At the end of July, the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) said goodbye to co-founder and CEO Emily Slater. Having been with the Alliance since its very first meeting in 2011, Emily leaves behind an enormous body of work and an impressive legacy. Continue reading The Maternal Mental Health Alliance bids farewell to Emily Slater and welcomes Justin Irwin as interim CEO
During Refugee Week 2021, we asked Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) member Refugee Women Connect (RWC) about the biggest maternal mental health challenges facing refugee and asylum-seeking mothers.
A survey¹ by Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, the Birth Trauma Association, has found that the majority of people aren’t aware that birth can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The survey, carried out to mark Birth Trauma Awareness Week, found that, while 78% of people were aware that war could cause PTSD, only 40% knew that it was possible to experience PTSD as a result of giving birth. Continue reading Only four in 10 people are aware that birth can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, survey finds
- Postcode lottery in England puts the mental health of expectant and new mums at risk.
- Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, the Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for funding for perinatal mental health facilities in the next spending review and for local health bodies to invest in services in their areas.
Thousands of women could not get vital help with their mental health during pregnancy or right after giving birth because of the covid pandemic, according to new analysis using the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Mental Health Watch.
- More than 1 in 10 women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or the first years after birth (known as ‘the perinatal period’).
- The COVID-19 pandemic is creating additional challenges and further increasing mental health risks for new and expectant mums.
- Now more than ever, the services supporting women and families with their perinatal mental health need to be protected and enhanced.
For almost 10 years, the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s (MMHA) Everyone’s Business campaign has focussed primarily on securing specialist perinatal mental health (PMH) services[i] across the UK. Now, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the MMHA is expanding this focus and launching a new campaign phase today: ‘Make all care count’. Continue reading Make all care count: new phase of the Everyone’s Business campaign calls for essential perinatal mental health care for all women and families in the UK
“Black women are more likely to have postnatal depression but are less likely to access care or to be referred for follow-up treatment.”
Sandra’s story (London)
When I had my first daughter, I thought it was going to be the happiest time of my life, but I just felt this huge pressure to be the perfect mum. I cried a lot, obsessed over keeping the house immaculate and became increasingly anxious.
Then with the birth of my second daughter, I had a very poor experience with the healthcare staff who were supposed to be looking after me. I just didn’t feel like I was treated with the care and respect that I deserved. I didn’t feel like they listened to my words. Staff dismissed my views, and my pain wasn’t taken seriously.
Black women feel judged
It was these personal experiences and the reading of a shocking report about the care given to pregnant women and new mothers from ethnic minority backgrounds that led to me setting up The Motherhood Group. I wanted to create a network for women of colour so they could easily connect with each other and talk freely about mental health and motherhood.
Another important reason for setting it up was that I wanted to help give women of colour a voice in maternal mental health. Because many black women do feel judged by the colour of their skin when accessing healthcare services and often feel they have had a second-class experience.
We are the solution
So far, this has led to The Motherhood Group starting to work with some professionals and our members’ inputting into research projects around maternal mental health. But this is still very much the beginning of the journey.
As well as continuing to support each other and raise awareness of the issues women of colour face, we need to make sure we are an integral part of the solution. The many women who have suffered in the past must be at the heart of addressing racial disparities in pre and postnatal healthcare as soon as possible.
If the content of this story causes you to think of anything that has happened to you or someone you know and you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, please see our support page for a list of services that may be able to help.
Guest blog by Everyone’s Business Wales coordinator, Dr Sarah Witcombe-Hayes
The Senedd elections took place on the 6th May, and Welsh Labour are back leading Welsh Government, having won half (30) of the Welsh Parliament’s 60 seats. Continue reading An update from the Everyone’s Business campaign in Wales
When is Infant Mental Health Awareness Week?
This year, Infant Mental Health Awareness Week will run between 7-12th June.
What is it?
Infant Mental Health Awareness Week takes place every year in June to highlight the importance of babies’ emotional wellbeing and development.
What’s happening and how to get involved
The theme for this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘including infants in children and young people’s mental health’.
The First 1001 Days Movement
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance is a proud member of the First 1001 Days Movement.
Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, Mothers for Mothers has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. Continue reading MMHA member Mothers for Mothers awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
The spring 2021 eBulletin is out now with all the latest from the MMHA’s Everyone’s Business campaign and perinatal mental health (PMH) community, including:
- Celebrating the rollout of Maternal Mental Health Hubs in England
- Reflections on the Government’s ‘Vision for the 1,001 Critical Days’
- New interim Mother and Baby unit in Wales
- Northern Ireland’s progress with PMH service development
- Next steps for the MMHA Everyone’s Business campaign
And much more…
Please share widely among your networks! On Twitter and Instagram, please tag @MMHAlliance and #EveryonesBusiness.