29 April 2019
Staff Nurse and former patient smashes fundraising target for mother and baby mental health unit
A mother from Bath, who suffered Post-Partum Psychosis after the
birth of her twins, has raised almost £1,000 for Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust's New Horizon Mother and
Rosita Edwards, who is a Staff Nurse at the Royal United
Hospital in Bath, completed the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 17
March, smashing her fundraising target of £750 and raising £985.
The money will be used to support the work of the specialist
inpatient service in Bristol which provides help to mothers
struggling with a pre-existing mental health diagnosis or those
that begin to struggle with their mental health in the postnatal
Following the birth of her daughters, Rosita became unwell with
Postpartum Psychosis. After a brief stay at AWP's inpatient unit at
Hillview Lodge, Rosita was transferred to the specialist care unit.
At the unit Rosita was able to recover and focus on her mental
health and wellbeing whilst being with her new born daughters, a
factor she cites as being key in her recovery.
Rosita said: "Without this unit I would not have been able to
recover with my twins at my side. I still got to be a mum for my
new born babies while focusing on my recovery. It's an amazing
concept which helped to boost my recovery and let me adapt to
"The New Horizon unit doesn't feel like a hospital, it's
spacious, friendly and doesn't have a clinical atmosphere," she
With the funds raised by Rosita, the unit will now be able to
provide an additional activities programme to service users and
their children, offering messy play, baby massage, craft evenings
and film nights. The activity programme will give an additional
layer of creative, fun and sociable activities that help services
users in their recovery and build softer structure and routine in
an inpatient setting.
The New Horizon Mother and Baby Unit offers a specialist
inpatient service for women suffering from mental illness in the
postnatal period, particularly when there are issues relating to
attachment and when the mother's mental illness has an impact on
her ability to care for her baby.
Ward Manager, Laura Nutt-Hunt, said: "Partners, parents and
other family members often notice the signs and symptoms of
Postpartum Psychosis, or a decline in mental wellbeing, long before
the individual recognises them in herself.
"It's important to discuss any concerns or changes in mood and
behaviour with your families maternity support worker.
"If you've struggled with your mental health previously, and in
previous pregnancies, highlighting your history of mental ill
health to your healthcare worker early on in your pregnancy will
allow these needs and assessments to be part of your care
Spotting the signs in others
Postnatal mental-ill health can develop gradually and it can be
hard to recognise, some parents may avoid talking to family and
friends about how they're feeling because they worry they'll be
judged for not coping or not appearing happy.
Signs for partners, family and friends to look out for in new
• frequently crying for no obvious reason
• having difficulty bonding with their baby, looking after them
only as a duty and not wanting to play with them
• withdrawing from contact with other people
• speaking negatively all of the time and claiming they're
• neglecting themselves, such as not washing or changing their
• losing all sense of time, such as being unaware whether 10
minutes or 2 hours have passed
• losing their sense of humour
• constantly worrying that something is wrong with their baby,
regardless of reassurance
During Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (Monday 29th April
to Sunday 5th May), the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health
Partnership (AWP) is raising awareness of mental-ill health during
pregnancy and after giving birth.
AWP, which provides services across Bath and North East Somerset
(B&NES), Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire,
Swindon and Wiltshire, has a Specialist Community Perinatal Mental
Health Service (SCPNS) which provides advice and guidance to women
who develop psychiatric disorders during pregnancy, those whose
conditions predate pregnancy and women who develop postnatal
depression after giving birth.
The service also provides advice and guidance for all health
professionals to discuss cases, referral queries, medication advice
in pregnancy and breastfeeding and signposting to other
Laura added: "Pregnancy and the first year after having a baby
should be a special time for all family members, so it is important
that mothers and pregnant women feel supported and can access the
help they need. If you or your friends and family spot the signs
and symptoms of mental-ill health speak to your GP or healthcare
worker as soon as possible."
For more information about perinatal mental health visit