.By Susie Lingwood, Liaison Psychiatrist, North Middlesex University Hospital
Susie Lingwood is a Liaison Psychiatrist in north London. The Mums and Babies in Mind team are working with Susie and her colleagues to improve perinatal mental health services in Haringey and the surrounding boroughs. In this blog Susie explains what her role involves, what she has done to improve services and how mums with perinatal mental health problems and their babies are being supported locally.
I work as a Liaison Psychiatrist in the Mental Health Liaison Service at the North Middlesex University Hospital in north London. This isn’t a specific perinatal mental health role, but involves liaising between psychiatry and maternity (and other services). Barnet, Enfield and Haringey (BEH) Mental Health NHS Trust provide the hospital with the service. Our boroughs are currently rated red on the Maternal Mental Health Alliance map as there is no Specialist Perinatal Mental Health service but in October 2016 we were successful in receiving funding from NHS England to develop a specialist team here and I am looking forward to being involved in its development.
Continue reading The role of a Liaison Psychiatrist in perinatal mental health
By Lindsay Robinson, mum, campaigner and advocate for maternal mental health
Lindsay is mum to Reuben and lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is dedicated to raising awareness of perinatal mental health and helping to improve support for all who struggle. She works with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
In September 2015 I was finally diagnosed with Postnatal Depression, two years after my son was born. I had experienced a long (undiagnosed) battle with the illness which made me severely ill – mentally, emotionally and physically. Having asked for help, twice, in the early months and not been treated, I then believed how I was feeling was my fault. I used to tell myself I’d “missed the mum gene”. Continue reading I’m ready to thrive not just survive: Lindsay Robinson’s story
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has published a new report entitled; Every mother must get the help they need*.
The report is inspired by Lucie Holland’s 2015 Change.org petition. Lucie Holland’s sister died in tragic circumstances as a result of a devastating mental illness. Lucie subsequently set up a Change.org petition in 2015 about the urgent need for better awareness and care for those affected by perinatal mental illness. This petition went viral with thousands of signatures, and many people left heartfelt comments about their own experiences.
Continue reading RCM launches new report ‘Every mother must get the help they need’
Today the NCT launches its ‘Hidden Half’ campaign and releases new findings which show that half (50%) of mothers experienced mental health problems at some time during pregnancy or within the first year of their child’s birth. These can include postnatal depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum psychosis.
Nearly half (42%) of new mothers’ mental health problems did not get picked up by a doctor or other health professional.
The research also highlights how the six-week postnatal check-up is failing to pick up mental health issues in mothers. The routine health check, six weeks after a baby’s birth, is a vital opportunity to uncover any physical and mental health problems for women and babies.
The NCT is calling for an improvement to the six-week postnatal check-up to reduce the number of mothers who don’t get diagnosed and treated properly. They say that extra funding would go a long way to reduce the pressure GPs face in supporting new mums.
Dr Alain Gregoire, Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, responds to the survey:
“The findings of this valuable survey by the NCT reveal that many new mums with mental health problems are still not getting the support they need. This matches the results of other studies showing that, when it comes to mums’ mental health, the NHS is often not meeting its own quality standards.
The six week check is a golden opportunity to identify women experiencing poor mental health and provide vital help. GPs are often doing their best but more resources and training are desperately needed. Improvements are required in the GP surgery and across the rest of the healthcare system, so that women and their families get access to the quality of services they should expect from the NHS, no matter where they live.”
To read the full story and report: https://www.nct.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/hidden-half
To sign up to the Hidden Half campaign: www.nct.org.uk/hiddenhalf
By Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire
Mums and Babies in Mind is working in Gloucestershire to support local leaders to improve perinatal mental health services. We asked Jane Melton about the campaign they have developed to help tackle stigma around perinatal mental illness. Continue reading Tackling stigma around perinatal mental illness
May was an important month for raising awareness of perinatal mental health issues: the UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week ran from 1-7 May and World Maternal Mental Health Day took place on 3 May.
It was the first year the UK ran a week of awareness-raising for maternal mental health. Led by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, organisations joined forces to share how and where mums and their families could seek help and support for perinatal mental health issues. Events, conferences and mini-campaigns took place up and down the country over the course of the week and those participating on social media used the hashtag #maternalMHmatters to join the conversation.
Continue reading Organisations unite for Maternal Mental Health
Global organisations are joining together today, 3 May, on World Maternal Mental Health Day to show that maternal mental health should be a priority.
In many countries, as many as 1 in 5 new mothers experience some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMADs) and estimates are that 7 in 10 women hide or downplay their symptoms. Without understanding, support and treatment these mental illnesses have a devastating impact on the women affected and on their partners and families.
2016 was the inaugural World Maternal Mental Health Day, started by an international task force. The campaign continues this year and aims to raise awareness of, influence policy on and change attitudes towards maternal mental health.
To get involved in this year’s World Maternal Mental Health Day:
> Visit http://wmmhday.postpartum.net/
> Join the global partners (currently 73)
> Add a Twibbon to your Twitter profile
> Download the infographic on maternal mental health available in a variety of languages
> Tweet and post on Facebook using #maternalMHmatters
> If you are running an event for World Maternal Mental Health Day, register it alongside the other global events
What is happening in the UK on World Maternal Mental Health Day?
This week (1-7 May) is also the UK’s first Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week, led by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHPUK). On 3 May PMHPUK will be encouraging the creation of a virtual positivity pot for people to ‘dip into’ on social media. This pot will include quotes from mums about what has helped them during their recovery and will use the hashtag #perinatalpositivitypot. Follow @PMHPUK on Twitter and visit the Facebook page to join in.
Last year was the inaugural World Maternal Mental Health day in May 2016. This year, as well as World Maternal Mental Health day on 3rd May there will be a UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week 1-7th May.
How and where mums and families can seek help and support for perinatal mental health problems
Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP)
Maternal mental health matters. #maternalMHmatters. Women and their family and friends need to know where they can find help and support for perinatal mental health problems.
How you can get involved
- During the week highlight what your organisation is doing to help women with perinatal mental health problems
- Tweet using #maternalMHmatters
- Participate in the nightly #PNDHour 8-9pm on Twitter @PNDandMe
- Join in with and support activities being organised by other groups
- Come up with your own ideas to highlight that #maternalMHmatters
Mums with lived experience from PMHP, Eve Canavan and Beth Bone
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the week and how you can get involved
Twitter: #maternalMHmatters @pmhpuk
To find out what is happening during the week visit our event page.
Today, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, announces the Next Steps On The Five Year Forward View.
Endorsed by the other chief executives of NHS national bodies, the Next Steps sets out how to deliver practical improvements in areas prized by patients and the public – cancer, mental health and GP access – while transforming the way that care is delivered to ease pressure on hospitals by helping frail and older people live healthier, more independent lives.
The report includes perinatal mental health.
Read more here and download a copy of the report::
By Laura Wood, mum with lived experience who campaigns for better perinatal mental health, @cooksferryqueen
Laura has created a Twitter tutorial to help professionals working in the sector to make the most of Twitter for perinatal mental health. Here, she blogs about her story and how online peer support has helped her and others.
A month or so after my son’s traumatic birth in February 2014, I unravelled quite suddenly, and I had no idea what was happening to me. I was experiencing flashbacks, violent intrusive thoughts, and suicidal impulses. I was completely all over the place, and I was terrified. I was aware of postnatal depression, but I also knew that I wasn’t depressed. Continue reading Beyond Peer Support: Twitter and Perinatal Mental Health