Guest blog by Anya Sizer, Regional Organiser for Fertility Network UK
With one in six couples facing problems conceiving, infertility will be part of the story for many parents. It is therefore vital that we look at the implications of this and what best practice might look like when offering mental health support. Continue reading Infertility and perinatal mental health
Today, WSA Community Consultants and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) publish the results of an independent five-year evaluation of the MMHA’s campaigning work. The report, titled ‘Turning the Map Green: Evaluating the Everyone’s Business Campaign 2016–2021’, provides a broad, objective view of the MMHA’s efforts, using robust evidence* to measure the Campaign’s impact. Continue reading Independent evaluation highlights impact of the MMHA’s Everyone’s Business Campaign over past five years
In the final eBulletin of 2021, we share the latest news from our Everyone’s Business campaign and the perinatal mental health (PMH) community, including:
- New recommendations for PMH following the latest MBRRACE report
- Reflections on what 2021 has meant for PMH care from those delivering essential services
- Campaign updates from across the UK
- MMHA’s CEO appointment and an exciting new job opportunity.
Help us keep the needs of women, families, and PMH services in focus by sharing the eBulletin with your network.
On Twitter and Instagram, please tag @MMHAlliance and use #EveryonesBusiness.
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eBulletins published since summer 2020 are also available in Welsh.
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Laura Seebohm as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Laura brings a vast amount of experience from her 25 years in the statutory and voluntary sectors, most recently as Executive Director for External Affairs at Changing Lives. Her knowledge of policy at a local and national level, lived experience inclusion, and system change practice is sure to benefit MMHA’s work greatly.
Commenting on her appointment, Laura said:
“I am passionate about this role which brings together fundamental elements of my career and my longstanding respect for the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. The opportunity to impact maternal mental health care for women across the UK is a responsibility I embrace. Building on the impressive legacy of the founders, I will strive to serve the needs of women, and work with a diverse and inspirational membership and the Alliance’s many other stakeholders.”
Luciana Berger, Chair of the MMHA, said:
“We are really looking forward to welcoming Laura to the Maternal Mental Health Alliance early next year. Laura’s skilled leadership and deep policy knowledge will help the Alliance to do even more to ensure all women, babies and families in the UK have equal access to the perinatal mental health support they need to recover and thrive. The ongoing effects of the pandemic have taught us that this work is more critical than ever.”
Laura will take over from interim CEO, Justin Irwin, from February 2022. The Board thanks Justin for his leadership during this period of transition.
Today, 11th November 2021, MBRRACE-UK published their latest Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in the UK and Ireland.
The Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care 2021 report investigates the deaths of women during or up to one year after pregnancy between 2017 and 2019. MBRRACE examines the reasons why each of the women died and what can be done to improve care in future.
Key maternal mental health findings
Mental health remains one of the leading causes of maternal death during pregnancy and the first postnatal year:
- Maternal suicide is still the leading cause of direct (pregnancy-related) death in the year after pregnancy.
- Almost a quarter of all deaths of women during pregnancy or up to a year after the end of pregnancy were from mental health-related causes.
- Assessors felt that improvements in care might have made a difference in outcome for 67% of women who died by suicide.
Continue reading Suicide remains the leading cause of direct maternal death in first postnatal year
To mark Occupational Therapy Week 2021, the MMHA invited Dr Sally Payne, Professional Adviser for Children, Young People and Families at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, and Debra Jeffery, Specialist Perinatal Community Occupational Therapist, to share their thoughts on the vital role of occupational therapy in supporting women’s perinatal mental health. Continue reading Occupational therapy and perinatal mental health
Guest blog by Clare Anderson, Mas Project Coordinator, Women’s Resource and Development Agency
Who is MMHA’s new member WRDA?
The Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA) has a vision of a fair and equal society where women are empowered and are a visible force for change and influence in all areas of life. The Mas project (Maternal Advocacy & Support), in partnership with eight women’s centres in the Belfast, Lisburn and Derry area, offer peer support to women who are experiencing perinatal mental health problems. The project also provides a platform for women to talk about their experiences in the healthcare system and identify service areas that could be improved or developed for pregnant and postnatal women in Northern Ireland.  Continue reading WRDA and the Mas Project: lived experience insights
The summer 2021 eBulletin is out now with all the latest from MMHA’s Everyone’s Business campaign and the UK perinatal mental health (PMH) community, including:
- The launch of MMHA’s new #MakeAllCareCount phase of campaigning
- Updates from the devolved nations
- Research into Black, Asian and minority ethnic women’s access to PMH care.
Please help us keep PMH and the needs of women and families in the spotlight by sharing the eBulletin with those in your network.
On Twitter and Instagram, please tag @MMHAlliance and #EveryonesBusiness.
All of our eBulletins since summer 2020 are also available in Welsh.
Guest blog by Natalie Nuttall, Lead Coordinator, The Hearts & Minds Partnership
As three perinatal mental health charities with a collective track record of more than 30 years, Acacia Family Support, Bluebell Care and Smile Group came together in 2020 with a vision to connect, support and celebrate the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS). And so, The Hearts and Minds Partnership was born, with a three-year funding commitment from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Mapping VCS services
There is no shortage of goodwill, passion, or skill in our sector, and we’ve been keen from the outset to recognise this. Working with our digital partner, Rocketmakers, we carried out user experience research and listened to the wider community to inform the development of a website featuring resources and an interactive map of VCS services in England to signpost parents and healthcare professionals (HCPs) to.
After many months of engagement, development, and refinement, we’re thrilled to announce that the website and map are live!
Continue reading Hearts and Minds launch interactive map of VCS perinatal mental health services across England
What is Black Maternal Mental Health Week #BMMHW21?
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, and birthing people.
When is Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week?
Monday 27th September – Sunday 3rd October 2021. Continue reading Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2021