Project launched to better mental health of Moray parents and their infants

Exploring what works well to support mums and dads from pregnancy through the first few years of their child’s life, a new project aims to boost mental health of those involved and create learning to help improve the services of the future in Moray.

Focusing on the support parents can give one another, the year-long project will see events, groups and surveys hosted by Moray Wellbeing Hub CIC with partners Children 1st and UHI (Moray College UHI & Division of Rural Health and Wellbeing). Fronting the activity will be a group of parents supported with training and mentoring to lead the project as peer-researchers. They will seek to hear the voices of experience including those seldom heard such as those in more rural areas, minority ethnic communities and young people.

The project launches 3rd February 2022 1.30pm with a short online information event to help involve more partners and recruit parents keen to get involved. There will also be an online survey launched to engage views and start to shape activity for the year. Both are available through Moray Wellbeing Hub’s website.

Parents initiated the project as part of a group of Champions, members of the social movement for change hosted by Moray Wellbeing Hub. One parent said: “When I had mental illness, I felt fearful that I was letting my child down when they were born. I wanted to know things would be ok, I was terrified, and professionals could not do everything to reassure me. I wish I had the right peer-support then as I have now through being a Champion and parents’ groups. It can be better, and I think we can do it together.”

Mental health challenges in pregnancy and while caring for infants can be viewed as stigmatising, both for mothers and fathers, which can stop people getting the help they need to get better. This not only affects parents but their infants and their wider family. Peer-support, where those who have experienced similar challenges support others, has been shown to be successful for many people in improving their sense of connection, hope and empowerment. Whilst many people are aware of post-natal depression other less common challenges like psychosis in pregnancy can also be an issue.

The project is funded by a grant from The Ideas Fund, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and delivered by the British Science Association with coordination locally by Science Ceilidh. The Fund enables the UK public to think about, develop and test new ideas related to areas of mental wellbeing that are relevant to them. This is one of a number of research projects running in 2022 where lived experience is leading understanding of what works well for Moray and Highland people.

Event information:

3rd February 2022
1.30pm - 2.00pm
Online via Zoom
Click here to register