Being a new parent can be hard. Hundreds of parents across West Sussex with young children (0-5) suffer alone with mental health issues every year (both during and post-pregnancy). Parents can suffer very low moods, feelings of isolation and the pressures of coping with perinatal and postnatal depression & anxiety. Our ‘Families in Mind’ project helps to support these parents and their families.

Parents are offered 1:1 sessions with a qualified parental mental health recovery worker and, when ready, encouraged to attend group sessions where they can meet other like-minded parents who have had similar lived experiences. Forming friendships and building support networks can be vital in the recovery and resilience of a parent suffering with their mental health.

The group sessions are based on a variety of activities with a focus on:
a) Mental health awareness and coping mechanisms;
b) Nurturing the bond between mother (or father) and child.

On top of providing a chance for mothers (and fathers) to share their experiences and anxieties in a safe and relaxing environment, these group sessions are also about having fun.

The project is based at the following Children and Family centres: Bognor Regis, Worthing and Chichester. Having the sessions at the children and family centres make the service accessible and convenient, with crèche facilities available if needed.

Families in Mind is not just for parents, but also beneficial to the babies and children involved. Giving opportunity to socialise with other children (which they may have been deprived of through their parent’s isolation).Facilitating quality time for bonding between parent and child is beneficial in preventing future developmental, socialising and learning issues in the child’s future.