Charities launch new project to boost maternal mental health services and protect mothers and their babies 

3rd Mar 2022
Families, children and young people
Maternal mental health
Programmes

New mothers from seldom-heard communities, including young mothers and those from culturally diverse backgrounds, are the focus of a project announced today on International Women’s Day.

The project - Amplifying Maternal Voices – aims to improve mothers’ and families’ access to support for their mental health, and is a collaboration between the Mental Health Foundation and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

This support is desperately needed. According to the NHS’s Long-Term Plan in 2019, around one in four women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 24 months after giving birth. The consequences of not accessing high quality perinatal mental health care are estimated to cost the NHS and social care £1.2 billion a year.

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2017), the majority of women who reported experiencing mental health problems (55%) were not referred to services or given any advice about organisations to contact for further help. 19% were referred to services and 18% were given information about where to go for further support.

Amplifying Maternal Voices (AMV) will run for at least two years nationwide; It will work towards achieving equal mental health care for all women in perinatal services - services for pregnant women and new mothers who need support.

The AMV project will work closely with communities that have a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds, to amplify their voices in conversations about how services should be delivered. It will begin by working closely with local networks across England to identify the most effective ways of influencing how services are provided. The project is funded by the Foundation’s Covid Response Programme, which supports groups whose mental health has been worst hit by the pandemic. 

The AMV project will bring together experts and families to create a toolkit that will help local communities to influence service development and improvements that work for them. The latest research and guidance on maternal mental health will be showcased in a conference and learning event. There will also be targeted communications, awareness campaigns and signposting for new mums.

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Notes to editors:

For further information, contact [email protected] or call 07702 873939

*Please note ‘Fatima’ is a pseudonym. 

The Mental Health Foundation has been the UK’s leading charity for everyone’s mental health since 1949. With prevention at the heart of what we do, we aim to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive. 

The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

he Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a UK-wide charity and network of over 100 organisations dedicated to ensuring women and families affected by perinatal mental health problems have equal access to high quality, comprehensive care.