Each year Romsey Mill’s Young Parents Programme (YPP) carries out a survey with all the young parents they have supported, to gain feedback about how they are, the support they have received and the impact that it has had in their lives.

84% of mums and 85% of dads who responded to last year’s survey said they sometimes struggle with their mental health.

These numbers did not come as a surprise to the YPP team, but renewed their desire to see what else could be done to support these parents.  

Mums talking on mums matter course

Mums Matter is an 8-session course, developed by CPSL Mind, aimed at women with children aged under 2 who are suffering from symptoms such as worrying thoughts, anxiety and postnatal depression.

It provides a collection of tools and reminders that attendees can use to nurture themselves to keep well and to strengthen social connections.

Whilst there have been Mums Matter courses running around the county (and nationally) for some time young mums have said to YPP staff that it was too difficult to access a group in a setting, and with people, with whom they were unfamiliar.

So, Judith Cork (YPP Coordinator) contacted Mind and asked whether it might be possible to run a course just for YPP mums.

Judith said:

The Mind staff were really keen on this idea and so, in September, we started our first course together.

The course was run by one of the Mind Perinatal workers and one of the YPP team and a creche was provided for the children.

Each of the 8 participants were seen 1:1 by the Mind worker before the course started and all the mums were contacted between each session to see how they were doing.”  

After they had completed the course, the mums were asked what difference it made to them.

They replied: 

  • Now I don’t have so many ‘melt downs’  
  • When something doesn’t go to plan ‘its not the end of the world’ 
  • I am communicating better with my partner  
  • I am not alone in the things I am going through 
  • I am less anxious about my health and my child’s health after a tricky start to his life  
  • Friendships are stronger  

Alison Mackie – Perinatal Project Worker, CPSL Mind, said: 

Working with the YPP team at Romsey Mill was fabulous.  I learnt so much about the struggles that younger mums face & can now improve my practice to support these mums better." 

"The fact that the mums were all engaged with your service & felt comfortable in the environment helped them to come regularly to each session.  Having Christian (YPP Young Parents Development Worker) who knew them was very useful. Interagency working can only have positive outcomes.” 

Mums matter folder

....and Dads matter too

Judith Cork said: 

Given the success of the Mums Matter course, we hope to make it a regular part of the programme and have decided to trial the Dads Matter course from February, for some of the young fathers that YPP supports.”