Cush Jumbo joins forces with BLG Mind to shine a light on mental wellbeing for parents

Actress Cush Jumbo OBE and a group of women from BLG Mind's Mindful Mums group smile at the camera. One woman is holding a baby.

Pictured: Cush Jumbo OBE with Mindful Mums group at BLG Mind’s Annual Event 2023

Star actor Cush Jumbo OBE powerfully shared her own experiences of being a new mum and was then deeply moved as others spoke about struggling with their mental health as new parents at our Annual Event this month.

Lewisham-raised, critically acclaimed actor and writer Cush Jumbo OBE enthralled the audience with her honesty, speaking of her experience managing a demanding career as a new parent and the difficulties in asking for help.

At the time she gave birth to her son, the actor was living in New York and starring as lawyer Lucca Quinn in the Emmy award-winning CBS drama ‘The Good Fight’, which meant a gruelling filming schedule.

Her story resonated deeply with attendees, with our Chief Executive Ben Taylor remarking: “it just goes to show that whatever your life circumstances, being a parent can affect you in very similar ways.”

BLG Mind was fortunate to meet the South London actor last year, when she visited Mindful Mums participants, volunteers and staff. The meeting had a profound effect on all involved, with Cush commenting: “when I met Mindful Mums I realised there’s not a ‘normal’ way to be a parent.”

Cush said she would have loved to have attended a wellbeing group similar to Mindful Mums in New York, adding: “It would have been the highlight of my week, every week.” 

As well as graciously giving her time, Cush has made a generous donation to BLG Mind to use towards their crucial services in South London.

Ben Taylor responded, “we are immensely grateful for Cush’s kind gesture and, as a local charity, will use this gift to continue to make a direct and tangible impact on our community.”

Mindful Mums is BLG Mind’s award-winning perinatal service, offering free wellbeing groups to new and expectant parents. The groups empower members by using a collaborative approach and normalising parents’ concerns to help build hope, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

Mindful Mums offer a variety of targeted well-being groups including for dads and male caregivers, those who identify as LGBTQ+, young mums and Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities.

After Cush Jumbo OBE’s absorbing words, former Mindful Mums & Being Dad Service Manager, Karen Taylor, outlined the outstanding achievements of the service from 2022 to 2023. Over this period, Mindful Mums groups successfully supported 451 parents and trained 47 new peer support volunteers. Looking ahead, the goal is to reach 632 parents in the upcoming year, allowing even more families to benefit from this invaluable resource.

While the number of new parents supported by our services is impressive, the true importance of Mindful Mums’ impact was driven home by the heartfelt stories shared by courageous women who experienced mental health challenges in the early stages of motherhood. Emily*, Isabelle* and Sofia*, members of Mindful Mums, bravely opened up about their personal journeys and the transformative impact of accessing support.

Many new parents feel extremely isolated, and Sofia reflected on how sharing with other mums helped to reduce her anxiety and feel more connected: “there was no pressure to participate or pretend to be happy, you could just be your authentic self. I felt validated with what I was hearing from other mums and felt less crazy – this meant everything to me as I felt so, so alone.”

Extending on this, Emily talked about the community she has gained through joining Mindful Mums courses, and the strong foundation she has now created for her journey into parenthood: “the amount of support that I have received from Mindful Mums and the rest of the perinatal team is just incredible. It gives me so much to do with Charlie* during the week, I’ve met so many mum friends, I feel like my support network has grown exponentially.”

Finally, Isabelle expressed immeasurable gratitude for the perinatal mental health team, explaining: “their support, guidance and compassion will have a significant and lasting impact on my relationship with my son and partner, the emotional climate of our family, and my own well-being and self-esteem.”

After a closing speech from Chair of the Board of Trustees, Rebecca Jarvis, the evening drew to a close, with attendees reflecting on the poignant stories told throughout the event. We’re incredibly grateful Cush Jumbo OBE, Vani, Karen, Emily, Isabelle and Sofia for bringing to life the importance of perinatal mental health support in such a heartening and captivating way.

*Names have been changed for privacy