A Wirral nurse who struggled with mental health during pregnancy has launched a range of services to help people who have gone through a similar situation.
Merseyside Mindful Mammas, founded by Aimee Greaves, offer a number of services that aim to "bridge the gap", with NHS waiting lists up to 12 months long.
With one in six children aged five to 16 years old identified as having a probable mental disorder in the official 2020 NHS report, the figure is likely to have increased further following Covid.
Merseyside Mindful Mammas aims to tackle that by offering mental health services to children as well as empowering the parents.
Aimee, from Beechwood, a mental health nurse with more than 15 years' experience, said: "I set up Merseyside Mindful Mammas in 2018 after struggling with my mental health during pregnancy.
"I came to realise that there was a lack of support out there focused on the mental health of both children and parents so decided to create something that would bridge the gap."
Merseyside Mindful Mammas offers a number of services such as mental health sessions for children, children's circles and workshops – featuring things such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga – and Family Connections where both parents and children can work together.
For parents, she offers hypnobirthing, women's circles and workshops, mindfulness, meditation and yoga, rite of the womb healing, post natal massage, shamanic healing, mental health awareness sessions and more.
Aimee offers all services either on a 1-2-1 basis, with parents and children together or in groups, with regular events and retreats such as Family Connections — where children and parents engage in holistic activities together.
Aimee also offers two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid course, where adults can become Youth Mental Health First Aid specialists.
The first aid courses are for everyone who works with, lives with or supports young people aged 8-18 and they teach people how to listen, reassure and respond to potential mental health issues.
Aimee gives people the skills to be able to tackle issues, even before they arise, and people come away with an internationally accredited Mental Health First Aid qualification.
Aimee said: "Since setting up Merseyside Mindful Mammas, I've seen a shocking increase in very sad cases.
"I've had children as young as five years old saying they don't want to be here and at the same time I've seen more mothers having breakdowns.
"My aim is to help as many children as possible but also the parents so that they can be the best they can be for their children."
She continued: "I'm also very passionate about delivering the Youth Mental Health First Aid courses.
"There's a major issue with the lack of adults in a position to help children with mental health problems.
"The more people trained in youth mental health the better as they can catch the early signs and prevent crisis through early intervention."
Combining science and spirituality, Merseyside Mindful Mammas uses a wide variety of mental health techniques from her 15 years' experience as a mental health nurse, as well as practises such as mindfulness, meditation and yoga.
Aimee has vast experience working within CAMHS (Children & Adult Mental Health Services) and has seen some great results through her work.
Aimee explained: "Tackling children's mental health issues on a 1-2-1 basis through mental health counselling is a big part of what I do but it's just as important to work with the parents.
"I work with mothers before, during and after pregnancy and work with both children and parents together in order to strengthen their bond and promote mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing."
Merseyside Mindful Mammas works on a free consultation basis where parents can have a free, no obligation chat to see if the services may suit.
There are also regular two days Youth Mental Health First Aid courses available for £200 for anyone wanting to become trained in mental health first aid for young people.
For a free consultation and chat about mental health services for children or parents, or to enquire about Youth Mental Health First Aid courses visit the Merseyside Mindful Mammas website: https://mindfulmammas.org/
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