In January last year, the Minister for Health Robin Swann approved funding for the development of specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services in each of Northern Ireland’s five Health and Social Care Trusts.
Since then, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has been working with Trusts to establish new multidisciplinary community perinatal mental health teams, that will include a new stepped care model to ensure regional consistency. Continue reading Update on the rollout of specialist perinatal mental health services in Northern Ireland →
Guest blog by Clare Anderson, Mas Project Coordinator, Women’s Resource and Development Agency
Who is MMHA’s new member WRDA?
The Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA) has a vision of a fair and equal society where women are empowered and are a visible force for change and influence in all areas of life. The Mas project (Maternal Advocacy & Support), in partnership with eight women’s centres in the Belfast, Lisburn and Derry area, offer peer support to women who are experiencing perinatal mental health problems. The project also provides a platform for women to talk about their experiences in the healthcare system and identify service areas that could be improved or developed for pregnant and postnatal women in Northern Ireland.  Continue reading WRDA and the Mas Project: lived experience insights →
Northern Ireland’s Health Minister, Robin Swann, has approved funding for the development of a new Perinatal Mental Health Delivery Model, including specialist multi-disciplinary perinatal mental health teams in each of the five trust areas. Continue reading Funding approved for Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland →
“We in Northern Ireland urgently request the commitment of investment and ring-fencing of funds required to ensure women, babies, families and communities get the care and support they need and deserve.”
– Consensus Statement on the improvement of Perinatal Mental Health services in Northern Ireland
Despite the stalemate in Stormont, all political parties in Northern Ireland have co-signed a ground-breaking Consensus Statement, drafted as part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Everyone’s Business campaign, committing to close the gap in specialist mental health provision for women during pregnancy and the first year after giving birth.
England, Scotland and Wales have faced similar challenges with their specialist perinatal mental health services, but in recent years each have seen significant improvements due to specific and targeted investment. While stakeholders in Northern Ireland have shown support in principal, until now a formal commitment had not been made. Continue reading Political parties in Northern Ireland agree landmark maternal mental health Consensus Statement →
The Everyone’s Business Campaign has published a briefing on perinatal mental health in Northern Ireland.
Download the briefing here.
By Lindsay Robinson, mum, campaigner and advocate for maternal mental health
Lindsay is mum to Reuben and lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is dedicated to raising awareness of perinatal mental health and helping to improve support for all who struggle. She works with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
In September 2015 I was finally diagnosed with Postnatal Depression, two years after my son was born. I had experienced a long (undiagnosed) battle with the illness which made me severely ill – mentally, emotionally and physically. Having asked for help, twice, in the early months and not been treated, I then believed how I was feeling was my fault. I used to tell myself I’d “missed the mum gene”. Continue reading I’m ready to thrive not just survive: Lindsay Robinson’s story →