Becoming a new parent should be an exciting event but for up to one in five women this is not the case. Perinatal mental illnesses (PMI) such as postnatal depression are not always recognised and cost society approximately £64,000 per mother and child.
PATH (PerinAtal menTal Health) is a EU-funded project which will enable women, families and healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose and successfully manage mild and moderate perinatal mental health issues.
The project will run from 1 February 2019 to the 30 September 2022. It receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund, has a budget of over £7.3 million and involves partners from the UK, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. The Health and Europe Centre is the lead partner in the initiative and will be working with Southampton City Council and these other organisations:
- Bournemouth University
- Plymouth and District MIND
- Kent County Council
- Institute of Health Visiting
- Kent & Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust
- Odisee University College (Belgium)
- Antwerp University of Applied Sciences (Belgium)
- Hospital Centre of Douai (France)
- Ngo Attachment in Development (Belgium)
- Maasstad Hospital (Netherlands)
- Antwerp University Hospital (Belgium)
There are also 22 observer partners, including Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and the British Association for Supported Employment.
PATH will prepare parents for their new role and help them avoid PMI, as well as improving the skills of healthcare professionals, equipping them to address PMI confidently and effectively. The project will design, deliver and implement durable services both online and face-to-face, aiming to increase recognition and prevention of PMI and support new families' mental wellbeing.
The project will develop:
- An online multi-media international support hub
- A course of support sessions for 4,000 families in mixed groups of pre-pregnant/pregnant/parents
- A ground-breaking model of holistic family support. This model will include peer supporter training and network of intergenerational community support groups