Tag Archives: mental health

Professional bodies welcome report highlighting need for more maternal mental health experts

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) are delighted the NHS Benchmarking report on Universal Perinatal Mental Health Findings was published on Friday 14 September.

Prior to this study, information on service provision and staffing of universal perinatal mental health (PMH) services was not available at a national level.

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) are delighted the NHS Benchmarking report on Universal Perinatal Mental Health Findings was published on Friday 14 September.

The data collected from providers suggested that:

Capacity in universal services is very limited and does not provide the necessary broad base from which the Specialist PMH services can operate effectively and efficiently.

The provision of specialist perinatal mental health care within universal services is highly variable across England, with some areas having no, or limited, provision (obstetric & midwifery providers 61%; health visiting providers 30%).

The large gap in health visiting PMH capacity was particularly evident, with 70% of providers having no specialist provision within the service.

This report is critical because it focuses on the universal element, where the vast majority of women need to receive their care. Universal services are a crucial element of the PMH care pathway at every local level and have the potential to create great savings in relation to both human and economic costs in the short and long term.

Alain Gregoire, Chair of the MMHA, said:

“There has been excellent progress in funding specialist perinatal service provision across England, but we know that specialist services alone are not enough.  All women in pregnancy and postnatally should have equitable access to the support, prevention and treatment they need for their mental health as much as for their physical health. This report shows that investment is essential to ensure that there are sufficient, well-trained staff across universal services so that women get the care they should expect from the NHS, and our children can get the best start in life.”

Read the full statement from the MMHA, iHV, RCOG and RCM here.

DJ and broadcaster Neev Spencer to present perinatal mental health awards 2018

We are delighted to announce that DJ and broadcaster Neev Spencer, the biggest British Asian female broadcaster in the UK and a passionate campaigner for mental health, will present the annual perinatal mental health awards at this year’s Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) conference Diversity: Understanding and Reaching the Missing Families.

The Perinatal Mental Health Awards will be announced at the MMHA conference on 6th September 2018 at Imperial College, London. The awards are for services and individuals who show excellence in the categories of inclusivity; anti stigma; peer support; training and family focus.

In addition to talking about her own struggle with postnatal depression following the birth of her daughter, Neev has spoken with the Duchess of Cambridge on maternal mental health and made a film on postnatal depression with the Heads Together campaign. Last year she joined MMHA’s chair Dr Alain Gregoire as an expert panellist on the BBC 5 Live ‘Mum Takeover’ and worked on ‘The Mental Health Minute’ when 300 radio stations in the UK joined together on Mental Health Awareness Week.

Book your ticket for the conference here.

Follow us on @MMHAlliance using #MMHAconf2018 #MABIM. Follow Neev @neevofficial.

The annual MMHA conference is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

Organising the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference 2018

by Katrina Jenkins, Project Manager Families, Children and Young People’s Programmes 

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference 2018 is an annual event dedicated to stimulating debate and the sharing of ideas for good practice in the field of perinatal mental health. This exciting event is organised by the Mental Health Foundation on behalf of the  Maternal Mental Health Alliance (of which we are a member).

This is how I became involved in this national conference. As Project Manager in the Families, Children and Young People’s Programmes team at the Mental Health Foundation, my role includes the organisation of this year’s Conference.

Each year, the Maternal Mental Health Conference delivers a unique theme which corresponds to pertinent areas of interest in perinatal mental health.

I was fortunate to have been able to attend the conference last year, on the theme of Intergenerational mental health: working with mums and babies in perinatal mental health practice. Along with 250 other delegates, I gained a wealth of learning and deepened my understanding of how a whole-family approach can break the intergenerational cycle of mental health problems.

I am even more excited about the theme for this year’s Maternal Mental Health Conference – Diversity: Understanding and reaching the missing families. This topic is uniquely interesting as it offers an exceptional opportunity to explore important but seldom-heard voices in perinatal mental health. Continue reading Organising the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference 2018

Working in a perinatal mental health team


Claire Marshall (pictured left) and Jane Matfin are specialist nurses working in the Hull and East Riding Perinatal Mental Health Liaison Service..

The service supports women with pre-existing or newly emerged mental health problems within the perinatal period. The birth rate for women in this area is approximately 6,500 per year. The team consists of nurses, a consultant psychiatrist, therapist and support workers who all work collaboratively with GPs, midwives, health visitors and social workers.

Claire and Jane have worked in mental health for over 20 years and moved into perinatal care after working in inpatient units, emergency mental health services and leading/managing teams in these areas. Here they talk about the challenges and rewards of being part of a perinatal mental health team.

 

What made you decide to move from working in crisis mental health care to the perinatal team?

Jane: I felt that I wanted to move from crisis mental health care after many years in that area, where interventions are often short-term with a high turnover of patients. I already knew the staff in the perinatal team and had good working relationships. I valued the opportunity of working in a smaller team with a clearly defined patient group. I feel strongly about women’s place in society and their mental health, and the changes and effects that motherhood can have on their lives.

  Continue reading Working in a perinatal mental health team

Mental Health Awareness Week: Stress in Pregnancy – Society’s Problem

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which is focussing on stress and its detrimental consequences on mental health.

At the Maternal Mental Health Alliance we recognise how stress can negatively affect parents’ wellbeing and increase the risk of mental illness. When parents are feeling stressed, it also makes it harder for them to consider, reflect on and respond to their babies’ needs. And a huge body of research tells us that sensitive and responsive care is an essential ingredient in babies’ healthy brain development.

The research carries positive messages too. The results of stress are not inevitable and there are things we can all do to manage stress and reduced its impact. Furthermore, evidence shows that a good quality relationship between parents and babies after birth can mitigate the impact of early stress on babies’ development, which  is why services that support healthy parent-infant relationships are so critically important. Read our blog on stress in pregnancy here.

 

 

 

 

 

Strengthening parent-infant mental health in Warwickshire

Sophy Forman-Lynch has worked in the field of public health for 24 years in the UK, Pakistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and India.

She has worked in maternal and child health, mental health and well-being, alcohol and substance misuse, offender health, sexual health and asset-based community approaches.

Sophy is currently working for the Public Health Team in Warwickshire County Council with a focus on the ‘early years’. This includes involvement in the re-commissioning of health visiting services.

In 2016 Warwickshire’s multi-agency strategic Smart Start Programme undertook three pieces of research to hear the voices and experiences of over of 1,030 Warwickshire parents of children aged 0-5 years (including expectant parents), and 275 multi-agency staff working with expectant parents and young families.

Parents and workers told us that more needed to be done to promote and support parent-infant mental health and wellbeing in Warwickshire.

The experience of loneliness and social isolation amongst new parents was common, and was frequently reported to have had a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Continue reading Strengthening parent-infant mental health in Warwickshire