When is World Suicide Prevention Day 2023?
Sunday 10 September 2023
What is World Suicide Prevention Day?
The 10 September each year aims to focus attention on death by suicide, reduce stigma and raise awareness of the message that suicide can be prevented.
World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was established in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO). Continue reading World Suicide Prevention Day 2023
By Annabelle Openshaw, Everyone’s Business Campaign Coordinator (Scotland)
Scotland’s recently published ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy‘ (June 2023) shows a continued commitment to providing essential perinatal mental health (PMH) care to women, babies, and families in Scotland.
It’s essential that the Strategy’s ambitions translate into clear, measurable actions in the follow-up ‘Delivery Plan’ and ‘Workforce Plan’. We’re particularly keen to see the Scottish Government address the risks and uncertainties raised in the MMHA’s recent mapping of specialist PMH services. Continue reading MMHA’s response to Scotland’s new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy
- Perinatal mental health problems affect at least 1 in 5 new or expectant mothers and suicide remains the leading cause of direct maternal death in the first year after pregnancy.
- Demand for perinatal mental health services increased by 40% between August 2022 and March 2023.
- Despite this, the number of mothers accessing perinatal mental health support only increased by 8% in the same period.
Continue reading Over 30,000 new or expectant mothers are on waiting lists for mental health support
“Quite simply midwives need time to care and there needs to be more midwives to share the workload.” Birte Harlev-Lam OBE, Midwife and Executive Director of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)
Today, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) launches a new ‘roadmap’ to improve maternal mental health care in the UK and ensure women receive the support they need.
The human and economic cost of undiagnosed and untreated mental health problems during pregnancy and after birth is significant. There is strong evidence to suggest that more investment is needed and that the cost of providing it leads to far greater savings overall. Continue reading Royal College of Midwives launch new perinatal mental health roadmap calling for more training and support
By Laura Seebohm, CEO of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA)
Last week, I spent the most inspiring day with the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team (PMHT) and professionals from across the perinatal pathway at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with NAViGO.
About the service
The PMHT service was developed by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust in 2010, with just three members of staff. Since then, there has been a rapid expansion to support an increasing number of women, babies and families across Hull, East Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire; a huge area with significant deprivation in parts. Continue reading Visiting and learning from Humber’s perinatal mental health service
Maternal mental health problems are common and can have devastating consequences for women, babies, and families. However, timely access to effective help can make a big difference in long-term health outcomes for mothers and generations to come.
With recent changes to local health commissioning in England, it’s important that all integrated care systems (ICSs) understand the crucial role they have in ensuring every new and expectant mother receives the right mental health support at the right time, close to home. Continue reading Centre for Mental Health and MMHA publish new maternal mental health briefing for integrated care systems
The MMHA Summer 2023 eBulletin has all the latest news from our Everyone’s Business campaign and the UK perinatal mental health (PMH) community, including:
- New maps of specialist PMH services showing the postcode lottery which women and families face to access care
- Risks and opportunities in the devolved nations
- A new resource to help local communities commission and maintain quality PMH services
- New research from our members.
Please share widely on social media, tagging @MMHAlliance and #EveryonesBusiness.
See previous editions and Welsh translations here.
- 83 charities, experts in early childhood development, UNICEF Ambassadors and high-profile supporters, convened by the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calling for better support for new parents and their babies.
- The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) and several member organisations are among the signatories of the letter, which demands that all parents can access vital services to support themselves and their babies – regardless of where they live in the UK.
- More than 50,000 members of the UK public have signed UNICEF UK’s petition so far, which supports the call for a Baby and Toddler Guarantee.
Continue reading The MMHA joins UNICEF UK and other charities calling for a National Baby and Toddler Guarantee
Download full report > Download executive summary >
- Around 1 in 5 women experience mental health problems during or after pregnancy and suicide remains the leading cause of direct maternal death in the first postnatal year. It is therefore critical that those with the most severe and complex illnesses can access specialist care close to home.
- In the last decade, the overall provision and quality of specialist perinatal mental health services have improved but progress across the UK has been uneven.
- According to Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) research, this is largely due to workforce planning and shortage issues, made worse by insecure or late allocation of funds.
- At a time when demands on mental health services are so high, it is vital that commitment to maternal mental health remains, and the improvements in care, which we now know can be made, must be sustained.
Continue reading Mums in the UK missing out on specialist mental health support due to insecure funding
Blog by Laura Seebohm, CEO of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA)
“Health equity is determined by the conditions in which people live, grow, play, age. There’s a powerful social gradient associated with perinatal mental health which cannot be attributed to hormonal, biological differences. This is about health inequalities which reflect social circumstances and gender norms. The impact of structural factors is often neglected.”
– Jane Fisher, Marce Society Conference September 2022
Equity is absolutely the right theme for International Women’s Day 2023. We are facing unprecedented poverty, growing health inequalities and increasing rates of gendered violence and abuse, and it is women who are disproportionately affected.
What does this mean for new and expectant mothers? How are they experiencing this extraordinary time of life within the political, social and economic landscape of 2023? International Women’s Day gives us a great opportunity to reflect on the realities for women during the perinatal period.
In autumn 2022, the MMHA commissioned a poll of 500 new mothers from across the UK. The findings were illuminating: Continue reading International Women’s Day: embracing equity in perinatal mental health care