Every Mum Matters: New mental health awareness campaign for new and expectant mums

A newly-launched campaign is encouraging new and expectant mums in parts of Yorkshire and the Humber region to look after their mental health.

The Every Mum Matters campaign www.everymummatters.com launched across Hull and East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire today (Monday, 29th April), which also marks the start of Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week (29th April–3rd May 2019).

The campaign aims to support new and expectant mums and their families to be able to recognise symptoms of perinatal mental health problems early and encourage them to seek help promptly.

It is estimated that perinatal mental health issues, which are those that occur during pregnancy or during the first year following the birth of a child, affect one in five women and can have long-lasting effects on the woman and her family if left untreated.

But many perinatal mental health issues are treatable and recognising the signs early and seeking support promptly improves recovery and outcomes for mums and their babies.

Women’s mental health symptoms can fluctuate during this period, from mild to moderate, to moderate to severe, and some of the conditions might include:

  • Antenatal or postnatal depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Adjustment difficulties
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Post-partum psychosis
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Eating disorders

The www.everymummatters.com website contains information to help new and expectant mums and their families who may be experiencing perinatal mental health issues, including details of the specialist perinatal mental health services available in Hull, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Having secured a share of a £23million nationwide investment announced by NHS England, the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership – a collaboration of 28 health and social care organisations – has delivered specialist community perinatal mental health services in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Scarborough and Ryedale, and the Vale of York.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has strengthened its specialist perinatal mental health services in Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire. The Trust is also working with NAViGO and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust to introduce a new service in North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust has introduced new specialist perinatal mental health services across the Vale of York and Scarborough and Ryedale.

Michele Moran, Chair of the Humber, Coast and Vale Mental Health Partnership Board and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, said: “These specialist community perinatal mental health services will help to ensure that women in our communities receive the support they need at this important time in their lives.

“Perinatal mental health issues are common and most are treatable, but women often feel reluctant to ask for help for a number of reasons.”

Katy Morley, Team Leader and Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Liaison Nurse at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have introduced the Every Mum Matters campaign to help combat the stigma that surrounds perinatal mental health conditions – and encourage women to ask for help if they feel they need some support.

“If you are concerned that you are experiencing perinatal mental health problems please speak to a friend, relative or health professional so you can get help and support. The Every Mum Matters website has plenty of information to help support you, while health professionals involved in your care, such as your GP, midwife or health visitor, will be able to offer support and refer you to an appropriate service.”

Hayley Williamson-Escreet, a 32-year-old mother of four from Leven in East Yorkshire, was referred to the perinatal mental health team in Hull after her daughter Grace was born in 2018, although she first experienced perinatal mental health problems when she was 21 and had just had her first child.

She said: “The perinatal mental health team never questioned my ability to care for my children which was what had stopped me from getting help in the past. The nurse was so caring and kind – it felt like such a weight was lifted when she understood what I was experiencing. She helped me to make sense of everything at a time when I couldn’t. The perinatal mental health service was a life saver.

“Please don’t suffer in silence if you’re pregnant or have recently had your baby and are struggling with your mental health. Also don’t wait until you’re at crisis point to get help; if you feel something’s not right – speak to your GP or midwife, who can help by referring you to an appropriate service so you can get the support you need.”

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