Sources of Support

Sources of Help and Support, especially during the Coronavirus Pandemic

All of us at The EBA would like to acknowledge that we recognise the great additional difficulties that many families are facing at the current time. What is already an incredibly difficult experience of having your baby in a Neonatal Unit, is all the more challenging during the current Coronavirus pandemic.  This no doubt places additional strain on you as parents and family members and our heartfelt empathy goes out to you all.

Due to Coronavirus visiting restrictions, we are currently unfortunately unable to visit the Units to run our regular coffee mornings where we would normally be able to sit and talk with you, make you a hot drink, offer a biscuit and a listening ear from another parent who has had a baby on the units.  We are very much missing being able to do this, as this is an integral part of the unique support we offer to the families on the units. We hope that as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be able to return.

In the meantime, if you would like contact us for a chat, either over email, facebook messenger or a telephone or video call, please feel free to contact us on facebook, or by using the Contact Form on our website www.earlybirth.co.uk/contact-us/, or by emailing us at info@earlybirth.co.uk.

We have put together the following list of resources and contact details of various organisations and services that may be able to offer support and advice at this time. Please note the links lead to external websites, so we have no control over their content. We are also unable to directly endorse these organisations and services, but instead suggest you look over them to see if you think they would be a suitable source of help and support for you and to ensure their contact details are up to date.

  • Blisswww.bliss.org.uk  Charity for babies born premature or sick.  Bliss have information on their website about COVID-19 and questions you may have about the virus and your premature or unwell baby. They also support parents via email or video call.  To arrange this email hello@bliss.org.uk or you can book a video call appointment by completing an online booking form. There is also a large section on their website titled ‘Support’ under the ‘Parents’ tab, that includes a lot of information on different topics including parental mental health, financial information, and a comprehensive list of other organisations that can provide information and support for families.
  • Tommy’s  – www.tommys.org For information and support during pregnancy, and following miscarrige, stillbirth or premature birth. Tommy’s website has comprehensive information on premature birth support and neonatal loss support. It also lists and has links to online communities for support for miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, noenatal death and termination for medical reasons.
  • Samaritans –  www.samaritans.org  – Provides a confidential listening service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call them anytime, from any phone for free on 116 123, or email Jo@samaritans.org (24 hour response time). They also offer a self help app which you can access from their website.
  • Best Beginningswww.bestbeginnings.org.uk – website and series of films called ‘Out of the Blue’ to help raise awareness of maternal mental health.
  • Birth Trauma Association – www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk Charity that supports all women who have had a traumatic birth experience and also their families who are affected.
  • British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy  – www.bacp.co.uk  Provides a search tool to help you find a local qualified counsellor or psychotherapist.  Also offers tips, advice and strategies for helping you cope through these uncertain times that are more difficult due to the Coronavirus.
  • Mindwww.mind.org.uk – Charity that provides advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind also runs an info line that you can contact on 0300 123 3393. It’s an information and signposting service that is open 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday and you can ask about mental health problems and where you can get help near you.
  • Pandas https://pandasfoundation.org.uk  – Gives support to people coping with pre and postnatal mental illnesses, including postnatal depression, anxiety and birth trauma. They have a free helpline number on 0808 1961 776, staffed by volunteers, which is open 7 days a week from 11am – 10pm. You can also call for advice and support if you’re concerned about someone you know. They also offer email support, support groups and social media support online.
  • Oscars Wish Foundation www.oscarswishfoundation.co.uk – Oscar’s Wish Foundation is a Charity based in Sussex. They provide comfort and support to Parents and siblings following the loss of a baby or babies before, during or shortly after birth. They work all over Sussex offering Bereavement Support, Specialist Bereavement Counselling and  Support Programmes for Mums and Dads. They work alongside the Brighton Sussex and University Hospitals in Sussex to create gentle, calm spaces for families to spend time with their baby/ies within their Hospitals.
  • Sands – Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charitywww.sands.org.uk  Helpline 0808 164 3332 – Sands supports anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth. Some of the services they offer include a free national helpline and bereavement support app for parents, bereavement support groups, an online forum, and a wide range of online and print resources.
  • Every Mind Matterswww.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ visit the NHS Every Mind Matters website for a free plan, expert advice and practical tips for how to look after your mental health.
  • Sussex Mental Health Line – 0300 5000 101 – NHS telephone offering support and information to anyone experiencing mental health difficulties including stress, anxiety and depression. It also offers crisis care for people in urgent need of help with their mental health. It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services – If you live in England, in most areas you can also refer yourself for free, non-urgent NHS psychological therapy services, also known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services, which provide evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety. Details can be found by searching for IAPT on the www.nhs.uk website or you can speak to your GP who can refer you.
  • BSUH Chaplaincy Team – The chaplaincy service is a small team providing a 24 hour, 7 day service across the Trust. The team consists of staff chaplains, a Trust Imam, a Trust Rabbi and contacts with volunteers from different faith groups in the community to provide a broad support for patients. A chaplain is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members of the chaplaincy team are happy to talk to patients and their families, not only about specifically religious matters, but about any more general spiritual concerns.  In emergencies, the switchboard operator can contact the chaplain directly for you. In non-emergencies, ask the switchboard to put you through to the following phone numbers:
    – Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Department for Brighton, extn. 4122.
    – Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Department for Haywards Heath extn. 8232.