Championing Perinatal Menta...

Championing Perinatal Mental Health - Meet Gemma

May 2024

2 Min Read

Our colleague Gemma shares her experience of working at Changing Lives, and the training she's undertaken to bolster the tools to support the Mental Health of people who we work with.

I'm Gemma, Senior Childcare Worker and Perinatal Support for Changing Lives Doncaster.

I facilitate the trauma-informed creche here at Doncaster, breaking down barriers for women with children accessing our services and support. The families who come to see us face so much adversity and discrimination on a daily basis and we are here to provide a safe, welcoming space where they can just be themselves, meet new people and access education.

I have completed the Youth Mental Health First Aid course alongside the FdA Supporting Children and Young Peoples Mental Health and Wellbeing which I am currently studying at University. I chose to do this so that I have all the correct tools to offer the best level of support to the children and young people I meet each day, whether that be within Changing Lives, my own children, nieces and nephews and anybody who might need some support.

We see so many adults who had such a long journey with mental health and have experienced a lack of support and I feel like early intervention in early years and youth, and continuous support for our children and young people is key in promoting better outcomes in adulthood.

Much of the qualification crosses over into adult support and I feel that the training has provided me with a great knowledge for providing support and signposting for anyone who needs it.

This knowledge has also transferred into my role as Perinatal support, working with new and expectant Mums who are often feeling isolated and overwhelmed, this qualification can help me to identify areas of need and signs that they may need extra support. This is a particular interest of mine as I had traumatic births, and struggled with my mental health following the birth of my first child and I want nothing more than our ladies to feel a sense of belonging in our group and feel that they can ask for help and not only have to speak out but that somebody is actively interested in their wellbeing.

Being a Mum of two boys, I hope that I can always provide them with ways to promote their own mental health and wellbeing and be there for them with the correct information and support should they need it. I would encourage everyone to become Mental Health First Aid trained, you never know who you might be able to help, and the training gives you confidence in your knowledge and ability.

Learn more about Doncaster Community Hub here.