Suffolk Libraries provides additional services to communities and organisations such as local ‘pop-up’ provision, prison libraries and a mental health service.
A grant from the Realising Ambitions – East Fund will enable Suffolk Libraries to run the ‘Me, Myself and Baby’ project, which launched officially on 13th July. Two groups of staff have completed online Perinatal Mental Health Awareness training in order to provide appropriate support to mums. Light touch support is available to mums by email and two online coffee catch ups are planned – these will be followed by additional groups.
Before Covid-19, Suffolk Libraries would have offered a Mum’s Matter course, but this has been replaced by referrals to Suffolk Mind for counselling where needed.
We are thrilled to finally be able to launch Me, Myself and Baby. Despite the challenges presented to us during this difficult time, we have worked hard alongside partners to develop and adapt our offer. Whilst the service may not be how we had initially planned, we hope we will still be able to connect with and help support many parents and carers in Ipswich and East Suffolk.
Perinatal mental health is hugely important, but is a part of mental health still not talked about and surrounded by stigma. It’s especially important at this time, that mums and families know there is support out there. As a library service, we have a long history of supporting new parents and we feel this project, working alongside expert partners, only helps strengthen this. Whether it is the middle of the night when the baby is awake, or at the end of a long day caring for a newborn child whilst home schooling, the message is the same – ‘you are not alone’.