A Cheshire mum is hoping to raise money for the Cheshire and Merseyside Perinatal Mental Health Service by running the Chester Metric Marathon on Sunday 7th October.
Rhiannon Bevan, a marketing executive, is hoping to raise funds for the service after it provided invaluable support to her following the birth of her son, Max.
The Cheshire and Merseyside Perinatal Mental Health Service was established in the summer last year to provide mental health support to new mothers in the area.
Jointly provided by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, it is an example of the local health system working together for the benefit of people in the region.
It’s also not the first time Rhiannon has run for charity.
Previously she has taken part in the Royal Parks half marathon in London to raise money for the Mind Mental Health charity.
She has also run the full Chester marathon before – however, this is her first metric marathon, covering a distance of 26 kilometres (16 miles).
Rhiannon said: “I want to return the favour, by helping them as they helped me.
“They really were a fantastic help to me. I did not have to spend anything for the help that I received. I also want to help raise awareness of the service as well.”
Rhiannon was referred to the service by a community midwife following Max’s birth.
“I honestly can’t put a value on the service,” she said, “I was prepared for possible post-natal depression, and I think most people are aware of that, but I didn’t know about the perinatal service.
“I really struggled post-pregnancy. When I was referred, I had a specialist occupational therapist called Leanne Davies who would come to my house once a week. She was reliable, contactable and just invaluable to me. The service saved my life really.”
Rhiannon was recently discharged from the service, having been under their care for five months.
Her mental health has improved and she is enjoying being a mum.
She has turned her attentions to the metric marathon, a little under two weeks away, and says her training is going well.
Tania Stanway, CWP consultant psychiatrist, commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see that Rhiannon is doing so well. It was a pleasure to be able to help her.
“Even as she worked on her own recovery she was already thinking about how she wanted to use her own experience to help others. It really is a testament to her strength as a person.”
“Our service endeavours to help mothers experiencing mental health problems in the period before and after childbirth. I’m proud to work for a service that can help people like Rhiannon and would urge anyone who is experiencing such issues, during or after pregnancy, to seek support.
“It is vitally important to know that you are not alone and that support is available.”