PATH – PerinAtal menTal Health – is part of the Interreg VA 2Seas programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The iHV is one of several partner organisations from across the UK, the Netherlands, France and Belgium (see below for partner details) working together to enable women, families and healthcare professionals to prevent, recognise and successfully manage mild and moderate perinatal mental illness (PMI).
PATH seeks to promote positive parenting experiences and empower parents to feel confident in accessing self-help, professional support and guidance from employers, leading to happier and healthier families.
Total Project Budget: €8.53 million
Project Duration: 4 years (1 February 2019 to March 2023)
Project Official Website: path-perinatal.eu
The Institute of Health Visiting is excited to be participating in such an innovative project. If you would like to find out more about this project, please email [email protected]
All project partners:
There are also 22 observer partners: Postpartum Support International, Kent Police, The British Association for Supported Employment, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Service départemental de Protection Maternelle et Infantile, Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten, Réseau Bien Naitre en Artois, Vereniging van Ouders van Couveusekinderen, V&VN Kinderverpleegkunde, Universiteit Antwerpen, Syndicat Mixte du Grand Douaisis, TalkTone Ltd, CIRE – Délégation de Santé publique France en région Hauts-de-France, Data and Services Ltd, Vlaamse Vereniging van Ouders van Couveusekinderen, Vlaamse Beroepsoganisatie van Vroedvrouwen, Expertisecentrum Kraamzorg De Kraamvogel vzw, Patientenfederatie Nederland, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Obstetrie & Gynaecologie. Association Française de Maternologie, Fédération régionale de recherché en psychiatrie et santé mentale, Centre Collaborateur de l’Organisation Mondiale de la santé pour la recherche et la santé mental.
As part of the final PATH congress on 16 November 2022 at the Kinepolis Antwerp, a special edition of VROEG was issued – 44 pages long, it gives a complete overview of the PATH project.
The iHV has collaborated on the 3 main aims of PATH to:
Reach parents with digital and community initiatives for families, including a new support hub:
Reach healthcare professionals
Reach healthcare professionals with PATH resources and training designed to increase their confidence to recognise PMI symptoms and provide appropriate care.
Reach employers with resources that help them better support maternity and paternity leave and parents’ return to work.
A key piece of work for PATH was to understand how to support parental wellbeing in the workplace. The iHV undertook a literature review then, together with PATH partner Southampton City Council, undertook further research and interviews with parents and employers, resulting in ten parental workplace wellbeing recommendations for employers.
Short film - Health Visitors: for every family
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), working together with parents and Solent NHS Trust, is delighted to share a short film to highlight the value and breadth of the role of the health visitor in relation to family mental health and wellbeing outcomes. The film is relevant for health visitors across the UK, and you can use it to promote the work that you do.
Produced as part of the Interreg 2Seas PATH project, the film raises the profile of the universal UK health visiting programme, where every family has access to a highly skilled and well-trained health visitor. It showcases the unique opportunity and skills that health visitors have to build relationships and the support that health visitors can offer where additional concerns about parental mental health or the parent-infant relationship are identified.
Created to appeal to parents, health and social care practitioners, government policymakers and commissioners, the film offers insights into a ‘day in the life’ of a UK health visitor, demonstrating the impact of open, trusting relationships and highlighting the importance of continuity of health visitor in building a sense of partnership with parents and families.
PATH multimedia campaign
The PATH project has been supported by a multimedia campaign to raise awareness of and de-stigmatise mental illness in the perinatal period via paid, earned and shared media including social media platforms, radio and TV placements, posters in maternity hospitals and customised pharmacy bags. Key influencers for perinatal mental health supported the campaign by participating in podcasts, interviews and the development of animated stories of their lived experiences (see the two animations below). The reach of the campaign has already exceeded projected targets and continues to gain traction.
A bespoke survey conducted for the campaign found evidence echoed in recent similar research around concerning levels of poor mental health experienced by parents during their pregnancy or the first year after birth; their lack of confidence to seek support; and the exacerbating effects on these issues of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch Sandra and Mark’s animations below: