Innovative new mapping tool for perinatal mental health leaders launched by Mums and Babies in Mind

Posted By: Amy Tubb

23rd September 2016

  • MMHA news

4 minute read

Today an innovative Pathway Assessment Tool has been launched online to help professionals who are trying to transform mental health services for mums with mental health problems during pregnancy or the first year after birth.

Between 10 and 20% of new mothers will experience a mental health problem. These women need support from a range of services, including GPs, midwives, health visitors and mental health services. Evidence shows that there are shocking gaps in services across the system. For example, there is no specialist mental health service in more than 40% of areas in England[1], and nearly a third of midwives report that they have not had training in mental illness before they qualified.[2] 

Using this unique tool, professionals will be able to rate their local services against national standards to identify strengths and gaps where more work is needed. The tool has seven themed areas, which set out key standards for the different services and processes that should ideally exist in each local area. It also pulls out cross cutting themes, like support for new dads.

Sally Hogg, Strategic Lead for Mums and Babies in Mind, and designer of the online tool, said:

“Ensuring that mums with mental health problems are identified early and get the support and care they need requires lots of services in the NHS and elsewhere to work effectively together. This new tool helps local leaders identify where the issues are in their local systems, and sets out clearly what they need to do in order to ensure mums and their families get the right support at the right time.”

This is the first of what will be a number of tools and resources that will form part of the Mums and Babies in Mind project, which supports local leaders to improve perinatal mental health services. The project is delivered by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and funded by the Big Lottery. It works in four localities: Blackpool, Haringey, Gloucestershire and Southend, but will generate learning and resources which can help professionals across the UK.

Today Mums and Babies in Mind is also launching its new online hub which showcases the work of the project including their unique Leadership Programme, an initiative offering a suite of masterclasses from top perinatal mental health experts. The hub also hosts the project’s recently launched blog which will capture the journey of the project as well as feature posts from professionals and mums with lived experience.

Dr Alain Gregoire, Clinical Lead for Mums and Babies in Mind and Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, said:

”It is well established that women with a whole range of mental health problems in pregnancy and after birth are often not getting the support and care they need from the NHS and other services. Mums and Babies in Mind will provide local professionals with much needed practical help and advice in order to improve care for these women and their families. We want women all over the UK to benefit from similar developments.”

Download and use the mapping tool:

Explore our new Mums and Babies in Mind online hub:

Read Sally Hogg’s blog on the MABIM mapping tool:

Read and subscribe to our blog:

Follow us on Twitter @MMHAlliance using #MABIM to share stories of improving local perinatal mental health services

– Ends –

Notes to editors

For further information

About Mums and Babies in Mind

The Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) project is based in Blackpool, Haringey, Southend and Gloucestershire. We work with local leaders in these areas to improve services for mums with mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year after birth, and their babies. Mums and Babies in Mind is a Maternal Mental Health Alliance project, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. It lasts for three years, until September 2018.  @MMHAlliance #MABIM

About the Mental Health Foundation

Our mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health. Prevention is at the heart of what we do, because the best way to deal with a crisis is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We inform and influence the development of evidence-based mental health policy at national and local government level. In tandem, we help people to access information about the steps they can take to reduce their mental health risks and increase their resilience. We want to empower people to take action when problems are at an early stage. This work is informed by our long history of working directly with people living with or at risk of developing mental health problems.The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity that relies on public donations and grant funding to deliver and campaign for good mental health for all.  @mentalhealth

About the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA)

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a coalition of national professional and patient organisations committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and their children in pregnancy and the first postnatal year. @MMHAlliance

About the Big Lottery Fund: The Big Lottery Fund distribute millions of pounds of the National Lottery’s good cause money to community groups and charitable projects around the UK. Twitter @BigLotteryFund

[1] The costs of perinatal mental health problems, (2014) LSE and Centre for Mental Health by Annette Bauer, Michael Parsonage, Martin Knapp. Valentina Lemmi and Bayo Adejaya

[2] Prevention in Mind: All Babies Count: Spotlight on perinatal mental health (2013) NSPCC, by Sally Hogg

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