Mindful Mums – Bromley Mind. (ARCHIVED)

Our Mindful Mums project creates and delivers a peer facilitated, resilience based programme specifically designed to support perinatal women, regardless of mental health diagnosis or history, to stay well during this high risk period. It also aims to encourage the 30% of women who suffer a perinatal mental health illness ‘in silence’ to access support that they wouldn’t have otherwise done so.


  • From start: Yes
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: Yes


  • Peer: Yes
  • Academic: No
  • PP Collaborative: Yes

Find out more


What We Did

Our Mindful Mums project creates and delivers a peer facilitated, resilience based programme specifically designed to support perinatal women, regardless of mental health diagnosis or history, to stay well during this high risk period. It also aims to encourage the 30% of women who suffer a perinatal mental health illness ‘in silence’ to access support that they wouldn’t have otherwise done so.
The programme is delivered and has been co-designed by women with lived experience of perinatal mental health issues, based on the Mind resilience model (Mind, Mental Health Foundation,2013) which recognises the importance of three key elements in reducing the likelihood of mental health problems and in maintaining positive mental health in the longer term:

  • positive activities to drive wellbeing and as a basis for good mental health
    • building social networks and social capital
    • developing psychological coping strategies (driven by principles of CBT and mindfulness)
    Being delivered by women with lived experience helps to ‘normalise’ mental health issues and reduces stigma as well as offering the opportunity to extend access to evidence based mental health ‘preventative’ measures beyond that which could be delivered by mental health or maternity professionals, due to caseloads, and in some cases, reluctance for women struggling with their mental health to seek support from professionals.

The Mindful Mums programme has made a real difference to those who use it with mums saying they feel more confident, more positive, better t able to cope and less isolated since attending the groups.

Feedback from all mums attending our Mindful Mums course has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I just wanted to take the time to thank you for running the truly wonderful Mindful Mums session over the last few weeks.
Before baby arrived I had always taken my own mental health for granted. But unfortunately for me, that changed drastically when three days after she was born, I suffered a postpartum psychosis.
I lost all touch with reality and had to be hospitalised with my baby for two months.
As you can probably imagine the challenges of being a first time mum compounded with a psychosis can leave your confidence severely knocked. I had all these new worries and felt ‘different’ from all the other mums. When Mindful Mums came along it amazed me how each session tackled a worry that I was having.
Hearing other women have the same insecurities as me made me feel so much better in myself.
It’s fantastic that you have created a safe, non-judgemental space for women to talk at a time that they are most at risk of mental health issues. ‘

Wider Active Support

The service is delivered in partnership with the Bromley Children Project who provide accessible and child friendly venues, across the borough, for the Mindful Mums courses to be delivered in and who actively promote the sessions to their pregnant and new mums. Delivering through the Bromley Children Project’s children & family centres rather than at our Mind branded venues, allows us to deliver preventative and resilience based messages in an environment where women feel comfortable, without the need to label it ‘mental health’, which still holds stigma for some people and would potentially make them reluctant to engage.
We also work very closely with the Bromley perinatal mental health team and wider midwives and health visitor teams, as well as promoting to GPs across the borough to ensure that women who are identified as at risk, are offered this additional support.
Bromley CCG have been very supportive of the project and see it as an integral part of the perinatal provision locally.
During our Mindful Mums sessions we signpost women to places for further mental health support, should they require it.


The Mindful Mums programme was co-designed by mums with lived experience of perinatal mental health issues and continues to take feedback from the volunteers who deliver it and the pregnant and new mums who attend it, both formally, through pre and post evaluation forms and review sessions, and informally through discussions.

The content of the sessions therefore reflects the big issues that women felt had impacted on their wellbeing during the perinatal period and includes identity, body image, relationships, isolation and coping.

An example of the value of co-production from one of our Mindful Mum volunteers :’ I’ve experienced first-hand the way in which having a baby can impact upon your life and sense of self; I struggled inwardly with many aspects of motherhood after giving birth to my first baby. It was this experience, and that of the other volunteers, that helped shape the project, as we had a fantastic initial ‘brainstorming’ session with our coordinator; discussing the many ways in which having a baby can affect you. Seeing our input woven in to the project gave us all added enthusiasm I feel, and made facilitating the project more ‘real’ and relevant to us and the mums who attend the sessions.

