iHV is delighted to announce that our Mental Health Lead, Melita Walker, has been nominated for, and accepted, the role of President of the United Kingdom and Ireland Marcé Society (UKIMS).


Melita Walker, iHV Mental Health Lead

The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health is an international, interdisciplinary organisation dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers /partners and their babies. The iHV has been a longstanding supporter of the International Marcé Society and the regional branch. The overall mission and aims of the Society are strongly aligned to the charitable objectives of the Institute of Health Visiting and the work of the iHV, its 5 pillars and the workstreams progressed as part of the iHV Mental Health Department.

In accepting the position, Melita Walker said:

“I am deeply honoured to have been nominated to lead the UK and Ireland regional group of such a world-leading and well-renowned perinatal mental health community.  I look forward to being able to strengthen the contribution of health visiting within the international perinatal community and vice-versa, strengthening the Society by spotlighting: a whole systems approach to perinatal and infant mental health;  thinking of the whole family; transferring knowledge into practice; public mental health and prevention; informing research from practice and practice from research; and co-production with parents/families.”

Melita will serve one year as President-elect, at the end of this term she will become President of UKIMS and serve for 3 years.

Melita continued:

“The Marcé Society has been a source of inspiration to me and the connections we have made. These connections and the fabulous International and regional UKIMS meetings have enabled us at the iHV to make sure that our training, resources, responses to policy consultations and events are informed by the very latest cutting-edge research.

“I am particularly excited that my term as President will coincide with Professor Louise Howard’s term as President of the International Society and am very much looking forward to seeing lots of health visitors at the Biennial International Marcé Meeting in London in 2022!”





The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) is delighted to announce that it has won first prize in the White Swan Foundation and Marcé Society International Perinatal Mental Health Education Awards for its Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Champions training programme.

White Swan Foundation and Marcé Society say ‘the prize recognises the pioneering work of institutions that catalyse perinatal awareness through stakeholder education.  It particularly focuses on models that have the potential to be scaled in low and middle-income (LAMI) countries where perinatal mental health issues are largely ignored and do not receive professional interventions.’

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting said:

“This is a massive honour for the Institute and our perinatal and infant mental health training department.  To win this award, with such internationally eminent judges, is significant recognition of the quality of the Institute’s training.

“Our training has evolved over many years, alongside the evidence base, changing policy and evolving national standards, and is unique in its capacity to reach large audiences through our highly developed cascade model which builds in sustainability for commissioners. The training and its quality assurance measures have been developed alongside experts by experience as well as perinatal mental health experts from the professions we commonly train, i.e. health visitors, midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners and psychiatrists and other mental health workers.”

The iHV Champions project has become a social movement of people and organisations who are committed to creating local health and social capital, and building a sustainable, community-based public health service. As of the NHS 70th birthday on 5 July 2018, the iHV had trained 1545 health and social care professionals as Champions – with numbers increasing all the time!

Dr Adams added:

“The Marcé scientific community is keen to see how the iHV model can be used across communities in LAMI countries and we are excited to think how lessons here in England can be used to reach even more families and communities globally!”

For more details of the iHV Champions training, please see https://ihv.org.uk/our-work/our-work-in-mental-health/mental-health-training/  or contact [email protected] , the Institute’s Training Lead.

For further details of other perinatal mental health activity undertaken by the Institute, please see https://ihv.org.uk/our-work/our-work-in-mental-health/ Or contact [email protected], the Institute’s Mental Health Lead.

Find out more: https://marcesociety.com/meetings/past-meetings/