The SMILE Group, which helps families affected by perinatal mental illness, operates out of Congleton Children’s Centre with a weekly drop-in service on Wednesdays from 10-12 noon. The charity was launched in 2011 and provides families in the local area with peer support by trained facilitators as well as 121 counselling and complementary therapy taster sessions to help alleviate symptoms of perinatal mental illness, such as ante and postnatal depression and anxiety. Up to 20 per cent of women are affected by some form of perinatal mental illness, but many go under the radar. Further support by the group works to boost parents’ confidence and enhance parent-child bonding through access to baby massage and yoga sessions.
Equilibrium’s grant will be used to provide The SMILE Group’s team with on-going training to keep abreast of the latest legislation in line with the charity’s commitment to providing a safe, supported environment for vulnerable families.
Natalie Nuttall, Co-founder of The SMILE Group said:
Perinatal mental illness often leaves new parents feeling isolated, so we work to help tackle this by providing a welcoming and friendly environment where parents can feel fully supported without fear of judgement. We invite mums and dads with their babies and toddlers under the age of three to come down to the group to benefit from a relaxed and supportive environment where they can talk about their experiences with people who understand what they are going through. The generous grant we’ve been awarded by Equilibrium will allow us to enhance the training and development opportunities for our team.