10th October 2020
Mental health is a key public health priority, yet it is often one of the most neglected areas of public health. The human and economic cost of poor mental health was already challenging pre-COVID which is having a significant impact on people’s mental health, with parents and their infants being particularly vulnerable due to a lack of usual support and services, alongside the additional challenges of becoming a parent and the personal, social and economic consequences of the pandemic.
The challenges of investment for and access to services at the point of need (including the opportunity for prevention of family mental health problems in the first place, early intervention and family mental health promotion) has been greatly exacerbated due to COVID-19.
That is why, for this year’s World Mental Health Day, the iHV is delighted to be engaged in two projects which embrace the theme of World Mental Health Day: Mental Health for All, Greater Investment – Greater Access.
We have a new partnership with Dr Ranjana Das and Dr Paul Hodkinson from the University of Surrey and the NCT. We will work in partnership with parents and professionals to develop innovative evidence-informed resources for parent communities, alongside raising awareness of need and supporting healthcare professionals, services and commissioners to design and deliver services that are what families say they need. Read more about the work of Ranjana and Paul and our new project here
Our other project, the PATH (PerinAtal menTal Health) project, was launched on World Maternal Mental Health Day last year, with the ambition of supporting the emotional and mental health of new parents in their journey to parenthood. Partner organisations within the project work across the European 2Seas Region, which includes England, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium. Those involved have a diverse range of expertise including mental health, public health, maternity, nursing, medicine, employment, project management, research, and technology. This week we joined project partners from Kent and Medway Health and Social Care NHS Trust and Rachael Parker (Professional Development Officer iHV) and Dr Bosky Nair (Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist KMPT) presented a summary of the PATH project at the virtual 2020 International Marcé Society Conference.
The PATH project is currently inviting parents within the perinatal period to take part in an online survey about their mental health and wellbeing during the transition to parenthood, to support the development and evaluation of a multi-media campaign.
For more information and to take part in this study, please scan the QR code or click the link below: