Behind the scenes: Developing MMHA’s new strategy (2023-26)

Posted By: Jutin Irwin

8th February 2023

  • news
  • MMHA

2 minute read

I am proud to share MMHA’s new strategy for 2023-26. Getting to this point has been the most absorbing, intense and inspiring journey, and the focus of my first year with the Alliance.

The next three years are expected to bring fresh challenges for the perinatal mental health and wider health and social care community. As ever, we are sensitive to the landscape and pressures on the workforce whilst being ambitious about what mums, babies and families need.

The process

Lived and learned experience has always been integral to both my work and the MMHA’s, so from the start I knew it would steer my approach.

Experts from across MMHA’s membership and Lived Experience Champion Network have generously shared their time and knowledge in a series of online ‘Listen and Learn’ sessions. This protected time together was instrumental in the development of our strategy and, hopefully, many of the attendees will recognise their voices and insights within its pages.

During the sessions, we explored the following themes:

  • The external landscape and impact on the perinatal mental health sector
  • Reaching all women – equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • You Are Not Alone – raising awareness
  • Excellent Services – specialist services
  • Excellent Services – universal services and the voluntary community sector
  • Listening to women – making the invisible visible

Among the wealth of information, personal stories, and reflections shared in these sessions, five powerful and compelling themes emerged:

  1. To ‘be bold’ and use our incredibly privileged position to make a real impact.
  2. Reach out to all women, with equity, diversity, and inclusion at the heart of everything we do – ‘understand the reality of life for women beyond their diagnosis’.
  3. Listen to women in seldom-heard communities and ‘change the world with stories’, making the invisible visible.
  4. Share the message that ‘recovery is possible and that any new or expectant parent struggling with their mental health is not alone’.
  5. An overwhelming plea that we campaign relentlessly for a trauma-informed approach as vital to excellent services and great care.

Unexpected outcomes

On top of this, something else happened during these sessions which we did not foresee:  a wonderful sense of connection. It became clear that the act of coming together has been equally important as discussing the issues.

The last few years have been incredibly tough on the sector, and the beauty of an Alliance is that we can support each other, share amazing practice, connect and campaign together. People described feeling their resilience was ‘all used up’, and by coming together we can build a collective strength and energy.

Thanks to this collaborative approach rooted – as our work always is – in lived and learned experience, the MMHA has a clear direction for the next few years.  We see our role to connect, convene, coordinate and collaborate across the membership and with our Champions.  We want to continue coming together during 2023 and, personally, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this strategy.

Here’s to an ambitious and exciting few years ahead!

Read the strategy in detail

Discover more news