Women encouraged to reach out for support during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week | Our latest updates

Women encouraged to reach out for support during Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

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During Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (1 – 7 May) our Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS) will be delivering drop-in sessions at libraries across the county and free online webinars to raise awareness of mental wellbeing and highlight the help and support available.

Perinatal refers to the time during a pregnancy and up to twelve months following the birth of a child. The SPMHS provides care and treatment for women with moderate to severe PMH conditions and supports the developing relationship between parent and baby. They also offer advice to those with existing mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or psychosis who are planning a pregnancy. Referrals to the SPMHS can be made by any health professional working with an individual including midwives, health visitors, GP’s, hospital-based teams and mental health services.

The theme for this year’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is 'Together in a Changing World'. The drop-in sessions have been organised to bring people together to talk about mental wellbeing and learn more about the services available.

The webinars will be delivered by NHFT’s Psychologists, Peer Support Workers and Occupational Therapists, offering insight into the common feelings and experiences new mums may have during pregnancy and after having a baby. These sessions will challenge assumptions and highlight the mental health difficulties many parents face during this new chapter in their lives. Webinars are free, they are open to both the public and professionals, please visit the links below to register your place.

Anne Rackham, Interim Chief Operating Officer at NHFT said: “Perinatal mental illness affects one in four new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, mental health conditions can have significant and long-lasting effects on the mother, the child, and the wider family. The team has grown substantially since the service launched in 2019 and the demand for perinatal mental health support is increasing. Last year the service accepted 1,013 referrals, with 92% having maintained or improved mental health upon completing care.”

Carly Galpin, Interim Strategic Lead for NHFT Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Services said: “Conditions such as postnatal depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis can occur during pregnancy or soon after having a baby and their presentations can range from mild to severe. The development of the service has led to Peer Support Workers being embedded into the team, who have lived experience of perinatal mental health conditions. Following their recovery, they have undertaken specialist training to support others who are experiencing similar difficulties. If you or anyone you know may be struggling, please speak out or seek support.”


Details for drop-in sessions, webinars and the wellbeing walk:

Community drop-in sessions being held at libraries across Northamptonshire
Tuesday 2 May
9:45am - 11:45am - Oundle Library
10:00am - 12:00pm - Daventry Library
10:15am - 11:15am - Duston Library
1:45pm - 3:45pm - Wellingborough Library

Wednesday 3 May
9:45am - 10:45am - Rushden Library
9:45am - 11:45am - Weston Favell Library

Thursday 4 May
9:45am - 11:45am - Towcester Library
9:15am - 12:15pm - Corby Library

Friday 5 May
10:15am - 11:15am - Northampton Central Library


MS Teams Webinars

Tuesday 2 May
12:15pm - Peer Support – Walking in your shoes (50 minutes) - Click here to register.

Wednesday 3 May
12:15pm - Managing Mum guilt (30 minutes) - Click here to register.

Thursday 4 May
12:00pm - Adapting to Motherhood (1hr 5 minutes) - Click here to register.

Friday 5 May
12:00pm - Lived Experience - Maternal mental health (1 hr 20 minutes) - Click here to register.


Maternal Mental Health Wellbeing Walk - Sunday 14 May
11:00am – 12:00pm - Delapré Abbey, Northampton

Families are invited to join the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service for a wellbeing walk around the beautiful grounds of Delapré Abbey. This walk provides families with the opportunity to meet and connect with other parents and members of the SPMHS team. To book a place on the walk, visit: www.bit.ly/MMHWalk

For details on mental health support for women and families in Northamptonshire relating to perinatal mental health visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/perinatal  

Anyone struggling with their mental health, can call the dedicated and confidential Northamptonshire Mental Health number available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Call 0800 448 0828, any time of day or night.

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