Children and young people’s mental health: focus group research

Department of Health and Social Care| August 2018 | Children and young people’s mental health: focus group research

The Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) funded  research into children and young people’s mental health.  DHSC funded  3 organisations: Youth Access, Young Minds and the National Children’s Bureau  to research the views of young people, parents and carers, and professionals about the proposals in the green paper.
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This research was conducted as part of a 13 week consultation between December 2017 to March 2018, it received over 2,700 responses (Source: DHSC) .

The documents are available here:

Young Minds: student insights report on green paper proposals

Youth Access: consultations with young people on the green paper

National Children’s Bureau: Transforming mental health provision for children and young people

 

Maternal mental health checks

Review of the National Childbirth Trust Hidden Half report and GP consultation | Centre for Mental Health

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Maternal mental health difficulties cause untold distress and suffering to women and their families, and cost the UK £8.1 billion each year. This report, commissioned by the NCT as part of their Hidden Half campaign, explores the implications of extending the current six-week health check for babies to include a consultation about the wellbeing of the mother.

We found that resourcing GPs to offer a ten-minute appointment about the mother’s health would cost around £27 million a year. But this could help to identify more women who are experiencing mental health difficulties after the birth of their child, and ensure that they receive timely, effective support.

The report concludes that an additional health check with GPs would provide an important opportunity to help women whose difficulties were missed during pregnancy. To make the most of their opportunity, GPs would also need training and advice on how to enquire about a new mother’s mental health.

Full report: Review of the National Childbirth Trust Hidden Half report and GP consultation

NHS England pledges specialist mental health services for new mums in every part of the country

NHS England & NHS Improvement | The Perinatal Mental Health Care Pathways | May 2018

NHS England has confirmed that new and expectant mums will be able to access specialist perinatal mental health community services in every part of the country by April 2019. The second wave of community-perinatal is now being rolled out to areas of the country that are currently underserved; with full geographical coverage  anticipated.

This £23 million  funding forms part of a package of measures, altogether worth a total of £365m by 2021, to transform specialist perinatal services so that 30,000 additional women can access evidence based treatment that is closer to home and when they need it, through specialist community services and inpatient mother and baby units (NHS England).

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Image source: england.nhs.uk

 

NHS England & NHS Improvement have published guidance to provide services with evidence on what works in perinatal mental health care, as well as case studies describing how areas are starting to make this a reality.

The full release can be read at NHS England 

The full guidance can be downloaded here

In the media:

BBC News Improved mental health care funding for new mums

The Guardian NHS to make perinatal mental health available across England

Women in a quarter of the UK still can’t access vital maternal mental health services

New maps launched today by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance show that pregnant women and new mothers in a quarter of the UK still cannot access lifesaving specialist perinatal mental health services.

background-2410669_1920According to new data, pregnant women and new mothers in 24% of the UK still have no access to specialist perinatal mental health services. In its press release, the Maternal Health Alliance makes the point that in the most serious cases, perinatal mental illness can be life threatening: suicide is a leading cause of death for women during pregnancy and one year after giving birth.

With more than 1 in 10 women developing a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby, it is important women with the most severe perinatal illnesses have access to vital specialist services wherever they live. If left untreated these illnesses can have a devastating impact on women and their families.

Full press release: Women in a quarter of the UK still can’t access vital maternal mental health services

Full detail: UK Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Community Teams (2017 data)

Related: Women across UK denied mental healthcare around childbirth, say doctors | The Guardian

Extra funding for pregnant and new mothers’ mental health announced

NHS England has announced extra funding will be made available to improve the mental health of at least 3,000 pregnant women and those who have recently given birth.
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 A total of £23 million is available during wave 2 of the  Perinatal Mental Health community services development fund.

The funding is part of a major programme of improvement and investment supporting the ambition in the Mental Health Five Year Forward View that, by 2020/21, there will be increased access to specialist perinatal mental health support , enabling  an additional 30,000 women to receive evidence-based treatment, closer to home, when they need it.

From 2019/20  funding for specialist perinatal mental health community services will be allocated through clinical commissioning group baseline (CCG) budgets.

 This funding will see 30,000 additional women getting specialist mental health care, in person and through online consultations including over Skype, during the early stages of motherhood, by 2021.

Further information can be found on the NHS England website 

Aerobic exercise moderately reduces depressive symptoms in new mothers

Doing aerobic exercise can reduce the level of depressive symptoms experienced by women who have had a baby in the past year | British Journal of General Practice |via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

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This review of 13 studies showed that involving new mothers in group exercise programmes, or advising them on an exercise of their choice, reduced depressive symptoms compared with usual care. The effect was moderate but significant. Examples of exercise were pram walks, with dietary advice from peers in some studies. The benefits were shown whether or not the mothers had postnatal depression.

The NIHR reports that the evidence does have some limitations regarding its quality but is the best research currently available. This review should give additional confidence to health visitors and GPs to advise women that keeping active after birth can benefit their mental and physical health.

Further detail at NIHR

Full reference: Pritchett R V, Daley A J, Jolly K. Does aerobic exercise reduce postpartum depressive symptoms? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of General Practice. 2017;67(663)

Inpatient provision for children and young people with mental health problems

Education Policy Institute, July 2017

In a new report, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has examined the state of child and adolescent mental health inpatient services in England. The analysis explores the latest evidence and NHS data on admissions, quality of care, staffing and capacity.

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Source: Education Policy Institute

 

 

 

 

 
The research highlights 5 challenges to raising standards in young people’s mental health provision:

Workforce shortages
Minimum standards not met 
Provision of beds
Young people in inpatient care
Young people are being left in hospital for longer than necessary due to a lack of community services