Being a parent can make all of us feel a little anxious at times. There’s so much to think about and sometimes it can feel like we’re not coping well. For Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2023, Rethink Mental Illness will be looking at how anxiety can affect people living with severe mental illness, what external factors can trigger this strong response, and what we can do to support our peers. They say:
“Everyone can feel anxious. But when you live with severe mental illness, anxiety can reach a whole new level. Stigma. Discrimination. Lack of support. Side effects of medication. Mania. Psychosis. Limited access to housing, employment, and welfare. These are all unique anxieties, faced on a daily basis by those of us experiencing mental illness.
But is that something you hear about often in today’s society? No.
This year, for Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to change that. We’re fed up with being told to have a bath or light a scented candle. The world is different if you experience a mental illness. It’s time for people to truly understand what it is like to live in our shoes. It’s time for a society that truly cares for people living with mental illness”
They will be releasing more resources nearer the time but here are some top tips on how you can help to feel less anxious:
All of our sessions are fun, relaxed and informal and are a great way for you to make new friends and talk with our Early Years Practitioners and other local parents. Our sessions include, starting solids, stay and play sessions and parenting workshops, all run by our team of highly skilled and friendly Early Years Practitioners who are there to answer any questions you may have about your child or their development. We have sessions all across the borough so if you are back at work part-time you should still be able to find something fun to do on our visit our website here, view our timetable and book your place on a session here.
Mindful Mums provide award-winning, free wellbeing groups that help women look after their mental and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy and their baby’s first year. Since it started in 2016, Mindful Mums has supported over a thousand women in Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich. These friendly and informal groups are run by trained parent supporters who will understand your anxieties and can help you find a way forward.
Having a baby isn’t easy at the best of times, especially with the modern-day demands of work, health and relationships, and traditional family support networks not always being an option. A Mindful Mums group or Zoom drop-in groups will help you navigate the path of new parenthood.
Mindful Mums drop-in sessions are held on Zoom every Tuesday, 10am – 10.45am. There is no need to register.
Being Dad groups are for expectant/new dads or men with parenting responsibility for babies and young children up to two years old. The groups help men look after their own health and wellbeing during a life-changing period of their lives. They’re a great way for Dads and male carers to talk about their anxieties surrounding being a parent or life in general.
Held on Zoom, the group is led by experienced fathers from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life.
This five-week course will help men learn how to:
• Understand the challenges of fatherhood
• Take better care of themselves
• Support their partners.
All while connecting with other dads who are living the same experience.
Among many other things, the course will cover:
- Identity Understanding your parenting identity/style & exploring the myth of a ‘Perfect Father or Parent’.
- Confidence Building confidence as a new parent or partner. Supporting your partner in your new parental role.
- Relationships Understanding the changing dynamics between you and your partner, family and friends.
Plus proven techniques for managing stress, tiredness and anxiety.
Provide a safe space for mothers of babies 0-12 months to talk about the complexities and issues related to their culture, upbringing and heritage with balancing the challenges of early motherhood.
These group will you help you flourish and can help with anxieties during your pregnancy. The group offers emotional and wellbeing support for women from 12 weeks pregnant to full-term, helping you to prepare for the life-changing journey ahead.
The Mindful Mums Postnatal group is a supportive, five-week course held on Zoom for mothers of babies 0-12 months old. Led by trained volunteers, the group offers emotional and wellbeing support, as well as the opportunity to connect to other new mums in your area.
The group provide a safe space for you and your baby, where you can share experiences, ask questions or give advice, learn tips and techniques for looking after your wellbeing, and connect with other new mums in your area.
The group is for first time, second time – or more! – mums of children 0-12 months old who live in Bromley, Lewisham or Greenwich.
Join a local Facebook Group
There are lots of Facebook groups for parents across the borough which share lots of useful advice and list activities in your area. You may find that you find parents like you who are also feeling anxious and looking to meet other new parents for a coffee and a chat. Here are some local ones:
- Brockley Mums – Let’s get together
- Bromley Mums
- Corbett Little Socialites – Parents from the Corbett estate in Catford
- Downham Matters
- Forest Hill Mums
- Friends of Honor Oak
- Hither Green Mummies & Daddies
- Lewisham Mums & Dads
- Sydenham Mums
- SE23 Mums