A pilot scheme to fund bespoke counselling for parents who sadly experience baby loss is seeing a reduction in levels of anxiety and depression.
Seventeen couples or individuals have benefitted from 69 counselling sessions since Our Bolton NHS Charity started funding the pilot with Lighthouses Therapy Services in February 2023.
Feedback from those who have accessed the counselling has found 71% reported a positive change to their relationship following counselling and a significant reduction in their levels of depression and anxiety.
Seema Kala, Bereavement Midwife at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said:
As bereavement midwives we are always here to support our families following baby loss and answer any questions they might have, but for some they need more specialised support.
“Pregnancy loss is a very unique grief and Lighthouses provide baby loss specific mental health therapy which aims to help families understand why they are feeling the way they do.
“Working with Lighthouses we hope to help our families process their grief and help them to find a way forward whilst knowing that they are not alone on their journey.
The Trust’s bereavement midwives support many couples affected by baby loss, however those who do need further support are referred on to Lighthouses Therapy Services, who specialise in infant loss support.
Sarah Skinner, Charity Manager at Our Bolton NHS Charity, said:
We hope by providing these safe spaces for our families to talk through their experiences with a trained professional they can begin to find ways of healing.
The therapy service is available to those who have experienced baby loss in later pregnancy at more than sixteen weeks, during birth, and in the weeks shortly after birth.
The 9 – 15 October 2023 marks Baby Loss Awareness Week, which is an opportunity to bring people together as a community and give anyone touched by pregnancy and baby loss a safe and supportive space to share their experiences and feel that they are not alone.
On Sunday 15 October, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust will host it’s annual ‘Wave of Light’ event at Royal Bolton Hospital’s Baby Memorial Garden, where people are being invited to light a candle and take a moment to reflect with poems and music.