Putting their best foot forward to support mums with mental health issues. @withoutstigma

 A team from Sussex Partnership’s specialist perinatal mental health service are pulling on their running shoes in support of mums experiencing mental health issues.

The intrepid runners from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will run the Worthing Half Marathon on Sunday 11 February.

Hannah Clyfton-Myers, Rebecca Freestone and Michael Rutherford all work for the Trust’s specialist perinatal mental health service, which supports mums experiencing severe mental health issues during pregnancy or up to a year after giving birth.

They will be joined on the half marathon by Tina Favier from Coastal Care West Sussex, who works closely with the team, and her husband, Ben.

Other members of the specialist perinatal mental health team will be lining the route to cheer their colleagues on.

Explains Hannah: “We’re running to raise awareness of perinatal mental health and hopefully help to reduce the stigma that surrounds it. Having a new baby is a happy time, but for the 15% of women who experience post-natal depression it can also be confusing and scary. Their families often struggle to know what to do and that’s why it’s so important to show people that it’s ok to talk about perinatal mental illness and ask for help.

“We wanted to do something that was achievable but also a challenge, in recognition of the challenges that women experiencing perinatal mental health issues face. Ben and I have run the Worthing Half before but this is new territory for the rest of the team. Tina’s managed a 10K in the past but Rebecca hasn’t run for several years so she’s had to get back in training, and Michael’s never run a race before, but we’re all completely committed and looking forward to Sunday!

As well as raising awareness the team is raising vital funds for Sussex Partnership’s charity, Heads On, who support projects that make a real difference to patient care. Any money raised will go directly to the specialist perinatal mental health service to help improve the experience of women and families under their care.

To sponsor the team please visit their JustGiving page.