Connecting young mothers and services promotes good mental health for the whole family.
Young Mums Connect is a three-year peer support project for young mothers (up to 25 years) that uses a creative, whole-family approach to mental health prevention within a community setting.
Delivered borough-wide in Royal Borough of Greenwich and city-wide across Nottingham City in partnership with local authority services and local third sector organisations MumsAid, Nottingham City Council and The Motherhood Group. This project is funded by the Mental Health Foundation Covid Response Programme.
So, for me, it helped a bit to speak to someone and in the first, when I had the baby, I did feel a bit stressed and I did feel a bit alone and it did help.
Mum from Young Mums Together Project
It just helps me refocus because we can often forget, so it helps me refocus on me and my mental health and not just his. So, it is like good little reminders and I actually need that.
Mum from Young Mums Together group
The project uses a two-strand approach
1. Young Mums Together
A peer support intervention that includes weekly groups and a peer supporter pathway for young mums:
- Weekly drop-ins sessions for local young mothers and their children using activities and discussion to address key risk factors common to single mothers, particularly Black, Asian and minority ethnic mothers and mothers at risk of long-term mental health conditions
- Training for young mums who want to become peer-supporters within the Young Mums Groups.
2. National Workforce Training
A programme manual and training to upskill the workforce across health and social care settings to embed Young Mums Connect into existing service structures.
- MumsAid - specialist mental health charity embedded in the Royal Borough of Greenwich offering support for families.
- The Motherhood Group – specialist CIC that accounts for the experience of black mothers in the UK
- Nottingham City Council – specifically delivering alongside the Early Help Team and delivering within the family Early Help Pathways
The evidence base
Young Mums Together highlighted the effectiveness of the Mental Health Foundation’s peer support model and resulted in positive outcomes for young mothers, including increased access to support; enhanced awareness of mental health and how to get help; reinforced sense of purpose and direction for the future and increased parental confidence. Young mums have shared their experience of why the Young Mums Together programme was so effective in a series of case studies.
The workforce training will be informed by health and social care teams across England.
What do we want the programme to achieve?
Young parents are at the heart of the Young Mums Connect programme, and it aims to expand on the positive outcomes of previous programmes to:
- Build young mums’ confidence as parents and help promote healthy parent-child bonding
- Increase awareness and understanding of mental health risks a young mum might face and identify coping strategies
- Increase the likelihood of help-seeking, where additional support and help may be needed
- Enhance life chances through increased aspirations for the future
Sustainability and growth
Through national workforce training and accessible programme tools, key staff will continue to learn about and put into practice the Mental Health Foundation’s peer support approach within their localities.
Young Mums Together
Young Mums Together is a three-year programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund (formally the Big Lottery) to develop 15 sustainable peer and professional support hubs for young mothers (under 25 years) in three London boroughs.
Covid Response Programme
We have invested in our Covid Response Programme to deliver targeted support for lone parents, refugees, people from Black and minority ethnic communities, and people living with long-term health conditions.