This year the key message is about ensuring that women and their family and friends know where they can find help and support for mums experiencing mental health problems during pregnancy or in the first year of a baby’s life.
We know that at least one in ten women can be affected by mental health problems during pregnancy and the year after she has had a baby. We know that these mental health problems can have devastating effects on mums, partners and babies. They are of particular concern when they exist alongside other adversities. But we know that with the right kinds of support at the right time, much of the harm caused by these mental health problems can be prevented or overcome. By supporting mums and their families affected by perinatal mental health problems we can improve outcomes for children so they are given the best start in life.
Today, we are excited to announce the launch of a new collaborative research project into perinatal mental health in Wales. NSPCC Cymru/Wales, The National Centre for Mental Health and Mind Cymru have joined forces to work together on a project which investigates perinatal mental health services in Wales.
Over the next year, we will be working together to map out what services are available across statutory and voluntary sectors in Wales for women experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties, and explore what it is like for women and their partners in Wales to live with, and manage these types of illnesses.
To help us do this we will be launching a number of online surveys within the next few months and we would like to hear from midwives, health visitors, and mental health teams who are practising in Wales; third sector organisations who provide perinatal mental health support to women; and women and their partners (18+) affected by perinatal mental health problems (diagnosed or undiagnosed) in Wales. We will be advertising for research participants soon.
What we find out from this project will help us to understand whether mums and their families are getting the support they need to live with and manage perinatal illnesses in Wales. We will be writing up our findings into a report which we would like to launch at an event in March 2018. If you would like more information about the project or you would like to get involved, please contact Dr. Sarah Witcombe-Hayes at Sarah.Witcombe-Hayes@NSPCC.org.uk or on 029 2010 8038.