Looking Back/Challenges Faced

We initially envisaged that we would need crèche places for all of the babies, so ‘mum’ could focus on herself during the course. However, there was an issue in that the crèche couldn’t accept children under twelve weeks old, so we now have an early years support worker from the Bromley Children’s project, or an additional Mindful Mum volunteer in with the session to look after the babies, as required. This initial ‘challenge’ has actually turned out much better as many of the mums feel more comfortable having their babies in the room with them, and the crèche spaces are freed up for slightly older children.



Whilst we value the continued contribution of our long standing volunteers, we actively recruit new volunteers on a regular basis to ensure that we have a growing pool of facilitators to deliver the courses. All of our courses are delivered by at least two volunteers and so we match up new volunteers with those who have more experience of the Mindful Mums course, so each benefits from the experience.

All of the course content, alongside the volunteer training package is well documented and therefore transferable to other members of staff should the lead co-ordinator move on.

Having piloted the project for a year using grant funding from Mind, we have now secured funding from both Bromley and Lewisham CCGs to extend it over the coming two years.

Evaluation (Peer or Academic)

We have evaluated the service through pre and post Mind Resilience Questionnaires. Scoring works on a rating system from negative (1) to positive (5) and focuses on 3 key areas; wellbeing, feeling positive and problem solving and social support.

We compare data from mums who completed an evaluation questionnaire in the first and final weeks of their 5 week course. Mums significantly increased their resilience score on average by a total of 11.2 points from week one to week five, with a baseline of 68.2 (minimum 23/maximum 107).
All mums (100%) improved their resilience scores in at least one area, with over two-thirds seeing an increased score in all three areas of the questionnaire (67%).
Our evaluation questionnaire also includes standard questions around levels of enjoyment, confidence and skills learnt.


Of those who completed a final evaluation questionnaire:
• 97% of mums said that the course improved their confidence;
• 99% of mums enjoyed the activity and would recommend it to a friend;
• 99% of mums have learnt skills they can take away and use.
• 92% of mums said they feel happier/more positive,
• 89% of mums said they feel better able to cope, and;
• 84% of mums said they feel less isolated since attending the groups.

Furthermore, those attending the course showed an improvement of 19% for wellbeing, a 22% improvement in their scoring for feeling positive and problem solving and an 11% improvement for social support. Moreover, the social networks that the women have developed through attending the course have been sustained after they finish with many of the women continuing to meet up and the majority of the groups creating their own ‘what’s app’ groups to maintain contact.

Qualitative feedback supports the achievement of these outcomes for the new and pregnant mums attending:

“Partner says I have come back positive and happy (more so than my normal therapy)”

“I am viewing things differently. I am feeling more positive about our difficult situations”
“Giving / sharing experiences of coordinators made it easier to open up”.
“Sharing experiences with the other mums has helped remind me I am not alone”.
“This activity has given me confidence to speak to new people.”


We share our work through presentations to professionals and local community groups for example at a GP academic half day, at the maternity commissioning group meetings and at Maternity Voices Partnership meetings. We also share information about Mindful Mums on-line through our own web site and social media channels. We have also shared information about Mindful Mums across the national Mind network and with the pan London maternity group.


Is there any other information you would like to add?

Mindful Mums is now being expanded to include niche groups, for example for women who have multiple births, foster mums, mums with babies with special needs, and will include a befriending element for those mums who need further emotional and practical support on a 1:1 basis.

We are also working to expand the core Mindful mum programme to the borough of Lewisham.

We have included staff wellbeing and staff experience as being relevant to the service we are providing, to reflect the positive differences we are making to volunteers within the Mindful Mums programme. Feedback from volunteers includes :

‘ I am happy and confident as a facilitator and have some incredible new friends in my co-facilitators. Volunteering has a profound effect on my own mental health.’

‘The project for me, has been invaluable in terms of experience, confidence growth and acquisition of new skills. It has helped me find my professional feet so to speak, but it also gives me a deeply personal level of satisfaction.’

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