We are delighted to announce that we have employed a Participation Officer to work with the Scottish Government’s Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Programme Board to include the voices of lived experience in their work.
Here is a message from Clare Thompson.
I co-founded the Maternal Mental Health Scotland Change Agents in 2015, as a mum who had experienced mental ill-health after the birth of my daughter. I received excellent care in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, but I soon became aware that many women and families across Scotland were not able to access such good support.
This wonderful group of women and men grew from a few people, to around 30 active members, and many of us have lent our “expertise by experience” to steering groups, training sessions and consultations over the years. I feel passionate that women and families should be supported to share their experiences, if they choose to do so. Such support goes a long way to ensuring that participation is meaningful, and not tokenistic. I hope to offer some of that support.
In 2020, I’ll need your help! I’ll be travelling around Scotland, gathering the views of people who have experienced good care and bad care for their mental health care during pregnancy, or after the birth of their babies. This might have come from the NHS or local authority or from the third sector and peer support. I’d like to find out the experiences of women in prison, women and families from rural areas, refugee and asylum seeking women, women from Black and minority ethnic communities, LGBTQ women and families and women who have experienced domestic abuse.
I am so pleased to have been appointed to this post, and look forward to sharing this information with the Programme Board, and with you, to ensure that the £52 million pledged by the Scottish Government is well spent, and reflects the needs of women and families in Scotland.
If you would like to get in touch, please email clare.thompson (at) maternalmentalhealthscotland.org.uk.