NI Maternal Mental Health Conference 2019

NI Maternal Mental Health Conference 2019

May 23, 2019

The 2nd NI Maternal Mental Health Conference took place on Monday 29th April 2019 at The MAC, Belfast and was proudly sponsored by AWARE NI alongside event partners Moment Health and Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

Dr. Alain Gregoire delivering the keynote speech

Following the huge success of the sold-out first conference in 2018, the team came together once again to demonstrate the power that local women can have in their communities when they have a sense of purpose. The conference welcomed parents, health professionals, volunteers, and local politicians to explore why 80% of women in this province still have no access to specialist services.

Panel of experts answering the audience’s pressing questions

“When we first began this conference, the idea was to bring all of the different organisations out of their silos to have a meaningful conversation around mothers’ mental health”, said Seåna Talbot, the conference committee’s Chair. “For too long the women of Northern Ireland have been suffering from, with little support and we want to change that. Our conference faces the difficult issues head-on and allows parents and professionals the opportunity to share a platform and collaborate towards something better”.

The conference was a jam-packed affair as 250 people turned up to see Dr. Alain Gregoire, Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Committee as the keynote speaker, among others. The audience got the opportunity to quiz a panel of experts in the field and heard some personal experiences from parents who have been through mental illness in pregnancy or shortly after birth.

Organisers, sponsors and speakers

As well as the main conference, the NI Maternal Mental Health Awards had its second outing, recognising and rewarding those doing great work on the ground with parents.

“While we are very aware that the support services aren’t always available, we do recognise that there are some fabulous organisations and individuals working hard on the ground to help parents who are struggling and we wanted to find a way to reward them”, said Michelle Bradley, one of the
conference organisers.

The event was overall a huge success and continues to build momentum for this important issue.