Tag Archives: Mums and Babies in Mind

Conference 2018: eye opening content and powerful personal stories

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference 2018 was an inspirational event, filled with eye opening content and powerful personal stories from lived experience.

Delegates said the day offered fresh perspectives, new insights and lots of opportunities for expanding networks across the perinatal sector.

One delegate mentioned that she encountered ideas that she hadn’t considered before and took away lots of learning to help reach the ‘missing’ families in her area.

Lived experience was a key theme of the conference this year and our speakers’ personal stories created a real buzz in the hall and on social media.

“Powerful personal story from in breakout A. Moved us to tears #MMHAconf2018

“Wow! 58% of live births in London are to women born outside the UK #MMHAconf2018

“Humbling to hear from members of the learning disability parent network about being pregnant and having a baby when you have a learning disability.”

Self-confessed ‘Glam Geek and Proud Sikh’, and mental health campaigner DJ Neev Spencer was a firm favourite with the audience. She shared her own experience of PND before presenting the annual perinatal mental health awards .

Dr Laura Wood’s comments echoed many:

“Home from #MMHAConf2018 I’m inspired & encouraged. And I’m so thankful for our incredible community & for my place in it. You really have changed my life x”

Huge thanks to Katrina Jenkins for organising and co-presenting the awards with DJ Neev Spencer, and to Dr Alain Gregoire for keeping the day on track.


Missed any of the presentations? Check out full list here.


DJ Neev Spencer announces Perinatal Mental Health Awards 2018 at the Maternal Mental Health Conference   

DJ, broadcaster and campaigner Neev Spencer presented the 2nd 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 were 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.

Neev Spencer said:

“As a passionate campaigner for mental health, and with my own experience of postnatal depression, I am so excited to recognise outstanding practice in perinatal mental health.

“My own experience of postnatal depression has motivated me to raise awareness of maternal mental health and the reality that many mothers face in coping with perinatal mental health difficulties.

“Until I experienced postnatal depression, I never thought it was something that could affect me. Many mothers don’t talk about how they’re feeling and get the support they need early on. That’s a real shame because once we talk about it, it frees us to move on from the experience and to get the support that we need.  I am passionate about raising awareness of mental health and especially pleased to present these awards.”

The award winners are:

  1. Anti-stigma Award for Perinatal Mental Health Awareness-Raising

Winner: Have you seen that girl?

Highly commended: The Perinatal Mental Health Partnership


  1. Perinatal Peer Support Award.

Winner: Mothers for Mothers

Highly commended: Action on Postpartum Psychosis


  1. Perinatal Mental Health Education and Training Award

Winner: Mellow Parenting

Highly commended: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust


  1. Family-focused Award for engaging and involving the whole family in perinatal work, supporting family members’ mental health alongside the parent-infant relationship during the perinatal period.

Winner: Building Attachment and Bonds Service

Highly commended: Amanda Tamlyn, perinatal and infant mental health specialist, Sussex Community Foundation Trust


  1. Big Lottery Diversity and Inclusivity Award, for showing innovation in meeting the needs of a diverse range of families experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties.

Winner: MumsAid

Highly commended: Leeds Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service





Come and share your ideas – show them on a poster at the MMHA conference

Come and be part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance conferenceDiversity – understanding and reaching the missing families.” on 6th September, Imperial College London.

For the first time, this year we are inviting poster presentations from families who have lived experience of perinatal mental health difficulties, as well as academics, clinicians and service providers. We are particularly keen to see stories from families who have diverse experiences and backgrounds.

Posters need to be A2-sized and can use any medium to reflect your experiences: words, photography, images – whatever you need to get your experiences across.

Submit your poster by 20 August hereClick here for an easy guide to creating your poster presentation

In the growing field of perinatal mental health, there is a huge range of fantastic work happening around the country. Our poster presentations provide an opportunity to showcase your work and inspire others.

This year’s conference theme is “Diversity – understanding and reaching the missing families.” Topics covered include culture and migration, women with learning disabilities, women in the criminal justice system, military families, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families and more…

Winners of the 2018 Perinatal Mental Health Awards will also be announced at the Conference,  

Tickets available here.  Submit your poster idea here





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

Booking opens for the MMHA Conference 2018

MMHA Conference 2018: Diversity – understanding and reaching the missing families

6th September 2018
Imperial College, London

Registration has opened for the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Conference 2018 – the annual conference dedicated to providing stimulating debate and discussion on perinatal mental health. This year’s theme is Diversity – understanding and reaching the missing families.

