When is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2023?
Monday 1 – Sunday 7 May 2023
What is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week?
Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is a week-long campaign dedicated to talking about mental health problems before, during and after pregnancy.
The week is all about:
- raising public and professional awareness of perinatal mental health problems
- advocating for women and families impacted by it
- changing attitudes
- helping people access the information, care and support they need to recover.
Who is it organised by?
The week is organised and led by MMHA member the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK (PMHP UK), who launched the first-ever UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week nearly a decade ago in 2014.
PMHP UK is a small group of individuals, including parents with lived experience and clinicians, who came together to raise awareness of maternal mental health.
What is this year’s theme?
PMHP UK will soon announce the overall theme of this year’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and the focus of each day. Watch this space…
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Margaret Rose Oates OBE, MB, ChB, FRCPsych, FRCOG; a visionary perinatal psychiatrist, pioneer and leader who changed the lives of countless women and their families.
Friend and colleague, Dr Roch Cantwell, kindly agreed to share a few words on the unique life and legacy of Dr Oates:
Continue reading Remembering and celebrating Dr Margaret Rose Oates OBE, MB, ChB, FRCPsych, FRCOG
By Laura Seebohm, CEO of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA)
Many of us steel ourselves each year to read the MBRRACE’s Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in the UK and Ireland. The findings launched today are tragic; I think we probably all knew that they would be. The report covers the period 2018 – 2020, during which time we experienced our first lockdown and a light was shone on mental health and deep-seated deprivation and inequality in this country.
Before reflecting on today’s report, I want to explicitly acknowledge the importance of these enquiries. The methodology used is honourable, underpinned by a philosophy ‘to recognise and respect every maternal death as a young woman who died before her time, a mother, a member of a family and of her community’ (Gwyneth Lewis OBE, former Chair). Going well beyond the statistics, these reports tell stories. They are fundamental to how we learn lessons and save lives in the future.
Continue reading Reflections on the latest findings from MBRRACE (2018-20)
Today, MBRRACE-UK published their latest Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in the UK and Ireland.
The Saving Lives Improving Mothers’ Care 2022 report investigates the deaths of women during or up to one year after pregnancy between 2018 and 2020. MBRRACE examines the reasons why each of the women died, what can be learnt from these tragic deaths and urgent recommendations to improve care and save lives.
Sounding the alarm
Worryingly, this year’s report shows that the number of maternal deaths caused by mental health problems is increasing. It also finds that many of the women who died faced multiple disadvantages, including mental health problems, domestic abuse and addiction. Continue reading MBRRACE: 40% of maternal deaths in first postnatal year due to mental ill-health
The Princess of Wales, Patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), visited Colham Manor Children’s Centre in Hillingdon today. The visit highlighted the life-changing impact that the provision of an integrated, multi-disciplinary system of care can have for mothers experiencing perinatal mental health issues.
By working collaboratively, health, social care services, and the voluntary and community sector can help to ensure every touchpoint of a mother’s journey before, during and after pregnancy provides effective support for their mental health needs. During The Princess’ visit to the Children’s Centre, she heard how the care provided in The London Borough of Hillingdon demonstrates the benefits of this joined-up approach. Continue reading The MMHA invites The Princess of Wales to Hillingdon to showcase benefit of joined-up perinatal mental healthcare
The MMHA Summer 2022 eBulletin has all the latest news from our Everyone’s Business campaign and the UK perinatal mental health (PMH) community, including:
- New research into perinatal workforce gaps
- PMH service developments from across the UK
- New resources from MMHA member Refugee Women Connect to help health professionals provide better care for pregnant women in the asylum system.
Please share widely on social media, tagging @MMHAlliance and #EveryonesBusiness.
See previous editions here.
By Laura Seebohm, CEO
I joined the wonderful Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) earlier this year, new to the world of perinatal mental health. I’ve been blown away by the incredible commitment and passion of the perinatal mental health sector – whether I talk to charities, experts by experience, specialist teams in Mother and Baby Units (MBUs), obstetricians on maternity wards, policymakers and politicians – people involved with perinatal mental health come with vitality, energy, and determination for our purpose. I hope that everyone realises how valuable and now refreshing this is.
With many years in the women and girls sector, this is not a totally new landscape but the biggest surprise for me, coming specifically into the maternal mental health sector, was just how huge the distance is between investment, data and attention given to maternal mental health compared to physical health for new and expectant mothers.
In recent months, various new consultations and initiatives have been announced focusing on women’s health in England, Scotland, and Wales. The recent publication of the Women’s Health Strategy for England, the Maternity Disparities Taskforce, and the appointment of Lesley Regan as Women’s Health Ambassador are important milestones in addressing the health inequalities women face. Continue reading Parity between mental and physical health is fundamental to getting it right for women, babies and families
What is Black Maternal Mental Health Week #BMMHW22?
Black Maternal Mental Health Week UK was launched to raise awareness, highlight disparities, provide resources, and break cultural barriers in maternal mental health for Black mothers.
When is Black Maternal Mental Health Week?
The third annual BMMHW will take place from Monday 26 September – Sunday 2 October 2022.
Who is it organised by?
The week is coordinated and led by Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, The Motherhood Group. Continue reading Black Maternal Mental Health Week 2022
“When we get it right for women, everyone in our society benefits.”
– Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Women’s Health Ambassador
- their ambitions over the next 10 years
- actions they are taking now to improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls in England.
From March to June 2021, the Government held a call for evidence to inform the strategy’s development. They received nearly 100,000 responses from women across the country, and over 400 written submissions from organisations and experts in health and care. The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) and many of its members were among the submissions, bringing attention to women’s mental health needs before, during and after pregnancy. Continue reading Government publishes 10-year Women’s Health Strategy for England
“What we do is more important than what we say, or what we say we believe.”
Bell Hooks (2014)
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) Board has recently recruited three new trustees. This has brought us to what will be many milestones in our journey to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do.
We set out from the start to do this recruitment very differently and, in this blog, we want to share what we have learned along the way. Continue reading Trustee Recruitment: doing things differently