Mum welcomes charity’s boost to st John’s
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