Pathways to improving mental health

Becoming a new parent should be an exciting time however for up to one in five women this isn’t the case. According to a study by London School of Economics (LSE), the average cost to society of one case of perinatal depression is around £74,000, of which £23,000 relates to the mother and £51,000 relates to impacts on the child.

PATH (PerinAtal menTal Health) is part of the Interreg VA 2Seas programme and receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The project hopes to enable women, families and healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose and successfully manage mild/moderate perinatal mental illness (PMI) via radical system change, developing an inclusive, holistic health structure which is co-created with existing patients and expectant/new parents.

As Dr Bosky Nair, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist explains: “10-20 per cent of women suffer from mental ill health following birth and up to a year after, of which around 90 per cent of these women do not receive the support they need.

"The PATH project will deliver a multi-media campaign to raise awareness of and de-stigmatise PMI and promote prepared parenting, reaching 600,000.

"Through this project we will produce a suite of online resources and face-to-face training for health professionals in order to increase their confidence to recognise PMI symptoms and provide appropriate care. Alongside this will be resources for employers, helping them to support the return to work of new mums.”

KMPT are leading on the multi-media campaign, the training for the healthcare professionals and setting up peer support systems, as well as helping with the content for the families and pre-conception sections of the hub.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these areas of the project, then you can speak to our PATH project lead, Holly Till: holly.till@nhs.net

The project has launched its multi-media campaign in the UK, with planned launches for Belgium, France and Netherlands between now and September. The campaign is looking at tackling stigma around perinatal mental illnesses and understanding the barriers that are preventing so many people from seeking and receiving the help and support they need. We are working with Sandra Igwe, best-selling children’s author and founder of The Motherhood Group, and Mark Williams, mental health campaigner and founder of Fathers Reaching Out, to start conversations about PMI, with the two sharing their own stories with us in upcoming animation videos. So far the campaign has reached over 2.2 million people in the UK alone. You can find out more about tackling the stigma here

Over the next few months we will begin to populate our PATH hub, a platform full of resources for employers, healthcare professionals and families. We will be releasing the sections gradually, so keep an eye out on social media as this exciting part of the project begins to take shape.

Total Project Budget: €8.53 million
Project Duration: 3.5 years (1 February 2019 to 30 September 2022)

If you are interested in finding out more about the project, please sign up to our e-bulletin by emailing: kmpt.path@nhs.net

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News

Read about the launch of the PATH project