Reflections from my first six weeks as CEO

Blog by Laura Seebohm, Chief Executive of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance

I am now seven weeks into my role as CEO of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) and I have been incredibly impressed by the commitment of everyone I have had the pleasure of talking to. I met some of our members virtually when chairing the March member’s meeting, and the passion literally shone through the screen! It is true what Dr Alain Gregoire said about something exciting happening by coming together. I feel extremely lucky to start my new role with this inspiring experience and I will make sure the MMHA continues to create opportunities to listen and learn from each other.

The legacy of those individuals and organisations involved in starting the MMHA and who have contributed to the immense achievements of the past 10 years is clear to see. Sustained and collective campaigning efforts have led to the commissioning of specialist perinatal mental health services across much of England, with the devolved nations following suit. Although we maintain focus on the work still to be done in this area, it makes absolute sense to broaden our scope to ensure that all women during pregnancy and after birth can access the essential care and support they need in the right place and at the right time. Continue reading Reflections from my first six weeks as CEO

New project to boost maternal mental health services and protect mothers and their babies 

PRESS RELEASE

New mothers from seldom-heard communities, including young mothers and those from culturally diverse backgrounds, are the focus of a project announced today on International Women’s Day.

The Amplifying Maternal Voices project aims to improve mothers’ and families’ access to support for their mental health, and is a collaboration between the Mental Health Foundation and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. Continue reading New project to boost maternal mental health services and protect mothers and their babies 

Eating disorders and the perinatal period

Guest blog by Abigail Reynolds, Projects Coordinator & Perinatal Lead at Wednesday’s Child (MMHA member)

Note: Abigail’s story may be difficult for some to read, so please use discretion and visit our support pages if you are feeling anxious, worried, or upset.

My story: where it all began

In 2019 I found myself pregnant with my second child – delighted, excited, but utterly terrified. The source of my fear? What felt like the impossible task of keeping both myself and my baby safe as I faced the prospect of navigating pregnancy and the postpartum period with a life-consuming eating disorder. Continue reading Eating disorders and the perinatal period

Update on the rollout of specialist perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland

In January last year, the Minister for Health Robin Swann approved funding for the development of specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services in each of Northern Ireland’s five Health and Social Care Trusts.

Since then, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has been working with Trusts to establish new multidisciplinary community perinatal mental health teams, that will include a new stepped care model to ensure regional consistency. Continue reading Update on the rollout of specialist perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

When is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2022?

Monday 2nd – Sunday 8th May 2022

What is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week?

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is a week-long campaign dedicated to talking about mental health problems during and after pregnancy.

It’s all about raising public and professional awareness of perinatal mental health problems, advocating for women affected by it, changing attitudes and helping families 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 in 2014.

PMHP UK is a small group of individuals, including women with lived experience, who came together to raise awareness of maternal mental health. Continue reading Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Elaine’s story: “Just maybe if they had joined the dots, I might not have become so unwell”

Real life story from MMHA Lived Experience Champion, Elaine Coote

Early care

Although my midwife treated me with kindness and met my physical needs, I didn’t feel my mental health was even considered. If more emphasis had been put on my mental wellbeing in the early days, I may not have become so unwell with postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis in the months that followed my son’s birth.

A great deal of expense could have been saved for the NHS, my family and my employer.

Continue reading Elaine’s story: “Just maybe if they had joined the dots, I might not have become so unwell”

Increasing access to treatment for common maternal mental health problems could have a net benefit of half a billion pounds

PRESS RELEASE
    • Independent research commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), estimates the costs and benefits of addressing unmet maternal mental health needs.
    • Changes to standard practice could have a net economic benefit of £490 million over ten years; £52 million in NHS savings and quality of life improvements worth £437 million.
    • 1 in 5 women are affected by maternal mental health problems, which are the leading cause of maternal death in the first postnatal year.

In a new study commissioned by the MMHA, researchers from LSE evaluated the economic viability of reforming current treatment for pregnant and postnatal women experiencing common maternal mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

The report, ‘The economic case for increasing access to treatment for women with common mental health problems during the perinatal period’, estimates the costs and benefits of a model of care which could give women’s mental health the same priority as their physical health. The model, which focuses on the essential role of midwives and health visitors, would allow for women’s mental wellbeing to be accurately assessed at every routine contact and suitable treatments to be offered – in a similar way to physical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Continue reading Increasing access to treatment for common maternal mental health problems could have a net benefit of half a billion pounds

Independent evaluation highlights impact of the MMHA’s Everyone’s Business Campaign over past five years

Download full report Download summary paper

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

Winter 2021 Everyone’s Business eBulletin out now!

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:

    1. New recommendations for PMH following the latest MBRRACE report
    2. Reflections on what 2021 has meant for PMH care from those delivering essential services
    3. Campaign updates from across the UK
    4. MMHA’s CEO appointment and an exciting new job opportunity.

Download now

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.

Get it in Welsh!

eBulletins published since summer 2020 are also available in Welsh.