- Postcode lottery in England puts the mental health of expectant and new mums at risk.
- Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, the Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for funding for perinatal mental health facilities in the next spending review and for local health bodies to invest in services in their areas.
Thousands of women could not get vital help with their mental health during pregnancy or right after giving birth because of the covid pandemic, according to new analysis using the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Mental Health Watch.
Continue reading 16,000 women were unable to access essential perinatal mental health care due to the pandemic, according to research →
Guest Blog by Elaine Amoah, Assistant Psychologist in South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation NHS Trust
During this Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, led by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK, I am reflecting on the theme ‘Journeys to Recovery’. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I completed a study on Black, Asian and minority ethnic women and access to perinatal mental health services for low mood and depression. The research highlighted inequalities in accessing services for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women which is ongoing and urgently needs addressing. This is especially important with the current circumstances of the pandemic as evidenced by the recent report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and conducted by Centre for Mental Health and the Parent-Infant Foundation ‘Babies in Lockdown’ report. Continue reading Black, Asian and minority ethnic women and access to perinatal mental health services →
Guest blog by Dr Hind Khalifeh, consultant perinatal psychiatrist
The pandemic has compounded the mental health problems experienced by pregnant and postnatal women, and at the same time limited their personal and professional support networks. This has put a significant strain on our perinatal mental health services.
The report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), conducted by Centre for Mental Health, points to a national picture of services under strain and growing demand, and that’s certainly our experience in our specialist perinatal mental health service in London. Continue reading Services supporting the mental health of new and soon-to-be mums under serious strain →
Guest blog by Clotilde Rebecca Abe, founder and CEO of Prosperitys Trust and Co-founder of Five X More
When I was pregnant with my first child, I went to see my local GP because I was concerned about my mental health. It was hard to admit I needed help. I was asked by the doctor whether I was experiencing suicidal thoughts. I wasn’t, so I answered ‘no’. But if I was, I am sure I would have still answered ‘no’ because I would have been concerned that my child might be taken away from me if I said ‘yes’. So I did not get the treatment, advice and support I needed. Afterwards, the experience made me feel stupid, but more importantly it seemed like there was a barrier to treatment that I couldn’t hurdle. Continue reading Services supporting maternal mental health must hear the voices of black and brown women →
New report raises concerns as services supporting women and babies come under strain.
During and after pregnancy, women have faced a greater likelihood of poor mental health during the pandemic, including anxiety, depression, loneliness and suicidal thoughts, according to a new report commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. Continue reading New and expectant mums face increased mental health risks caused by the pandemic →
As part of the review of evidence MMHA has commissioned member the Centre for Mental Health to carry out, we are calling all voluntary and community sector organisations working with women and families in the perinatal period to complete this short survey: Continue reading Urgent opportunity for perinatal voluntary and community organisations to voice COVID-19 experience →
“…The early years are not simply about how we raise our children. They are in fact about how we raise the next generation of adults.” The Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled the findings of the biggest ever UK study on the early years. The research, commissioned by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and conducted by Ipsos MORI, reveals what the UK thinks about the early years and explores how COVID-19 has impacted the perceptions of parents and carers of the under-fives. Continue reading Study by the Duchess of Cambridge finds more than 1 in 3 parents expect the pandemic to have a negative long-term impact on their mental wellbeing →
Guest blog by Louise Harrington, NSPCC
This year has been like no other, and for new and expectant mums and dads there have been so many new challenges to contend with. The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of parents-to-be was clearly demonstrated in the ‘Babies in Lockdown’ report, which also told us that only one third of parents expressed confidence in being able to access mental health support if required. Continue reading NSPCC perinatal mental health service shown to improve mental health of parents-to-be →
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is working with member Centre for Mental Health to explore the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health.
Funded by Comic Relief, we will be conducting a rapid evidence review of the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health and services, including the voluntary and community sector, across all four UK nations.
Continue reading Rapid review of the impact of COVID-19 on maternal mental health and services →
Update from Dr Sarah Witcombe-Hayes, Everyone’s Business Campaign Wales Coordinator
Perinatal mental health
In Wales, community perinatal mental health (PMH) services have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing support to mums, dads/partners and the families who need it.
Fortunately, PMH teams were unaffected by redeployment to other frontline areas and were able to work quickly and innovatively to ensure appointments moved online or over the phone, where possible. More intensive face-to-face support has been determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on need. Support and consultation for other healthcare colleagues have also been prioritised. Continue reading How perinatal mental health services in Wales reacted to the pandemic →