From key note speakers and a series of break-out sessions, the conference will provide an overview of the latest research on families experiencing barriers in accessing perinatal mental health support. It is an opportunity to highlight women’s experience and bring together practitioners from health and social care services to discuss diversity and mental health problems. Continue reading Booking opens for the MMHA Conference 2018

Commissioning in Perinatal Mental Health: Everyone’s Business

img_2427By Sally Hogg, Strategic Lead, Mums and Babies in Mind

Commissioning is a word that is widely used but not well understood. Commissioners are often seen as those who make the decisions and hold the purse strings, and commissioning as the process through which they use funding to procure (identify, obtain and purchase) local services. But few of us understand exactly what they do or how they work.

In fact, commissioning is much more than just procurement, and should not simply be seen as the role of those who have ‘commissioner’ within their job titles. Commissioning is the process of deciding how to use all the resources available in a system to improve citizens’ outcomes in the most efficient, effective and sustainable way. Whilst commissioners are ultimately accountable for this, they can’t do it alone and effective commissioning requires commissioners, managers, clinicians, and communities to work together to design and deliver pathways of care that produce the best outcomes for local populations. Continue reading Commissioning in Perinatal Mental Health: Everyone’s Business

Establishing a Lead Commissioner in Perinatal Mental Health

img_9948-1By Helen Ford, Lead Commissioner, Children, Young People and Maternity, NHS Gloucestershire/Gloucestershire County Council

Helen Ford is lead commissioner for Children and Maternity Services at Gloucestershire CCG and Gloucestershire County Council and is the lead commissioner for perinatal mental health. The MABIM team are supporting Helen and the perinatal and infant mental health network in Gloucestershire to improve perinatal mental health services. We interviewed Helen about her role as lead commissioner, what the network have achieved and her vision for the future.

Q: How did the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health network in Gloucestershire begin?

The network started a number of years ago when we were trying to get a care pathway together for women with perinatal mental health problems. We wanted to know what each person’s role and responsibility was within the different services and how we could work together better. Continue reading Establishing a Lead Commissioner in Perinatal Mental Health

Training Gloucestershire health visitors to promote mums’ and babies’ mental health

dsc_0027By Catherine Whitcombe, Locality Practice Teacher (Infant Mental Health Portfolio), Gloucestershire

When mums experience mental health problems, it can make it more difficult for them to bond with their babies and provide the sensitive care their babies need. In this blog, Catherine Whitcombe talks about the work health visitors are doing in Gloucestershire to promote mums’ and babies’ mental health. Catherine also spoke at last week’s Babies in Mind seminar about the use of the Neonatal Behavioural Observation tool. You can see a summary of the seminar here https://steller.co/s/6SAzaW57Nju

In December 2014 the health visiting service in Gloucestershire provided me and a colleague with the opportunity to complete the Neonatal Behavioural Observation (NBO) training. The aim was to gain a greater knowledge about, and learn new skills in supporting parents in understanding their babies.

Continue reading Training Gloucestershire health visitors to promote mums’ and babies’ mental health

Developing a perinatal mental health strategy

julie-juliff2By Julie Juliff, Head of Maternity Services for Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group

Julie Juliff is Head of Maternity Services for Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group. Mums and Babies in Mind is working with leaders from across services in Haringey to support their work to ensure mums and babies in the perinatal period are given a high level of care. Here Julie talks about the importance of developing a strategy for perinatal mental health services, how she went about doing this and how other leaders can follow in her footsteps.

If a woman needs specialist perinatal mental health services in Haringey, Enfield or Barnet it is currently a postcode lottery of home address and choice of birth location as to whether she will receive this care. For women, their partners and families it is difficult to access appropriate mental health care in our area. In order to improve this it is essential that there is local agreement in how services should be commissioned, designed and delivered. Commissioners we have been working with in Haringey, Enfield and Barnet have identified that this local agreement needs to be one of our priority areas but have also expressed a concern that they might not be able to identify funds to provide these essential services.

Continue reading Developing a perinatal mental health strategy