Maternal Mental Health
Investment Cases and Advocacy Materials
This page includes a video on “Why must maternal mental health be a priority?”, resources on respectful maternal care, and an overview of several organizations committed to:
- Advocating and investing in maternal mental health
- Supporting bereaved parents
- Promoting research on prenatal and postpartum mental health for families, and
- Building communities that put mental health at the core of achieving sustainable growth and development
Watch the video “Why must maternal mental health be a priority?” in which maternal, newborn, child health, nutrition, and mental health communities answer this important question to raise awareness of this silent burden.
Launched in Kenya in 2015, Still a Mum has supported over 5,000 moms and dads who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss throughout Africa. Their services and resources cover psychosocial support for child loss bereavement, individual therapy for loss and grief, counseling for children and adolescents, training on respectful bereavement care, and counselor training. The recorded session “Perinatal Trauma and Maternal Mental Health” at the Maternal Mental Health Technical Consultation features Still a Mum founder, Wanjiru Kihusa, who discussed and raised awareness of the lived experience of parents who have gone through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death experience. Additional information and resources related to Stillbirth can be found on our Issues Page coming soon.
Established with the aim to foster the translation of research in perinatal and maternal mental health into improved care and outcomes for women and families worldwide, the Global Alliance for Maternal Mental Health consists of a coalition of international organizations committed to advocating and investing in maternal mental health. Resources related to maternal mental health can be found here and a Global Policy Map can be found here.
Formed at an international conference in 1980, the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health supports and promotes research on prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers, and babies. The society is multidisciplinary and includes psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, nurses, early childhood specialists, and consumer advocacy and self-help groups. Resources include a range scientific content for researchers, clinicians, and consumers worldwide, with the overall aim is to incorporate research into all aspects of mental health of women, men/partners, infants, and their families through pregnancy through the first two years after childbirth. In addition, Regional Groups, are a branch of the society working toward same goal within a specific area. Members can collaborate, share information, and build relationships with colleagues within the same geographic area or who share a common language. Regions include North America, South America, Africa-and more.
As a non-profit organization founded in Kenya to create awareness and offer support for maternal mental health, the Calmind Foundation works to increase and improve access to maternal mental health services through education, support, advocacy, research, and promotion. Their hospital outreach program creates awareness of maternal mental illnesses and where to seek care for pregnant and new mothers, and training for healthcare professionals on screenings, referrals, and treatment options. Their recovery and counseling program links those suffering from a mental health condition with counseling services and help.
S.A.L.T, Someone Always Listens To you, founded in Zimbabwe, is an organization dedicated to building communities that put mental health at the core of achieving sustainable growth and development in Africa. Through the promotion of homegrown solutions for homegrown challenges related to mental health, the organization serves as a platform for those of every age to interact. Services include professional counselling, mentorship, team building psychosocial support, and mental health training. Learn more about the organization’s projects and campaigns on their YouTube channel including “lockdown chronicles”, a series that highlights the challenges individuals have faced as a result of COVID-19 regulations.
Promotion of respectful, client-centered care is one way to help protect women and family’s mental health and ensure that their needs are acknowledged. The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) has a suite of respectful maternity care resources including RMC guides, policy briefs, reports, and toolkits.
The MCSP Respectful Care Operational Guidance provides country stakeholders (including policy-makers, program managers and civil society members) with a flexible process to guide the design, implementation, and monitoring of efforts to strengthen RMC and eliminate mistreatment as part of comprehensive MNH programs.