We are proud to launch our new #MatExp project: #MindNBody – a holistic approach to perinatal mental health. The launch took place on 30 January 2019 at the London perinatal mental health conference (#LondonperinatalMH), hosted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Our poster was designed by Anna Geyer, the graphic artist who supports our work.

Florence Wilcock, Catherine MacLennan and Leigh Kendall gave an impactful presentation to launch the campaign. Emma Jane Sasaru was very much there is spirit too but had to miss the launch event at the last minute as she was busy winning an award at the #ThriveAwards2018 for her birth trauma work – the best reason of all. They described the new #MindNBody campaign:

“It is about seeing women as whole human beings; about their mental health counting just as much as their physical health. It is about helping women source the perinatal mental health support they need and in a timely fashion, whether or not they have their baby in their arms. It is about raising awareness of this topic that is still very taboo. It is about saving lives: suicide remains the leading cause of death for new mothers in the UK. The campaign is a crucial point of progress in supporting women in maternity care – and their partners too”.

This project has been building for a very long time – a natural development from our #MatExp and ‘Nobody’s Patient’ projects. We are co-producing new Whose Shoes? scenarios and poems. We have a fantastic collaboration of ‘just do it’ people. The formal partnership is across 3 regions: London, West Midlands and the South West, but there is opportunity for everyone to get involved.

I too was sorry I was unable to be at the launch. I was running a #MatExp Whose Shoes? event at Warwick Hospital. It was an energy-filled day and led to some really great pledges which we look forward to seeing turning into important actions that we can share.

Leigh wrote a wonderful blog about the launch event and what it meant to her and #HugosLegacy; Emma has also written powerfully about this special day and they each share their thoughts on the project. I hope people will read them and appreciate how much courage it takes to share these stories and how we learn most from those with lived experience.

Who knows, perhaps Catherine will write one too in due course. At the moment, she is too busy presenting at two major conferences and sharing her experience by hosting our @matexpbazaar Twitter account this week.

We love the way these #MatExp ripples and paper chains are spreading!

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