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The Maternal Mental Health Alliance and the iHV

18th April 2013

 

The iHV is delighted to be one of the member organisations of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance. The alliance was set up to ensure that all women throughout the UK have access to the support they need, when they need it, because they know what to expect and what to ask for. The alliance is focusing on ensuring that women have access to the best possible care and support to ensure and promote optimal mental health and emotional well-being during pregnancy and the year following delivery. Of course the alliance recognises the importance of the mental health and emotional well-being of fathers and babies during this time of adaptation and change, and the important role that fathers play in supporting mothers and nurturing babies, but believes that the primary focus of the campaign must be on mothers, owing to their unique role during pregnancy and their usual predominance in the main caregiving role post birth.

 

Thanks to a grant from Comic Relief to establish the key stakeholders and principle ambitions of the campaign, the iHV has been privileged to participate in two Theory of Change workshops held in London in February and April. Representatives from organisations from all parts of the UK attended these workshops and contributed a wealth of ideas and opinions regarding what we need to do to improve services for women and their families. The participants have looked at the assumptions to be addressed and the drivers for change in the context of 4 main campaign outcomes. These focus on increasing awareness amongst women and their families regarding the emotional and mental health aspects of having a baby; enabling health and social care professionals to pro-actively ask about mental health in the perinatal period and make appropriate referrals; reducing the stigma surrounding perinatal mental ill-health; supporting commissioners to commission effective, appropriate and sustainable perinatal mental health pathways of care.

 

A small operational group chaired by Dr Alain Gregoire, with the help of Dr Gillian Granville and associates, will now take forward the ideas and opinions generated by the workshop participants to clarify a Theory of Change and campaign strategy which will form the basis of further bids for funding which, will in turn, determine the way that the campaign evolves and the priority areas for early action.

 

Further information about the organisations involved and the aims of the alliance can be obtained from the newly established website at

 

www.maternalmentalhealthalliance.org.uk.

 

 

 

Catherine Lowenhoff

For the IHV

18.04.13