Women’s Voices supercharged our maternal mental health awareness campaign

Posted 10 January 2024

On International Women’s Day last year, APP participated in Media Trust Women’s Voices event at Google Academy in London. This made a real difference to APP, as they transformed their campaign for Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and raised greater awareness of what they do.

Every year, on International Women’s Day, Media Trust brings together charities that support women and girls with creative volunteers to work on a communications goal for the coming year at Women’s Voices.

In 2023, Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) was teamed up with volunteers from UK advertising agency Ogilvy, global media agency Initiative and brand experience agency Sense Marketing. 

APP is the UK’s leading charity supporting mothers and families with Postpartum Psychosis (PP), which is estimated to affect 1 in 1,000 women. PP is a severe but treatable medical emergency. It begins suddenly in the days and weeks after having a baby. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, often with mania, depression or confusion. If a new mum seems strange, help make an urgent appointment with their doctor, midwife, health visitor or call 111. If you think there is imminent danger, call 999. With help they will recover. 

Jessie Hunt, the charity’s Marketing and Digital Communications Coordinator, and Fliss Lambert, APP’s fundraiser, came along to Women’s Voices looking for ideas on how to reach a wider audience with their important, lifesaving messages, especially during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week happening annually at the beginning of May.

Women’s Voices 

Like most of the charities Women’s Voices supports, APP needed a comms strategy but had no budget, and only part-time staff. With this in mind, and the campaign week fast approaching, the team set to work. 

On the day of Women’s Voices, Jessie and Fliss spent 4 hours working with their volunteers. Building on the brief they had already provided, they discussed the challenges they faced and the team came up with some strategies they could use to engage more parents-to-be and frontline professionals with limited resources. 

Jessie presenting at Women's Voices.

With the help of our expert volunteers, and Media Trust, Action on Postpartum Psychosis, successfully executed an impactful Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week Campaign in May 2023. The campaign not only reached a wide audience but also generated positive feedback and helped to foster valuable collaborations within the sector.

Jessie Hunt

They covered a huge amount on the day, including: 

  • Creating a marketing and comms plan with possible resources. 
  • Developing meaningful key messages for the campaign. 
  • Exploring engagement strategies for reaching key audiences, and the press. 
  • Identifying new partners, allies and influencers.  

The team of volunteers also created a simple timeline for the charity to follow and continued to support APP with the design and planning of new events and resources after Women’s Voices was over.  

The impact 

Jessie, Fliss and APP have been working hard during 2023 to put all the expert’s ideas into action.  

To reach a wider audience APP has been working with new partners identified by their volunteers. They also launched a new free toolkit for antenatal educators to talk about PP, exploring what parents need to know, and why people don’t talk about PP enough. The toolkit included a poster, flyers and downloadable social media graphics to help spread the word.

Jessie sat in a crowd of people at Women's Voices.

During the campaign for Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, the charity reached 111,000 people: 

  • Their social media reach increased by 262% week-on-week. 
  • Their average month-on-month following increased by 110%.
  • The toolkit was shared in the regional NHS network emails and other antenatal organisations, such as Bump, Birth and Beyond Antenatal Classes on Instagram. 
  • Two tweets about the toolkit generated 21,000 impressions between them!
  • They also raised £5,005 in donations during Mental Health Week at the end of May. 

Beyond the toolkit: 

  • Over 260 frontline professionals and researchers attended workshops, including an event with Blue Minds, who support police officers impacted by perinatal mental health; a midwives’ study day; and a research seminar. 
  • 72 mums with lived experience of postpartum psychosis attend events, including a Creative Writing Workshop with author and APP ambassador Laura Dockrill. 
  • They hosted global gatherings online with international charities Cherished Mom, Postpartum Support International (PSI) and COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence. 

The toolkit was shared in the regional NHS network emails, featured in the Maternal Mental Health Alliance newsletter, and shared by antenatal organisations, such as Bump, Birth and Beyond Antenatal Classes on Instagram (which has almost 2,500 followers). Two of our tweets about the toolkit generated 21,000 impressions between them.

Jessie Hunt

If you’re a charity supporting women and girls, and looking to reach new audiences in 2024, why not apply to be part of Women’s Voices? We’d love to support you with your comms challenge, helping you launch an awareness campaign, raise vital funds, or influence policy in the run-up to the election. 

Find more information below. 

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