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.
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.
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
.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
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
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
by Julia Thompson. Julia is a Health Improvement Principal in the Children’s Public Health Team at Sheffield City Council. Prior to her role in Sheffield she has held a variety of positions in health and local government at local, national and regional levels, and has a particular interest in strengthening partnerships across organisations and with communities to improve wellbeing and outcomes. Julia has been Sheffield’s lead for perinatal and infant mental health lead for over two and a half years.
Sheffield has been working hard to improve support for women experiencing mental health problems during the perinatal period through better co-ordinated treatment and support.
At the heart of this has been our integrated perinatal mental health care pathway which was finalised in 2015. Developed with the involvement of health visiting, midwifery, primary care and specialist services, this is now the agreed model of support in the city and the basis on which professionals work together. The care pathway provides a strong foundation for improving identification and referral and developing services, but we know that more work is needed to improve women’s experiences of care and to achieve better outcomes. Continue reading Priority setting in local services with use of the MABIM mapping tool
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’
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.
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