Forever Manchester recently funded Beat The Blues, based in Stockport.

Beat the Blues help women suffering from Post Natal Depression (PND) through monthly meetings, arts and craft activities and relaxation therapy sessions. The group not only alleviate the feeling of isolation and stress caused by PND, but also improve the lives of the women’s loved ones, as they become more relaxed and open. The funding from Forever Manchester is covering the costs of two massage therapists and one Reiki therapist for the next 12 months.

The funding is being used to providing the attendees with complimentary therapies (mainly Reiki, Indian head massage and massage). Every month Beat The Blues offer twenty minute slots over the period of two hours to relax the new mothers and help them to ‘beat the blues’.

Beat The Blues was set up by mothers experiencing PND who felt there was little or no support in Stockport at that time. They wanted to get together to share experiences and to improve mental wellbeing.

Some GP’s in Stockport have sign posted women to the group, health visitors have recommended them to mothers, and other mental health organisations such as ‘Mums in Art’ recommended them in the knowledge that they provide therapies along with everything else.

Complimentary therapies have proven beneficial for people suffering from mental ill health by lowering stress levels and improving feelings of anxiety and depression.

It has a wider impact as the women improve in confidence, and the lowers of their symptoms of PND by having better relationships with their parents, partners, children, wider family and local community.

Angela Whyatt, a Community Development Support Worker supporter the work that Beat The Blues have been doing: “I am a Community Development Support Worker, for Stockport Trust, working alongside the group to support their aims and objectives.

“This is a much needed peer support group in Stockport, providing valuable help to women and their families affected by post natal depression. It also gives mothers an opportunity to volunteer and gain transferable skills. Mothers are taking the lead in improving their own mental wellbeing”.

The group were very pleased with their successful application last month and said: “A huge thank you on behalf of Beat The Blues for awarding us the funding for a therapist, we are truly grateful and this will have a massive positive impact for all our members.”