This week Marion and Hafsah attended an event promoting awareness of perinatal mental health, hosted at the The Welcome Centre by Coventry and Warwickshire councils and South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

There were speakers present from many different backgrounds, including people who had previously used perinatal mental health services who shared their experiences with depression following the birth of their children. Several of these people had used their own experiences to develop local service user forums and peer-support services such as Fathers Reaching Out, Dads Matter UK and By Your Side. Other speakers included Mums in Mind, Parents in Mind, Diane Aldersley (Clinical Lead for SWFT Health Visiting), and Dr Beckie Lang (who is leading the strategic Mums and Babies in Mind project). Professor Jane Barlow gave some fascinating insights based on her research on how to improve outcomes for high risk mothers and babies during the perinatal period, and on the effectiveness of interventions of reducing child abuse and neglect.

After lunch we then joined in with a variety of workshops exploring topics around perinatal mental health. This was a really insightful and emotional event that touched the hearts of everyone in the room, reinforcing how important it is to work together to provide and improve support services for mothers, fathers and infants are during the perinatal period.

We also found out about some more local events and services promoting perinatal mental health:

  • Perinatal Mental Health Awareness walk on the 12th May 2019 – a three-mile walk, simply contact [email protected] to join this wonderful event to raise awareness and challenge stigma.
  • The By Your Side Forum can hold your hand through the perinatal period with regular peer-support groups across Coventry and Warwickshire. (There is funding available to help with travel costs.)
  • The local Mother and Baby Unit provide hampers to help families settle back into life at home that include date night vouchers for parents, pamper items for mum and cuddly toys for the children.

For more information from the event and its speakers, visit the 1001 Critical Days website.