeting last December.  I don't know if it was something that we had all thought of recently, I think we have all been working on different things and getting on with it as we do but without really knowing what the end goal was.

However, today brought us back to the original aim that we have all had collectively since day one, the goal which has always gotten us excited and gave us the will to work hard, through small hours of the morning, through kids running around and just through general chaos! Because that's what we do. Its the collective passion shared by 5 women who are determined to change things, who will change things and who have already started the process.

Today we were told about different avenues that we could explore, taking it back to the community,  to the involvement and the helping. Not so much the clinical side as such but still working along side them in order to gain understanding and insight and to work together in raising awareness and also to develop positive relationships ect.

We have a lot of work to go on now and some avenues to explore. We will be meeting again next month to pool all of our information together and to build a base from which to work from, and we are positive that there will be many great things developing from today's meeting.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Fathers Experiencing Perinatal Mental Health

If there are any fathers out there who are experiencing Perinatal Mental Health Issues, would you be interested in doing a short interview and answering a few quick questions for us? We would really like to have as much up to date information surrounding Dad's and how you feel. If we can get that info out it will help in breaking down stigma, and you can remain anonymous as well.

It can be done in a phone interview, face to face depending on where you are or by sharing your story should you wish to.

We can be contacted at our email address which is

Perinatal Mental Health Forum Meeting

If you have already read this and feel that it is a repeat post, it is as the original one was deleted by accident.

I was invited to attend a meeting of the Perinatal Mental Health forum on Monday 18th of June at Glasgow Caledonian University as a representative of the MAWS. I attended with Elaine Park of the Glasgow Mental Health Network who is hosting MAWS, and had been emailed a copy of the agenda for the day. I was especially interested in the talk which was going to be delivered by a trainee clinical psychologist about a study that she had been doing surrounding fathers and how perinatal mental health issues affect them.

Due to the study awaiting publication, I am not permitted to discuss in depth what the findings were but I can say that what has been done is certainly thought provoking and I do believe that it will have a major impact on fathers, which is long overdue. In my own personal opinion I feel that fathers are not properly represented and not a lot of work has been done to support them through their own experiences as care is more aimed towards the mother and child. It is of utmost importance that the child and mother are cared for but it is also as important that a father is not left to cope on their own with the feelings that they too are experiencing.

I took note of the fact that there hadn't really been any studies conducted since around 1988, and this worried me as there has been many stories in the media surrounding the stigma of mental ill health in men. I hope that this study will be made available soon and that others continue to follow up on the amazing work that this person has done. When it is made available we will ask for permission for publication.

Also, there may be scope for the MAWS group to work with Bi Polar Scotland as part of a patient focus group to help change the way in which services are delivered but this is in the early stages of development, will update if and when it goes ahead. Lots of exciting things happening but the most exciting is that we are being listened to and people are working together!