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Centred Soul & McCartan's Pharmacy

BCCP project

Paying it forward

Centred Soul Health & Wellbeing is based in Newry and supports families in the local community who have been affected by Perinatal Mental Health & Birth Trauma. The organisation offers support services such as counselling and complementary therapy as well as parent and child classes.

Centred Soul applied for a Level 1 BCPP grant of £2,500 to hold a series of sessions to support women who are parents, using alternative self-care approaches. The programme would educate and support women experiencing the effects of Perinatal Mental Health & Birth Trauma, as well as dealing with the challenges that come with being a parent.

With up to 20% of women within the Newry, Mourne & Down District Council area experiencing Perinatal Mental Health issues and one in 10 men experiencing Post Natal Depression, Centred Soul is the only organisation in the Southern Health & Social Care Trust providing this type of support.

McCartan’s Pharmacy, who participated in many previous BCPP projects, was the partner for the project. Pharmacist Stephanie Haughey delivered sessions on the services available in the Pharmacy and with World Sepsis Day underway on one of the days, she provided some timely information on Sepsis with each person receiving a card with vital information. The Pharmacist also used this BCPP project to become more knowledgeable in the area of Perinatal Mental Health and Birth Trauma.

The extremely creative sessions were delivered over six weeks to a group of 15 people. An Tobar co-facilitated a session on forest bathing and guided meditation while Rhythm to Recovery music therapy enthralled all of the members particularly when they used African drums as a non talking communication therapy. Beautiful floral crowns and bouquets of homegrown herbs were created as part of mindfulness exercises. The Mindful Movement evening was a great success – the Pharmacist checked the blood pressure of all participants before and after the movement class with the majority showing a lower blood pressure after only one hour of mindful movement!

Rosemary Deans from Centred Soul remarked “Parenting can be the most wonderful and challenging role, all at once. Perinatal Mental Health and Birth Trauma are often not discussed but through this project, we have been able to reach a further 15 women, take them together for six weeks of fun and informative activities, whilst being able to educate them on Perinatal Mental Health, Birth Trauma and the role of the Community Pharmacy. This was really enjoyable and we now want to apply for Level 2!”

"It was an absolute pleasure working alongside Rosemary to create this project for local women. It is always fantastic to see the group become excited about Community Pharmacy! Every time I run a project, it never gets old to see the surprise on participants’ faces when they realise all that their Pharmacist can offer. I hope that the women take their new found knowledge and pay it forward to their family, friends and local community. The BCPP project also gave me the opportunity to learn about the resources available through Centred Soul and other organisations. I know I will have future opportunities to signpost patients through their door.

Stephanie Haughey, Pharmacist