Mental health campaigns and community action
On this page, you will find details about current and historical mental health projects that I have helped promote, including fundraising events, and community campaigns. If you would like me to get involved with your project, please contact me via e-mail or Twitter.
Dorset Mind youth project
I am Patron for Dorset Mind. Among many projects, we are current seeking funding to help establish young people's mental health services. You can discover more about that here. Young people are our future. We owe it to them to ensure better mental health.
Perinatal Mental health
Over the last few years, I have been part of several campaigns to urge better perinatal mental health services, support, and education. That has been undertaken through 3 routes: Perinatal Mental Health Partnership, Maternal Mental Health Alliance, and 1001 Critical Days. Much of that has involved visiting Parliament to make our case. You read more about that on perinatal mental health pages on this website. We are beginning to see some return on those efforts, with increased funding from the UK Government. However, there is a still a long way to go. We need perinatal mental health mother and baby units (and associated community services) within easy reach for very family in the UK. We need comprehensive mental health training for all health professionals involved in the perinatal period. We need high quality (benchmarked) peer-support services across the UK. There's much work still to do!
One of the ways in which we can help more families is through their employer. I am working with Peppy Health (as a perinatal mental health advisor), who are encouraging employers to support staff during the perinatal period. This will include access, through Peppy, to high quality experts in health, pregnancy, postnatal care, breastfeeding and mental health.
One of the key casualties as result of poor perinatal mental health is the relationship between mother and infant. We know that poor attachment is related to negative developmental outcomes, including emotional difficulties, conduct problems, social interaction, slower development, and poorer physical and mental health. To address that locally, I am working with a new charity (DorPIP), which provides therapeutic services to help rebuild those relationship difficulties. DorPIP is affiliated to PIP(UK) - the national charity for parent-infant support (created by 1001 Critical Days). .
Notwithstanding all I have said about maternal mental health, we also need more support for dad. I work work with inspirational Mark Williams on several projects (not least International Fathers' Mental Health Day (the day after Father's Day). Good things are happening, but there's much more to do. You can read more on the Fathers Mental Health page. In recent months (since November 2018), there have been some significant developments in support for fathers. Working with colleagues across the UK, it has been an honour to play a part in that. You read more about this on the fathers page. The most recent good news came from the announcement of NHS Long-Term Plan in January 2019. Within that, there are proposals for better support for fathers' mental health. I have been recruited to an expert reference group on behalf of NHS England to develop those proposals (through PMH Families).