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News: Moving forward with maternal mental health – conference success!

Moving forward with maternal mental health – conference success!

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) held the first perinatal mental health conference on 24 February 2016 at Kettering Conference Centre. Over 220 delegates attended including healthcare professionals such as mental health nurses, midwives, health visitors and doctors.  The conference was also attended by a range of third sector organisations and mothers and fathers who have experienced perinatal mental health conditions.

1 in 5 women experience a mental health condition during pregnancy or in the first year after and there is currently a national focus on perinatal mental health to improve services for mothers and families during this time. 

The programme for the day included Dr Margaret Oates OBE who highlighted the importance of having clearly defined maternal mental health pathways and how the effect of not having clear pathways can have a detrimental effect on families. Deborah Wallis, from Northamptonshire County Council presented the recently signed 1001 critical days manifesto in Northamptonshire. Nicola Muckelroy from Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) and Elaine Hanzak shared their own experiences of Postpartum Psychosis and stressed the need for specialist treatment and support for families during this time.  They both highlighted the difference healthcare professionals can make on individual care and focused on recognising the important role families and significant others play in supporting mothers.

Angela Hillery, Chief Executive of NHFT said: “I was delighted to see so many people at the inaugural maternal mental health conference from members of staff to partnership organisations. It is topical in the news and even the soaps at the moment and therefore important we continue to work together to raise awareness and move forward with maternal mental health in Northamptonshire”.

The conference showcased an exhibition of local and national support and resources.  Feedback showed that people strongly agreed that they found the exhibition useful and it increased their knowledge. For more information about the conference and maternal mental health please visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/mmh.

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