Overcoming barriers to accessing perinatal mental health services for seldom heard, at risk groups
PHE ePoster Library. Steinfeld R. Sep 12, 2019; 274364; 169
Dr. Rebecca Steinfeld
Dr. Rebecca Steinfeld
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Abstract Mental ill health affects more than one in 10 mothers during pregnancy or within the first year of giving birth. Suicide is a leading cause of death for women in this perinatal period. The literature suggests that some groups may be more at risk of experiencing perinatal mental ill health: Black and minority ethnic women, migrant women, young mothers, and lesbian and bisexual mothers. Through the Five Year Forward View, NHS England has been leading a transformation in inpatient and community-based specialist perinatal mental health services, with community services now established in every STP area. The NHS Long Term Plan commits to a further expansion to improve access, but there is more to do to ensure quality and consistency, especially for groups and individuals who face greater challenges. This presentation identifies the specific barriers confronting seldom-heard, at-risk groups, and highlights the voluntary sector-led strategies that can overcome some of those barriers. It draws on a soon-to-be published report by the charity Maternity Action, conducted alongside members of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance. The report is based on 25 qualitative interviews with voluntary sector organisations and healthcare professionals, and four focus groups with individuals with lived experience from at risk communities. This presentation will detail the report's findings for the first time, and highlight recommendations for improving perinatal mental healthcare services for policymakers, commissioners, and voluntary sector organisations. External funding details This project was funded by the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance.
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