Words by MMHA trustee, Dr Clare dolman, on behalf of the Alliance
We’re sure that the MMHA family will want to pay tribute to Dr Roch Cantwell, who has now retired as Senior Consultant Psychiatrist in Glasgow and Clyde. Though stepping down from his role as a clinician based at Leverndale Hospital, he will continue as the Lead Clinician for the Perinatal Mental Health Network Scotland – a National Managed Clinical Network.
Roch has done so much for the field of perinatal mental health, in Scotland and globally, including:
- leading the establishment of Scotland’s first mother and baby unit and specialist community perinatal mental health team
- acting as lead psychiatry assessor for the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and lead author for their mental health-themed reports
- chairing the SIGN guideline development group for SIGN 127: Perinatal Mood Disorders
- chairing both the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ UK and Scottish perinatal faculties
- being a founder member of Maternal Mental Health Scotland, a charity established to campaign for improved mental health services for women, their infants and families.
He has also published widely in the field of perinatal mental health and is a prominent figure at international conferences.
MMHA trustee Professor Ian Jones commented:
“Roch is one of the giants of perinatal mental health on whose shoulders we all stand. When Roch speaks people listen. They know they will hear wisdom grounded in an empathy and concern for women and their families. His achievements are huge and wide-ranging but underpinning them all is his desire to make things better for women and their babies.
“Although retiring clinically I’m sure he will continue to have a massive impact on our field for years to come.”
Dr Liz Macdonald, former Chair of the Perinatal Faculty and current perinatal mental health training lead for the Royal College of Physicians, added:
“Roch has been at the forefront of British perinatal mental health for many years and a force for change within clinical practice, service development and research. His extraordinary intelligence, wit, compassion, and humanity have made him a wonderful leader, campaigner, speaker, educator and clinician. Shining through all this is Roch’s capacity to be a great friend to many, and to be so with with immense commitment, humour and generosity. His clinical skills have been passed on to many from a range of disciplines within the perinatal mental health field and he will continue to contribute to the development of services, underpinned by ensuring that a sustainable, strong infrastructure for the development of practitioners is in place.
“On a personal note, knowing Roch has made my enjoyment of working within perinatal mental health all the greater. He totally gets that sharing laughter is the best tonic!”
An enormous thank you to Roch from everyone here at the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. We wish him the happiest retirement.