Concern over parents’ mental health during coronavirus lockdown
- Credit: Get Me Out The Four Walls
A charity has warned parents living with mental health problems could relapse due to ongoing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Kelly Moulds, representative of Get Me Out The Four Walls, which helps parents and carers across Norfolk and Suffolk who are either isolated or struggling with mental health problems including postnatal depression, said: “There will be a relapse in mental health because of this. It is going to be a slow process in terms of people getting back to where they were with their wellbeing and mental health before the lockdown. I hope the support will be there after all this finishes.”
But amid these concerns, Dr Rebecca Horne, consultant perinatal psychiatrist for the Norfolk and Waveney community perinatal service, has urged pregnant women and new mothers to seek help through their GP, midwife or health visitor.
Dr Horne said the essential service continues to run and has adapted during lockdown to include video and telephone consultations, although face to face appointments can still be done safely through staff wearing personal protective equipment.
Mrs Moulds added: “Because a lot of what we do is through physical meet-ups and getting people out of their houses the lockdown has had a huge impact on us.”
The charity, which started in Norfolk in 2015 and expanded into Suffolk in June 2019, was continuing its support through online videos, chats and its Facebook group.
MORE: Baby and toddler classes moving online to support parents during coronavirus outbreakSince March 2019-March 2020 the number of people it has supported through physical meet-up events in Norfolk is 2,330 and the number of people in Suffolk it has helped through meet-ups from June 2019-March 2020 is 403.
Dr Horne said: “We are noticing some mothers are experiencing an increase in their anxieties. The services are there. We are adapting how we provide care virtually. It can be a really difficult time for parents to be in isolation and not being able to see their family and friends.”
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She added the team, run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which currently helps between 300-400 people, was keen on providing support for pregnant front line workers.
Visit www.getmeout.org.uk or call the Samaritans’ on 116123.
Mother urges parents reach out to others in lockdown
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A mother who suffers with anxiety is urging parents to talk to friends and family to help ease mental health problems during lockdown.
Amber Ward-Goss, 27, from Downham Market, who has four children aged four months old, one, six and eight, said: “There are some days when I think I cannot do this and want to sit in the corner and cry but there are so many things people can do online. Keep talking to people. The lockdown is hard for everyone. Everybody is in the same boat. Reach out to people.”
Miss Ward-Goss, said she has always lived with anxiety and the lockdown brought back memories of being trapped in an abusive relationship, which she left in 2014.
But she added: “You have to make the most out of a bad situation. It is nice to get this time with the children.”
The ambassador for Get Me Out The Four Walls said the pressure of homeschooling was also adding to her anxiety.
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