Mum wel­comes char­ity’s boost to st John’s

West Lothian Courier - - News - Deb­bie Hall

a young mum who suf­fered ter­ri­fy­ing hal­lu­ci­na­tions and para­noia af­ter the birth of her daugh­ter has wel­comed a boost to a ser­vice which she cred­its with sav­ing her life.

plans to ren­o­vate a court­yard space at st John’s Hospi­tal will help trans­form the lives of moth­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing men­tal prob­lems af­ter giv­ing birth.

the out­door gar­den area at the Men­tal Health Mother and Baby unit at st John’s Hospi­tal is set to un­dergo a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion to help it bet­ter sup­port the re­cov­ery of women on the ward, thanks to Ed­in­burgh Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal Char­ity (ECHC).

Cather­ine Carver spent time in the unit when she was di­ag­nosed with post­par­tum psy­chosis fol­low­ing the birth of her daugh­ter, Beatrix, in 2016, and be­lieves the new space will dras­ti­cally im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence of women un­der­go­ing treat­ment.

she said:“the court­yard will be a bril­liant ad­di­tion. When you are even­tu­ally ready to go back into the out­side world, it can be re­ally daunt­ing.

“I re­mem­ber the first time I went back out­side, I had to walk around the hospi­tal and held onto my hus­band, tom, so tightly.

“Hav­ing a calm­ing, re­lax­ing and pri­vate area will make the world of dif­fer­ence for the women who are just tak­ing their first steps back out­side again.”

the plans aim to change the court­yard into a vi­brant and colour­ful space, with a va­ri­ety of plants and re­lax­ing spots for the women to en­joy.

the new-look area will be de­signed for use by pa­tients and their fam­i­lies. It will be di­vided into sec­tions with dif­fer­ent mood themes for those at dif­fer­ent stages in their re­cov­ery, while the walls will be brought to life through the use of clever plant­ing and art­work.

Lisa Canale, senior charge nurse at the Men­tal Health Mother and Baby unit, said: “the new court­yard will pro­vide a bril­liant out­door space for pa­tients to en­joy and get some time away from the ward.”

the plans will di­vide the gar­den into dif­fer­ent sec­tions us­ing dif­fer­ent sur­faces, such as grass in one area and paving in an­other, to cre­ate the idea of sep­a­rate rooms.

Many dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of plants, as well as fruit and vegetable patches, will en­sure that the court­yard pro­vides a wide range of tex­tures, colours and smells.

rachel Bax­ter, direc­tor of fundrais­ing and mar­ket­ing at ECHC, added: “the work done at st John’s is re­mark­able and we’re thrilled to be able to con­tinue to help make the hospi­tal ex­pe­ri­ence a more pos­i­tive one.

“We’re de­lighted to be able to sup­port the fan­tas­tic work of the Men­tal Health Mother and Baby unit and we’re re­ly­ing on the gen­eros­ity of the lo­cal com­mu­nity to help us.

“We’re call­ing on com­pa­nies to come for­ward to help us to trans­form the court­yard space through gifts of money or in kind sup­port.”

ECHC is ded­i­cated to trans­form­ing the ex­pe­ri­ences of chil­dren and young peo­ple in hospi­tal and is best known for its work at the royal Hospi­tal for sick Chil­dren in the cap­i­tal.

Grate­ful for sup­port Cather­ine and baby Beatrix

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