Having been deprived of adequate maternity support, Bethel will ensure that Women will be properly listened to, supported by lived experience peers and offered a series of healing mental health workshops. Bethel will signpost to vital resources and safe support which is what people need most at this time. The focus will be on ensuring women feel well informed and supported at a time when changes to labour and birth because of the pandemic have increased stress, anxiety and depression.
Maternal mental health conditions can range from low mood to psychosis and if undetected and treated can have catastrophic impacts on families. COVID-19 has resulted in reductions to service provision and a major recurring theme for women is that antenatal classes often fail to mention mental wellbeing, and when they do, they primarily focus on baby blues and postnatal depression. Many women who experience anxiety conditions feel that their symptoms are ignored or not treated seriously enough because they do not fit into the category of postnatal depression. For those who experience infant loss, the impacts can be devastating. Bethel aims to fill this gap, providing community-led understanding and support women.