World Mental Health Day 2017: mental health in the workplace

Today is World Mental Health day; an opportunity ‘for all stakeholders working in mental health to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.’

This year’s World Mental Health Day focusses on mental health in the workplace, a crucial part of the conversation around perinatal mental health. The Maternal Mental Health Alliance recognises the importance of a supportive workplace environment in promoting good maternal mental health. Initiatives such as shared parental leave and flexible working can support this.

If you’d like to get involved in supporting World Mental Health Day, sign the pledge on behalf of your team to commit to being proactive in your support of mental health in the workplace. You can also raise awareness on social media by using the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthDay or #WMHD17.

You can find out more about World Mental Health Day by clicking here.

Winners of the first perinatal mental health awards 2017 announced

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) and Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) have announced the winners of the first perinatal mental health awards.

The awards, which were announced on 13th September at the first Annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference at Imperial College, London, recognise best practice and achievement in the categories of perinatal mental health education and training, perinatal mental health awareness raising, peer support and transgenerational service.

The winners were presented with their awards by acclaimed author, journalist and psychotherapist Susie Orbach.

Dr Camilla Rosan, Programme Lead for Families, Children and Young People at the Mental Health Foundation, said:

“We had nearly 100 nominations from the public, private and charity sectors. We were looking for projects and services with a creative and innovative approach to perinatal mental health and we found some real heroes.

“Early intervention for maternal mental health can have a dramatic impact on outcomes for mothers, fathers, children and the wider community.

“Our winners and runners up are making a real difference to the mental health of women and their families, helping to break the cycle of intergenerational mental ill health.”

Dr Alain Gregoire, founder and Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said:

“This is a remarkable group of cutting-edge scientists gathered at Imperial College to discuss mental health across the generations and the earliest possible interventions to prevent mental health problems.”

Continue reading Winners of the first perinatal mental health awards 2017 announced

Countdown to the first annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance conference – 13th September 2017

There’s just a few days until the first annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance conference and we’re busy preparing for what promises to be an inspiring day at Imperial College, London.

The theme is ‘Intergenerational Mental Health: working with mums and babies in perinatal mental health practice’.

The conference, which is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, will bring together international experts, practitioners and service users to share best practice and showcase new approaches to breaking the intergenerational cycle of mental health problems.

At the conference we will announce the winners of the first perinatal mental health awards recognising achievement and innovation in the categories of perinatal mental health education and training, perinatal mental health awareness raising, peer support and transgenerational service.

Conference places have sold out but you can follow the speakers and award winners on Twitter using #MMHAconf17 and #MABIM.

Interviews with the speakers and film from the day will be available online after the event.

PND Awareness Week 2017

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance is supporting the second PND Awareness Week 4-10 September 2017. Our member organisation, PANDAS Foundation, held the first Pre and Postnatal Depression Awareness Week last year to highlight mental illnesses during and after pregnancy. This year, the focus is on prenatal mental health or mental health during pregnancy.

Find out how you can get involved here.

#PNDAW17

Top Tips for Securing your Wave 2 Funding

Are you ready for wave 2 of the perinatal health community service development fund?

Read our top tips for preparing your bid and securing your slice of the new funding, written by Dr Alain Gregoire, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chair of the MMHA.

NHS England will be launching wave 2 of the perinatal mental health community service development fund. This is the second opportunity for local services, working in partnership, to get their hands on a slice of the new, recurrent money provided by the government for the development of specialist perinatal mental health services.

Continue reading Top Tips for Securing your Wave 2 Funding

First annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance conference to explore intergenerational mental health

The first annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance conference Intergenerational Mental Health: working with mums and babies in perinatal mental health practice, will take place on 13th  September 2017 at Imperial College, London.

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a coalition of over eighty five national professional and patient organisations committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and their children in pregnancy and the first postnatal year.

The conference, which is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, brings together international experts, practitioners, service users and academics to explore how a whole-family approach can break the intergenerational cycle of mental health problems. Continue reading First annual UK Maternal Mental Health Alliance conference to explore intergenerational mental health

RCM launches new report ‘Every mother must get the help they need’

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’

Perinatal Mental Health in Wales Project – surveys to complete

NSPCC Cymru/Wales, The National Centre for Mental Health and Mind Cymru have joined forces to work together on a project which investigates perinatal mental health services in Wales.

Over the next year, they will be working together to map out what services are available across statutory and voluntary sectors in Wales for women experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties, and explore what it is like for women and their partners in Wales to live with, and manage these types of illnesses.

To help them do this they have launched online surveys, They would like to hear from midwives, health visitors, mental health teams who are practising in Wales and third sector organisations who provide perinatal mental health support to women. The link to this survey can be found here.

They would also like to hear from women and their partners (18+) affected by perinatal mental health problems (diagnosed or undiagnosed) in Wales. The link to this survey can be found here.

MMHA’s response to NCT’s Hidden Half survey results

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

 

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Putting fathers in the picture

 

by Sharin Baldwin. Sharin is a trained nurse, midwife and health visitor and a keen advocate for health visiting. Her research interest is the mental health and wellbeing of fathers, an area that is fairly neglected. She is currently undertaking a PhD in this field at King’s College London and is the first health visitor to be awarded a Clinical Doctoral Fellowship by NIHR.

Fathers’ mental health and wellbeing has attracted more media attention is recent months but despite this there is very little support out there for new fathers. We know that as men become fathers they face many changes and new challenges, as women do, which can increase stress and have a negative impact on their mental wellbeing.

Continue reading Putting fathers in the picture