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These women have helped hundreds of new parents battle mental health issues

The Bristol Post’s Health and Care Awards are again for a second yr and we’re shining a light-weight on the individuals working onerous in our hospitals, docs’ surgical procedures, health centres and care houses to make sure we obtain the best help and remedy.

For many new parents within the metropolis, the truth of life with a fully-dependent toddler may be daunting, isolating and overwhelming. And for round 25 per cent of mums, submit being pregnant means having to cope with mental health issues together with melancholy and nervousness.

Thankfully parents in Bristol needn’t battle alone as Bluebell within the metropolis centre helps hundreds with an open door and a listening ear.

The centre is designed to look inviting and casual

The hub launched in October of final yr and has already offered many households with much-needed ‘time out’ periods and a bit of one-to-one help.

Now the group, headed by CEO Ruth Jackson and challenge supervisor Anna Thompson, is within the operating for Voluntary and Community Sector Team of the Year at this yr’s Health and Care Awards.

Since experiencing perinatal sickness herself 20 years in the past, Ruth has campaigned tirelessly to boost funds and consciousness of the situation in an try and de-stigmatise and normalise the difficulties confronted by many new parents.

Over the previous six years each Ruth and Anna have been delivering 11 week therapeutic programmes at native youngsters’s centres. From suggestions, the duo learnt that whereas the programmes have been useful to attendees, parents have been discovering that when the 11 weeks have been over they have been left to their very own units with out someplace they might flip to in the event that they felt they wanted additional help.

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This led to Ruth campaigning for funding to launch the town’s first ever perinatal mental health hub – Bluebell Place in Quay Street.

Receiving no statutory funding, the hub is run utilizing grants from Comic Relief and The National Lottery.

At the hub parents can take some ‘time out’, with the choice of leaving their little ones with a playworker whereas they obtain one-to-one help, take pleasure in a pamper session or participate in a crafting group.

The centre is open as a drop-in facility but in addition takes referrals from GPs, midwives and health guests.

Its small staff of Ruth and Anna, an occupational therapist and a pair of ‘buddies’ – in addition to helpers who have been helped by the service beforehand – run the centre daily on a five-day-a-week foundation.

Specialist teams embrace music for wellbeing, talks on feeding and sleeping for new parents, antenatal yoga, and knitting and crochet periods.

“Since opening we have had hundreds of parents through our doors who would otherwise have gone unsupported, felt very isolated and may well have gone on to become extremely unwell as they don’t meet current thresholds for support with their mental health,” stated Anna.

Messages of support at the hub
Messages of help on the hub

For a small charity Bluebell has achieved some fairly nice feats not simply regionally however throughout the nation.

It is a component of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and has contributed to the elevated consciousness of perinatal mental health by means of nationwide occasions, delivering coaching to health skilled, and informing coverage makers concerning the significance of peer-led help when serving to parents.

The charity has additionally just lately acquired funding from Comic Relief and the Little Something Fund to roll out a new group within the Torbay and South Hams space of Devon.

It has additionally efficiently utilized for pockets of funding to develop a new service in South Gloucestershire.

Asked what was the primary message Bluebell needs to convey to parents who assume they could need assistance, Ruth stated: “We need to ensure parents know that it’s extremely regular, one in 5 of all mums endure from it and one of the best factor you are able to do is speak about it.

“One of the issues we attempt to do at Bluebell is make our providers accessible to all – that is why we’re within the metropolis centre.

“So many parents who use our service have said they were shown that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that things will get better.”

If you require help from Bluebell go to or name 0117 922 0746.

To nominate your personal healthcare hero click here

Sponsor’s case research: Spire

Stop for a second and simply take heed to every little thing happening round you. Whether it’s the background noise of the tv, the whisper of the wind or the rumble of an engine – sound is a strong factor, which is usually taken without any consideration. However this isn’t the case for ten-year-old Ruby whose story begins after she had suffered from a number of ear infections.

After visiting her native GP, Lisa Jacobson, mom to Ruby, requested to be referred to a specialist at Spire Bristol Hospital understanding her personal health insurance coverage coated her daughter.

Within only a couple of weeks, she had the referral to see Mr Philip Robinson a advisor ear, nostril and throat (ENT) surgeon working at Spire Hospital.

“Ruby came to see me with a history of ear infections and hearing loss,” stated Mr Robinson.

“My examination revealed that she had continual ear infections because of cysts forming in each ears that have been eroding the listening to mechanism in her center ears.

“I defined to Ruby and her mom that operations can be wanted to take away the illness, restore her ear drum and attempt to save her listening to.”

Ruby had her first operation to take away the cysts again in May 2015. Since then Ruby’s remedy has continued with a surgical process to assist rebuild the center ear bones that had been eroded away by the cyst.

Lisa and Ruby Jacobson
Lisa and Ruby Jacobson

“Until we were referred to Mr Robinson we weren’t exactly sure what was wrong,” stated Lisa.

“All I knew was it was distressing for my daughter who was struggling with the ache of ear infections.

“Mr Robinson immediately got here throughout calming and compassionate. He might inform I used to be apprehensive, like several mother or father can be.

His strategy to my daughter’s situation was wonderful and I can’t fault the best way he made her and myself really feel comfortable in the course of the time in his care.”

Ruby has since recovered properly from her surgical procedure.

Spire Bristol Hospital is one of just a few personal hospitals within the space who provides a variety of procedures for youngsters of three years and over.

It has a devoted staff of extremely expert and skilled paediatric nurses and in addition has a paediatric excessive dependency unit, which permits it to hold out extra complicated paediatric instances not discovered at different personal hospitals.

Whether you’re paying for remedy your self or going via insurance coverage, Spire Bristol Hospital can supply remedy for everyone. For extra details about its providers name 0117 980 4080 or e mail

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