Westminster Health Forum

SilverCloud Health are proud to be sole sponsor of the upcoming Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar: Priorities for mental health services: co-commissioning, vanguards and access to treatments

The event will take place on Wednesday, 10th February 2016 at Glaziers Hall, 9 Montague Close, London SE1 9DD.

Guests of honour and keynote speakers will include Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England; Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Chair, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; Professor of Health & Social Care, City University, London and former Minister of State for Care Services; Gregor Henderson, National Lead, Wellbeing and Mental Health, Public Health England and Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Lead on Mental Health, CQC. Judith Chapman, Clinical Director of Specialist Mental Health Services & Talking Therapies (IAPT), from SilverCloud’s NHS partner Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will be on the Improving Standards of Care, Access to Services and Developing Effective Treatment panel

Delegates will be discussing priorities for mental health services in England as set out in the 2015 Autumn Spending report. Speakers will also address issues, amongst others, pertaining to the advancement of access to mental health services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care development, NHS vanguard sites, mental health condition prevention and the relationship between policing and mental health. In relation to the priorities outlined in the Autumn Spending report, an additional £600 million has been allocated to mental health services. Part of this investment will target the improvement of perinatal mental health care provision.

It is estimated that at least 10% of women will experience mental health difficulties during the perinatal period, which can be understood as the timespan between conception and the first year of a child’s life.[1] Perinatal mental health problems have been associated with a number of adverse outcomes and complications for both mother, child and parent-infant interactions.[2] As such, the ability to meet the needs of women and their families during this period is one of particular importance. Service provision and standards of care, however, have been inconsistent across England and improvements to access and quality of perinatal mental health care have been recognised as key priorities by the NHS.[1]

The perinatal period can present with a number of challenges and treatment-barriers specific to women who experience distress during this time. Mothers have expressed reluctance to share about mental health difficulties for fear of having their infant taken from them. There is also stigma attached to perinatal mental health issues and some women may experience shame or be apprehensive about being perceived as an inadequate mother. Further barriers to treatment include practical complications such as paucity of time or difficulty attending appointments.[3]

One solution to alleviating problems associated with access to treatment is online-delivered interventions. The option to receive treatment in the comfort and convenience of one’s home may assist with overcoming barriers such as those related to time and stigma and thus may prove particularly suited to meeting the needs of women with perinatal mental health problems. Moreover, internet-based treatments are advantageous in that they can offer support to a wider range of individuals in a cost-effective manner.

As sole sponsor SilverCloud will be in attendance and have an exhibition stand so why not come along and meet us to hear how online-delivered interventions can help in the treatment of hard to reach groups such as women with perinatal depression.

[1] Improving Access to Perinatal Mental Health Services in England - A Review. (2015). NHS Improving Quality. Accessed from: https://www.maternalmentalhealth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NHSIQ-Improving-access-to-perinatal-mental-health-services-in-England-0915.pdf

[2] Stuart, S., & Koleva, H. (2014). Psychological treatments for perinatal depression. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology,28 (1), 61-70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2013.09.004

[3] Dennis, C. L., & Chung‐Lee, L. (2006). Postpartum depression help‐seeking barriers and maternal treatment preferences: A qualitative systematic review.Birth, 33(4), 323-331.