Perinatal Mental Health | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Perinatal Mental Health

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

The Health and Europe Centre

Start Date


End Date


Project budget

8 537 957

ERDF amount

5 122 774

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Across the 2seas area 10-20% of women suffer from Perinatal Mental Illnesses (PMI): mental illness following birth & up to a year after: around 90% of them will not receive the support they need. 1 very common PMI is postnatal depression which has a cost of approx €74K to society related to the impact on both mother & child. The first 3 years of a child’s life are critical for attachment to parents, which lays the foundations for social & emotional development. Without this a child has decreased life chances & does not reach its full academic attainment potential. Currently severe PMI is treated well but the majority is mild to moderate & transitory in nature with no comprehensive, mainstream provision to prepare/support parents. Mums suffer from the fear of their baby being taken away so are reluctant to seek support. PATH addresses the challenge of preventing/supporting PMI providing a modern inclusive health infrastructure to improve perinatal experience & attachment in new families.

    Main Achievements

    With PATH's first output - a multimedia campaign to raise awareness of and destigmatise perinatal mental health issues and promote prepared parenting - due in 2020, 2019 saw partners focus on introducing and promoting PATH values to their audiences.

    A large number of articles have been published across the 2Seas area, including in EuroHealthNet's magazine focusing on childhood and adolescence and the magazine of the Association of Incubator Children. Partners have been promoting PATH at events across Europe such as the Institute of Health Visiting's annual conference in London and MenCare in Vienna, but also holding their own launch events: Southampton City Council held a Teddy Bears Picnic in August, supported by international organisations such as Ikea, whilst Masstaad Ziekenhuis launched PATH at a kick off symposium in October attended by hospital employees and interested parties from across the Netherlands.

    The project's Twitter page has gained increasing interest, finishing the year with 750 followers and invitiations to join the panel at events such as the Maternal and Child Health Conference.

    The real highlight for the partners has been holding focus groups with the people that will benefit from PATH's interventions: mothers and fathers with lived experience of perinatal mental health issues, healthcare professionals from multiple fields, employers and employees returning to work after maternity leave. As a result of these focus groups, partners have collaborated across borders to create the first version of an online support hub, facilitated by the digital expertise of colleagues Bournemouth University, as well as the drafting of four new modules aimed at face-to-face training for healthcare professionals. Focus groups with mothers and fathers with lived experience of perinatal mental health issues have been crucial in the design of the multimedia awareness campaign in order to project the messages that real people want to hear.

    Keep your eyes peeled in May 2020 to find out what those messages are! 



    Plymouth And District Mind

    Southampton City Council

    Odisee University College

    Kent County Council

    Institute of Health Visiting

    Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

    Hospital Centre of Douai

    Antwerp University of Applied Sciences

    Bournemouth University

    Attachment in Development

    Maasstad Hospital

    Antwerp University Hospital